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Update on RStudio accessibility with screen readers!

This is an email that was written by Gary Ritchie to Raymond Tremblay in response to our query about screen readers and R studio.

From: Gary Ritchie <gary@rstudio.com>
Date: July 17, 2019 at 1:09:36 PM EDT
To: Hadley Wickham <hadley@rstudio.com>
Cc: Raymond L Tremblay Lalande <raymond.tremblay@upr.edu>

Hi. Yes, I am working on making the RStudio IDE accessible in the next release (1.3), and happy to talk about it.

We (RStudio) do recognize the importance of this. Unfortunately it is a retro-fit, rather than something that was baked in from the start, so it's a major undertaking. I'm happy to talk to any interested parties about progress and plans, and share early builds once they have reached a useful level of functionality.

More background:

RStudio Server is a web application, used via a web browser, thus subject to web accessibility guidelines and technologies.

RStudio Desktop is also a web application! It's essentially the same web application as RStudio Server but displayed in a desktop shell using the Chromium browser (the open-source core of Google Chrome). There are some additional accessibility challenges due to this, still being worked through, and right now I'm focused on the shared RStudio Server aspects.

I am targeting WCAG 2.1 level AA compliance, testing primarily with VoiceOver/Safari on Mac, and FireFox/NVDA on Windows. I do also conduct some tests with other combinations of screen readers and web browsers, including Chrome, JAWS, and Narrator. Naturally as part of this working towards full usability with keyboard-only, and voice-control.

In order to release RStudio 1.3 in a reasonable amount of time (very tentatively aiming for first half of 2020), I don't expect to achieve full compliance for every nook and cranny of the RStudio IDE (though I will try). Any known exceptions will be called out in our WCAG/VPAT assessment documents.

I am aware that "compliance" with things such as WCAG does not always translate to genuine "usability", and early testing and feedback from real users will be greatly appreciated.

You can see actual code-level changes as they are made in this Github project board: https://github.com/rstudio/rstudio/projects/4

Thanks,

Gary

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Project Biodiversify: Inclusive teaching materials and methods in biology

Project Biodiversify is a repository of teaching materials and methods

aimed at enhancing human diversity and inclusivity in biology courses.

 

People – including students and biologists – exhibit a diverse set of backgrounds and identities. However, most biology students are not exposed to a diversity of role models in the field of biology, and many students are taught about biology in a way that (often unintentionally) does not feel inclusive to them or their communities.

Project Biodiversify is here to help! We are an online space that promotes the humanization, diversification, and inclusivity of biology classrooms.

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PeerWise - an open question authoring tool

PeerWise is an open question authoring tool that allows students to author questions, and also to answer other students' questions. The site allows for comments and ranking and also has a badge system to encourage students to participate actively with the tool. I have utilized this tool in several courses (General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Biochemistry). Please find a powerpoint file attached with additional information. You can access the tool at https://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/ 

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Who are You? What You Got?

Using organelle counts from SEMs to help students determine potential cell types, so they actually "see" that various cell types can differ based on the number and type or organelles they possess.  They will graph their counts and calculate means for each organelle type.

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Who are You? What You Got?

Using organelle counts from SEMs to help students determine potential cell types, so they actually "see" that various cell types can differ based on the number and type or organelles they possess.  They will graph their counts and calculate means for each organelle type.

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BioSkills Guide

Learning outcomes for the Vision and Change core competencies. Developed by Alexa Clemmons, Jerry Timbrook, Jon Herron, and Alison Crowe.

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Alexa Clemmons onto Resources

BioCore Guide

Printable reference sheet for interpreting the Vision and Change core concepts. Developed by Sara Brownell, Scott Freeman, Mary Pat Wenderoth, and Alison Crowe.

Also see publication here: https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.13-12-0233

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Alexa Clemmons onto Resources

Presentation from Session on Prioritizing the Data Science Curriculum by Lou Gross and Sondra LoRe

This is the summary powerpoint for the Monday session including the description of the student data project on height change overnight. 

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Lou Gross onto Job Postings

Wetlands Research Cluster Hire – Three Assistant Professors

We are seeking two plant biologists and one invertebrate biologists with a research focus on wetlands.  Please talk with Holly Gaff if you are interested or want more information. Please pass this ad to anyone you know on the market for these kinds of positions!

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Holly D Gaff onto Job Postings

Support for ELNs in the Research Lab

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Paper vs Electronic

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Implementation of ELNs in Bioprocessing Engineering lab

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Student Experience with ELNs - Work in Progress

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

ePortfolios as ELNs

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

iPads in the Lab - Experiment design and Implementation

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Greenhouse Manager / Instructor at Radford University

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Tara A Pelletier onto Job Postings

Authentic learning experience for data management using ELNs

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Using a WordPress Blog as an OpenSource ELN

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Innovative use of an eNotebook in an inquiry-based biochemistry lab

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Comparing Paper Notebooks to eNotebooks

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

ELN in Biomedical Engineering Course

Describes program redesign - how student projects are connected to real client projects

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Blogging as an ELN

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

Evernote as an ELN - Bring your Own Device

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Natalie Stringer onto eNotebooks

QUBES postdoc at Radford University

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Jeremy M Wojdak onto Job Postings