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Please improve accessibility of SCCM for blind system administrators.

SCCM 2005 was very accessible to system administrators who are blind. However, Versions after this from 2008 on are not usable. This has resulted in any system administrator who is blind who requires access to SCCM to perform his or her duties to find alternative responsibilities. Up to 2013 I happily worked as a system administrator. I loved this part of the IT industry. However, because so much of my job revolved around using SCCM I had no choice but to leave and refocus my efferts somewhere else. I ask Microsoft to redouble your committment to accessibility to include improving access to SCCM. There are over a hundred blind system administrators around the world. We work like everyone else to pay bills, keep a roof over our heads and provide for our children. Please keep this in mind when considering the priority of this request. In Visual studio, at the top of the properties list you will find attributes for improving / addingaccessibility to controls. Microsoft have developed this brilliant technology so that accessibility is easily added. All I am asking is that you use the functions you have developed. Thanks for reading.

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Darragh O Heiligh shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

9 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I echo Darragh's comment heres here. This isn't closed nor should it be just yet. I am venturing into SCCM on a daily basis and it would be criminal for some of the things that Darragh pointed out to remain outstanding. Looks like progress was made. Let's keep going Microsoft.

  • Darragh O Heiligh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Mark, I note with concern that you are marking this as closed. I along with many others are highly respectful and appreciative of the work that has been done but as per my notes that were relayed to your team on the 18th of July, there are still more areas that require serious attention. I ask nicely but firmly that you keep this open and keep up the great work that you and your team have done so far. It really hasn't gone unnoticed. I have been able to successfully and *independently* design implement and deploy a full SCCM 1702 environment. This is a huge step forward compared to five years ago. I hope you are aware of the huge difference this has made to my ongoing job security.

    That said, here are the areas that I have encountered that still require your attention. Again, I ask that this remain open until all issues are resolved and SCCM is 100% accessible. You've come this far. Don't stop.

    1. The most important issue for me at the moment is I cant read the entire row in the tables. I can read the main column which is great. I can then use the jaws touch cursor to read the rest but it's hard to get context when reading tables with a lot of columns. For example, when I want to determine how many machines have received updates. I'd like to be able to arrow through this using left and right arrows.
    2. I would like to be able to sort these tables. So that if I'm in a collection for example and I want to sort by Client, I can easily show what systems haven't had a client installed yet.
    3. I tend to use the jaws touch cursor - driven by the keyboard quite a lot to read message text. The order that this information is presented is not obvious or consistent.
    4. I'm unable to read the features list. Within the admin (ctrl+4) tab.
    5. It isn't possible to tab into then read the wizard summary / wizard result messages when deploying updates / the agent etc.
    6. I'm trying to get an idea of the state of client deployment. I can tell using the touch cursor that there are pi diagrams but I'd like to be able to determine what systems are left to get the client. I could probably create a query based collection to obtain this information.
    7. Jaws isn't indicating that focus has changed when I move to different tabs using control + 1,2,3 and 4.
    8. In context menus, the menu divider is a focusable element and jaws reads it. This isn't a huge problem, just a minor annoyance.
    9. Control tab generally doesn't move between tabs in property pages.
    10. During the installation of the client, the user is asked to opt into the user improvement program. The radio buttons for this are not in the tab order.

  • Darragh O Heiligh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How is this in later versions? I'm just about to venture back to SCCM so I@m very worried that things haven't improved enough.

  • Allen hoffman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We cannot include people with disabilities in STEM if all the administration tools are inaccessible. We need this stuff made accessible or we're telling PWD they must stay in nontechnical fields only which is completely unacceptable.

  • Rajiv Shah commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have used SCCM2012 and here is the big issue: The remote assistance feature has never worked. Though, Dara, you state that 2005 was the gold standard, I would argue that it was the silver standard for accessibility, since the remote-assistance feature did not work.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just tested the 1603 release and can confirm first letter navigation in the treeview does now work. It is slightly slower than ideal but still a ton faster than moving through the tree item by item. Also, I think some of the delay is my screen reader taking more time than it should to actually read the selected item to me and not the time it takes for the console to actually move to that item.

  • Darragh O Heiligh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To continue: Links that raised this topic previously are also here:
    https://connect.microsoft.com/ConfigurationManagervnext/Feedback/Details/781752

    the accessibility of SCCM improved somewhat in 2012 SP1 but there has been little to no continuation in this improvement since then. Many Blind system administrations are very worried that they cannot use SCCM in it's current state and potentially things could continue to get worse.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

  • Darragh O Heiligh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Nash is correct. This was raised previously. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Nash for highlighting this within Microsoft.
    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/4f94f58f-cfc6-4219-a73f-f35835c086cb/compatible-frontends-htas-for-sccm-2012?forum=configmanagergeneral
    and here
    http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2013/03/20/the-blind-configmgr-admin/

    Unfortunately I cant get to the original forum posts and feedback entries I left back in 2012 and 2012 but this has been a long standing issue for the 100 or so Blind system administrators that rely on Microsoft creating accessible applications right across their array of products.

  • Nash Pherson (MVP) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is an issue that has come up a couple times since ConfigMgr 2012 was released and stopped working well with screen readers. This feedback item was closed as "Fixed", but the issues still linger:
    https://connect.microsoft.com/ConfigurationManagervnext/feedback/details/781752/entire-console-requires-accessibility-review

    Hopefully the next time we iterate on addressing the accessibility problem we are able to finally put this issue to rest.

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