Accessible Firefox on Mac OS X – things are ramping up!

This is to announce that work on a VoiceOver accessible version of Firefox for the Mac OS X platform has been gaining some attention recently, and that very promising progress has been made in the last month!

Hub Figuière, a new member of the Mozilla accessibility team who started in November, has taken on the task of bringing our support of Apple’s Universal Access up to speed. Work on this support had initially started some time in 2006, but stalled for a number of years despite a pleas for help on this blog in 2009. However, demand for it has always been there, every Firefox release I’m being asked when Firefox will finally become accessible to VoiceOver.

Well, the time isn’t here just yet, but we’re on a very good way!

And in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be announcing the availability of builds for those who are willing to help us test accessible Firefox on Snow Leopard or Lion! They will be builds off our hot development branch, so nothing for the faint of heart. They will have problems, some of which we may have found internally, but undoubtedly many we will not have found yet. And if you feel like you can help us make sure the accessibility of Firefox on the Mac is good, join the fun and provide feedback! How that can be done, I will announce in a separate blog post. If you already know your way around the Mozilla community, you’ll be able to find us easily right now and can follow this meta bug for progress.

In the meantime, you are invited to show your support, be it in testing or good morale, by leaving a comment here!

22 comments:

  1. That’s great news. Do you know if there are a bug in bugzilla that I could use to track progress?

  2. Thanks for the update. We are looking forward to improvements to both Firefox and the XUL framework. This will complement our collaboration with the Dorina Nowill Foundation in Brazil on DDReader – an open source Firefox extension for reading books in DAISY format. Accessibility improvements to the XUL framework will also help our efforts to easily deliver audio books on inexpensive MP3 players via an integration of the Songbird media manager with Bookshare.

    Gerardo
    VP of Engineering, Benetech

  3. Great news! I can’t wait till there are more accessible browsers on the Mac! I’d be willing to help with accessibility testing as well.

    Thanks and Good Luck!

  4. This is awesome news! I will be keeping an eye out and will be more than happy to beta test and bug hunt. I use Firefox exclusively with NVDA on my PC, and it will be great to use the same browser on my Mac as well! Thanks guys!

    Rick r.

    Twitter:
    @rwnutjob

  5. @Chad, just watch this blog for an announcement, then you can download a build and provide feedback through commenting on that post or by using Bugzilla.

  6. This is good news indeed. I just got a new mac so look forward to helping when the releases come out. I’ll stay tuned to this page for more exciting details.

  7. This is great! I don’t have a Mac yet, but plan on getting one soon. Once that happenes, count me in for testing as well. Keep up the excellent work!
    Alex
    Twitter: @linuxx64

  8. Just to give an update of what’s possible already: I’m writing this comment using an accessible version of Firefox on the Mac. There are many things we still need to do, for example right now I cannot review what I’m typing here, but the fact that I already got this far is quite an accomplishment. Thanks, Hub!

  9. I’d love to trst verskions of FF. I have beta experience. Feel free to consider me.

What are your thoughts?