[R] Using R with screenreading software

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Tue May 4 15:52:26 CEST 2010

On 04/05/2010 9:41 AM, Rainer Scheuchenpflug wrote:
> Dear R-Experts,
> a student of mine tries to use the Windows-Rconsole with screen reading
> software (she is blind), and cannot access the command line (Menus are ok).
> The company which produces her screen reader tells her that this is due to
> the cursor used in Rconsole, which is static, not blinking. They maintain
> that if the cursor could be changed to a blinking one, she should be able to
> access the command line and outputs.
> For my last exam she used R in a Dosbox as workaround, but encountered other
> problems, esp. with scrolling. So: Is it possible to change the cursor
> type/behavior in R-Console? 
> She uses R 2.8.1, Windows 2000, and screenreader Virgo 4.6 from Baum Retec,
> if that is any help.
> Your assistance with this problem and any other tips for teaching R to blind
> users will be much appreciated, 
> Rainer Scheuchenpflug
We are aware of problems when using the Windows Rgui with screen reading 
software, but nobody in R Core has expertise in this area.  If you know 
of any programmers who do and who could contribute code to the project, 
I think we'd appreciate it.

In the meantime, using Rterm in a command window is one solution.  There 
are also other front ends available that may work:  running R from 
within Emacs, or using the JGR front end (see the article on p. 9 of 

Duncan Murdoch

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