[Athen] Mathworks MATLAB and SIMULINK

Todd Schwanke tschwanke at studentlife.wisc.edu
Mon Jul 28 07:52:03 PDT 2014

Hi Tracey:

Our experience as of January/February 2014 was that I was not able to get Matlab 8.0 (R2012b) or later (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MATLAB) to work with any screen reader when using the Matlab in the graphical interface (GUI) mode. Matlab 8.3 (R2014a) was available in a pre-release version at that time and also crashed like 8, 8.1, 8.2 when a screen reader was running. It is possible to run version 8.x in a command line mode with screen readers. Matlab 8 was the first version to use the ribbon style menu bar. I submitted crash reports and filed a support a support ticket with MathWorks and they acknowledged the problem with 8, but did not provide any info about if/when it would be fixed. I also talked with a sales person about the importance of getting these issues fixed. Even though the Java Access Bridge is now packaged with Matlab 8.x, there seems to be a conflict between Matlab and the Java Access Bridge. With the Java Access Bridge turned on and any screen reader running (JAWS, nVDA, WindowEyes), Matlab crashes right away with a "Abnormal Termination: Access Violation" error and references to the Java Access Bridge in the log file.

I have been able to get Matlab 7.14 (R2012a) to work pretty consistently with JAWS 15. That version is over 2 years old and 3 versions back now, which could be too much of a difference if class peers are using the current version. Additionally, what I found is if students aren't covered under the contract then they likely won't be able to get the older version.

Addressing these problems with Mathworks before signing a contract is probably best.

Todd Schwanke


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Forman, Tracey
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2014 10:35 PM
To: <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Mathworks MATLAB and SIMULINK

Our College of Engineering and General Counsel is seeking Disability Service's feedback about a pending purchase of Mathwork's MATLAB and Simulink software for use in some science, engineering and math courses on our campus. The VPAT came back with a number of areas for each application where accessibility features are not supported for common accessibility tools and functionality.

I found a few articles/posts about how to make Matlab compatible with JAWS using Java Accessibility Bridge, but I've also found posts about problems with accessibility. None of the resources I have come across are more recent than January 2014.

Does anyone on this list have any recent experience with these Mathworks products and their accessibility?

Do any of your campuses use MatLab or Simulink? If so, have you had any issues with accessibility?


Tracey Forman

Department of Disability Services

Texas A&M University
(979) 845-1637

traceyf at disability.tamu.edu

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