moderated Re: Using Cisco Packet Tracer with JAWS


when I tried to pursue an opportunity to learn this trade a decade ago, I was told that all of the simulation software like Router Simm and Packet Tracer renders drawings and scenarios in 3D, and the problem is making it so JAWS or some other screen reader can interact with 3D like a sighted user would. in terms of having a professional scripter for JAWS write a script, it would be very difficult and complex, and by the time the script has been completed and tested, there would be a very slim chance that the script would work at all.

since then, I remember that Packet Tracer had employed 4 or so keyboard shortcuts, but don't know if they were removed or still remain. this was Cisco's solution for adding adaptive accessibility.

-------- Original Message --------
From: Callum Stoneman via []
Date: Friday, October 16, 2020, 9:27 AM
Subject: Using Cisco Packet Tracer with JAWS
Hi all,
I have recently started a new job on an IT Networks team and am being
encouraged by my employer to take a Cisco CCNA qualification as it will
help massively with my future career in this field. I am interested in
doing this, but the problem is that much of the Cisco content relies
heavily on their Packet Tracer network simulation software.
When I first started at university around three years ago, our course
also used a lot of the CCNA content and we tried back then using Packet
Tracer with JAWS, but with no success. As soon as the program is
launched, JAWS says nothing. When pressing tab or the arrow keys,
nothing at all is spoken, not even "blank". Me and my tutors contacted
Cisco in the hope that they could help or recommend an alternative, but
they were less than helpful so we were left to find alternatives for
ourselves, which we did. I studied the CCNA content and got my degree,
but I'm not CCNA qualified on paper, plus the content changed at the
start of this year, so I am now studying it again for work.
Three years later, things are no better with the latest version of
Packet Tracer and JAWS 2020, and the alternative method I used at
university (using physical devices instead of virtual ones) is not
possible at work especially in the current situation. I have contacted
Cisco again and this time they seem a little more helpful. They claim
that they have tested Packet Tracer with JAWS 2020 and, in their words,
"it works, but with some gaps" and they seem completely stuck for
answers as to why it doesn't work with JAWS at all on my machine, but it
does for them. They of course tried blaming the user at first, "Is your
speech set to mute? Is your volume set to an audible level?" etc etc. It
would be wrong for me to say that I'm a JAWS expert, but I'm certainly
not a beginner. I have used JAWS for many years and am very familiar
with it, but nothing I try makes any improvement with Packet Tracer.
The person who I have been in touch with from Cisco's accessibility team
has now put me in touch with one of the Packet Tracer developers and I'm
currently trying to arrange a call with them in the hope that we can
figure this out, however I would like to know if I'm missing something
with this.
Has anyone else had experience with Packet Tracer? If you have got it to
work, any tips/workarounds would be hugely appreciated. Equally, if you
have tried it out recently and have found it to be inaccessible, I would
like to know so that I can provide as much detail as possible if/when I
speak to Cisco.
Many thanks in advance for any help and comments.

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