Using Bookshare’s “Add to Reading List” Feature with Window-eyes

I sent the following message to the Bookshare discussion list. I’m reposting it here in case any readers of this blog have encountered this problem. Btw, I’ve already reported it to AI Squared.

During the last phone meeting of the Philadelphia Computer Users’ Group for the blind and visually Impaired, one of the callers, who I believe may be on this list, brought up a problem she was having using Bookshare’s reading lists feature with the Window-eyes screen reader. She indicated that, when choosing the add to reading list link, she was not able to locate the combo box which provides the names of the reading lists you can choose for adding the desired book. I didn’t have a copy of Window-eyes at home and so I wasn’t able to do any testing during the conference call. However, I had a theory which I offered, being that window-eyes wasn’t seeing that the screen had refreshed after choosing the add to reading list link. I’ve had a chance to do some
experimenting and have confirmed that this is, in fact, the problem. For those who are using Window-eyes and are experiencing this problem, I’ll outline the workaround. Before I go any further, I’ll say that the problem does not occur with JAWS or with NVDA.
First, I’ll explain that I’m using version 8.4 of Window-eyes, which is the latest version as of the time of this writing. I’m running it on a Windows 7, 32-bit system and tested this problem with both Firefox 31 and Internet Explorer 11. I believe the caller was using Firefox and the behavior is slightly different, depending on which browser you’re using when adding a book to your reading list.
First, let’s start with Firefox. Go through a list of books on Bookshare and find a book that you want to add to your reading list. Look for the “Add to Reading List” link. Window-eyes will read it as “same page link add to reading list.”
Once you’ve found this link, press enter.
At this point, the page changes slightly and there should be a combo box, probably just a bit above where the virtual cursor is located. The combo box gives you a list of the different reading lists you might have created. As an example, with my account the combo box has items such as General fiction, General nonfiction, science fiction, catholic, etc. Other screen readers are able to detect that the page has changed and you will probably have little or no difficulty in locating the combo box. However, window-eyes is unaware that the page has changed so it will seem as though nothing has happened after you pressed the enter key. To force window-eyes to take a second look at the newly modified page, use the screen refresh command, which is insert-backslash by default if you’re using the standard desktop keyboard layout. If you’re using the laptop keyboard layout, use caps lock with the backslash key. If you happen to be using what they call the insert key layout, which is pretty much a JAWS keyboard layout, you can also use insert-escape. Window-eyes will say something like “screen refreshed.”
At this point, you may be thrown back to the top of the screen if you’re using Firefox and you’ll need to go back to the book you wanted to add. If you’re using Internet Explorer, window-eyes is a bit better at preserving your place and you’ll be pretty much where you were before you refreshed the screen. At this point, you’ll see an additional combo box with the names of your reading lists, along with an “add” button to add the book to the list you select. As with any combo box, you’ll need to press enter while you’re focused on it which will exit browse mode, allowing you to freely move about the combo box to select your reading list. Once you’ve selected the reading list you were looking for, press the tab key and you should be focused on the “add” button. Press spacebar or enter and the book should be added to the reading list you chose.
It is likely that the folks at GW Micro, now AI Squared, are already aware of this issue. Just in case they are not, I will send them a bug report before the end of the day.
As I said, users of JAWS and NVDA won’t have this problem. Choosing the “add to reading list” link will allow you to instantly locate the combo box to choose the reading list. I hope this information proves to be of some use for any Window-eyes users.


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