[BlindRUG] My internship at RStudio for accessibility and follow-up virtual meetup

JooYoung Seo jooyoung at psu.edu
Wed Sep 23 20:38:11 UTC 2020

Hello All,

Before everything else I hope everyone is doing well and safe.

Actually, I have not had a chance to keep you all posted about my
summer internship activities at RStudio. And, my original plan to host
a virtual webinar for Rmarkdown topic in September has been pushed
back due to some school work. I massively apollgize for these delays.

Let me first share some stories about my RStudio internship between
May and August.

To concisely deliver my activities, I have made them as bullet points.

* Worked on accessibility improvement projects for Rstudio Server and
Desktop IDE, Shiny and Rmarkdown.

* Patched Shiny’s bootstrap dependencies to improve navigation of
Shiny apps for screen-reader and keyboard users (alert, tooltip,
popover, modal dialog, dropdown, tab Panel, collapse, and carousel
elements). (Shiny PR #2911)

* Made selectInput widget accessible by patching selectize-a11y-plugin
JS library. (Shiny PR #2993)

* Developed a way to pass dynamic alt attribute for reactive plot
objects. (Shiny PR #3006)

* Made fontawesome and glyphicon readable to assistive technologies.
(Shiny PR #2917)

* Made dateInput and dateRangeInput widgets accessible for screen
readers. (Shiny PR #2978)

* Fixed keyboard accessibility for file picker button. (Shiny PR #2937)

* Added semantic landmarks for main and sidebarPanels via aria roles.
(Shiny PR #3009)

* Made dynamic output objects accessible to be announced to assistive
technologies in real time via aria-live. (Shiny PR #3002)

* Developed a way to pass document-level lang attribute to Shiny apps.
(Shiny PR #2920)

* Developed JS code to resolve accessibility issue in highlighted code
blocks of HTML output produced by Pandoc for screen reader users.
(Rmarkdown PR #1833)

* Added the customizable lang attribute to ioslides_presentation
output. (Rmarkdown PR #1841)

* Added the number_sections argument to the word_document() output
format. (Rmarkdown PR #1869)

* Authored technical document on how to run RStudio Server via Windows
Subsystem for Linux.

* Authored technical document on RStudio Screen Reader Support.

* Certified as the first blind Tidyverse instructor.

* Also certified as the first blind Shiny instructor.

In sum, Shiny will be made reasonably made accessible from v1.5.1. Of
course, you can now test the dev version of Shiny on GitHub. RStudio
IDE is getting better, but maybe significant accessibility
improvements will be experienced from v1.5 or so. It seems like they
will switch to a more accessible framework, which is Electron App
(hopefully, in v1.5).

If anyone has follow-up questions, please let me know. I will be more
than happy to detail each of the points.

Next, I would like to discuss our next virtual meeting.

Again, I massively apologize for the delay. I have been a bit swamped
with finishing my Ph.D. degree and seeking a job these days.

I will be able to host a Q&A type on Rmarkdown and/or Shiny via Zoom
in early November if you all forgive me and allow me to do.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on that. Any suggestions on
the meeting topics are always welcome.

Looking forward to reconnect with you all.

Best regards,


  JooYoung Seo, CPACC
  Ph.D. Candidate (ABD),
  RStudio's Trusted Data-Science Instructor
  Learning, Design, and Technology
  Learning and Performance Systems
  The Pennsylvania State University
  Site: https://www.jooyoungseo.com/
  Phone: +1 (814) 777-5825
  E-mail: jzs323 at psu.edu

More information about the BlindRUG mailing list