JAWS Scripts For Adobe Connect
Doug Lee
Last Revised September, 2016

This document describes the scripts for Adobe Connect and provides tips for using this application with JAWS. This document can be opened from within Adobe Connect via a double press of JAWSKey+F1 (or Insert+F1).

This document is laid out for easy navigation using JAWS HTML heading navigation commands: h will move through all headings, 2 through major sections, and 3 and 4 through any subsections or subsubsections.

Table of Contents

System Requirements For JAWS Users

There are no known system requirements for these scripts beyond those for Adobe Connect itself. The minimum JAWS version supported is 14.0. JAWS versions older than 17.0 have not been carefully tested with these scripts. The scripts are most thoroughly tested against Adobe Connect version 11.9.976.291.

Script Installation Instructions

To install these scripts on a new system:

  1. Load JAWS if this has not already been done. This will require administrative privileges on the computer.
  2. Run JAWS as the user for whom the scripts are to be installed. This and the following steps must be performed for each user of the computer who will be using JAWS with these scripts.
  3. Run the script installer and follow its instructions.
  4. To verify successful installation, type Ins+Q from within Adobe Connect. Part of the JAWS spoken response should be a revision number. If you do not hear a revision number, the scripts are not correctly loaded.

Script Features In Brief

The scripts provide the following general keystrokes and features in addition to those provided by Adobe Connect:

The scripts also provide the following features specific to chat pods:

Tips For Using Adobe Connect


Most Adobe Connect instances include an application menu bar. Use Ctrl+Space, not the Alt key, to activate it. Some Adobe Connect instances, such as those used simply to play back a pre-recorded event, may not have an application menu.

Adobe Connect provides much help material, including a thorough guide to its keyboard shortcuts. To access Adobe Connect help, type Ctrl+Space for Adobe Connect's Application menu, then arrow left or right to reach the Help menu, and open it with a Down arrow. Of course, this only works in Adobe Connect instances with an application menu bar on screen. At this writing (September 6, 2016), the "Keyboard Shortcuts" menu item actually launches the Adobe Connect Accessibility Features web page in the default browser.

Adobe Connect screens are made up of "pods" (think of them like panes). More than one pod can be visible at once. Move among pods with Ctrl+F6. As a pod takes focus, JAWS should announce the pod's name. Example pods that may appear include

Contains a treeView of attendees, organized into hosts, presenters, and participants. If you need to raise your hand to ask a question or speak, do it in this pod with Ctrl+E.. This pod also contains a tab control allowing a switch to a view that sorts attendees by status. Switch tabs by tabbing to the tab control, arrowing left or right to the desired tab, and pressing Space to select/activate the tab.
There is one chat pod for each active chat, public or private. Ctrl+Shift+O will jump to whichever pod last produced a chat alert.
There can also be video, share, poll, and notes pods.

Some pods have pod-specific menus. To open the menu for the active pod, type Ctrl+F8.

Some controls may not appear, or at certain times may not appear, in Adobe Connect tab order. The scripts provide a means of navigating forward and backward through focusable controls, regardless of tab order, via the grave accent (`) key: Typing this key by itself moves focus to the next focusable control, while typing it with a Shift key moves to the previous focusable control. Both will cycle around to the first or last control, as appropriate, when encountering the end of the available controls. These commands thus function much like Tab and Shift+Tab but are not restricted to controls in the active pod. Be aware, though, that the order of controls using these commands may not match the order of controls in the application's native tab order.

When a recording is playing, Adobe Connect provides the p keyboard shortcut to pause and resume playback. However, this functionality is sometimes overridden by other functionality depending on the location of focus. The scripts include a Ctrl+Shift+P command for pausing and resuming playback regardless of the location of focus. This command also avoids shifting focus to the Play/Pause button when possible.

Chat Pods

Use the chat message reading and navigation commands described under Script Features In Brief to read chat messages.

When editing or reviewing a chat message while typing it, avoid moving rapidly with arrows, as this is currently likely to result in strange behavior.

To start a private chat with a meeting participant:

Known Issues

Issues shown in this section may be fixed in future script and/or application revisions but are not addressed as of this writing.

At this writing, these scripts only work with the external addin, AdobeConnectAddin.exe. They will not currently work when Adobe Connect resides within a browser window. To make a meeting launch using the external addin, add ?launcher=true to the end of the meeting's URL.

Reversing message history while in a private chat reverses the main "Everyone" chat but not the private one. This will confuse the scripts and require you to type Ctrl+Shift+R in the main chat to rectify message order for the Alt message reading commands.

Switching among chats in one Adobe Connect instance will not cause announcement of missed messages and will cause the position for Alt+arrow chat reading commands to be wrong.

The Share pod provides accessible text but is not yet scripted and is not easy to read outside of a browser and the JAWS virtual view. Share pods without shared content display the message "Nothing is being shared," but this message is not reachable via standard JAWS means either.

Chat messages containing multiple lines may read oddly because there is no separation in the MSAA text between the lines:

This message is
two lines long.
is likely to read via JAWS as
This message istwo lines long.
This cannot be fixed via scripting.

Reversing message text in a chat pod may cause the first and second messages to merge and leave a blank line as the first message. This is due to an anomaly in Adobe Connect's MSAA formatting for chat history.

Restarting JAWS while chat history text is reversed will cause messages to be accessed by Alt chat reading commands in the reverse order from that intended. There may be other cases for which the reversal status of history messages is not detected correctly. Use Ctrl+Shift+R in such circumstances to reverse JAWS' concept of message order.