Here are instructions for getting Mushclient to work with screen readers. Mushclient is a MUD client, which can allow visually impaired people to play MUDs (Multi-user Dungeons).

Portable MUSHclient

If you want to get started quickly, without downloading and installing plugins, download a portable client here. This client was last updated on June 11 2011. This is a 7-zip self-extracting archive that you can run, which by default will extract to wherever it was downloaded, creating a mushclient--portable folder. Once extracted, just run mushclient.exe in the newly-extracted folder. When you create a new world, all the plugins will load automaticly. This client contains MushReader, disable line info (which disables the line information on world open), Capture mud output and mcBass. For help with capture mud output, select it from the plugin list and press info. Once the plugin list is closed, its help will appear. The original source for capture mud output is here. For those who want to do things manually, all of the plugins you need are below.

General tips

While in a world, most of these plugins support typing tts to turn the speech on and off.

If your screen reader reads the line number and time while reviewing, go into the world configuration and under the output item in the tree, disable show line information.

A note on prompts

MUSHclient, and these plugins, process complete lines only. This means that certain lines, such as prompts with no newline at the end will be spoken after the next line comes in. There are several ways around it.

For muds that support it, enabling Convert IAC EOR/GA to new line in the Output item of the configuration will translate certain telnet sequences into a newline for you. You may have to enable it mud-side (e.g. config +telnetga on smaug). If your mud doesn't support it, enabling this won't hurt anything.

Most muds allow you to put a newline after your prompt, or turn it off entirely. help prompt will usually say how.

In character creation where this is usually an issue, you'll just have to review the screen in order to read the last line of output that may have come in.

Manual instructions and information

  1. Once MUSHClient is installed, put the plugin (xml file) for whichever screen reader you are using (listed below) in the plugins directory. This will be something like c:\Program Files\MUSHClient\worlds\plugins. If you download MushReader, put the dll files in the main Mushclient directory.
  2. Create a world in MUSHClient as normal, and add your plugin to it through the Plugins dialog that can be found in the File menu, or by pressing control+shift+p. After doing so, the plugin should speak its welcome message. If it does not, follow the instructions in Troubleshooting below. If it still doesn't work, email me and I can help you.

MushReader

MushReader is a plugin and a dll file that will automaticly use any screen reader it supports - currently JAWS, Window-Eyes, NVDA and System Access. You can Download MushReader Here. Once downloaded, put the plugin (xml file) in mushclient\worlds\plugins, and the dll files in the main mushclient directory. Load the plugin into your world, and it should talk.

Screen reader plugins

These are the older plugins. Their functionality has been combined into MushReader.

mcBass

mcBass is a plugin that uses the bass library to allow the playback of more than one sound at a time, and supports multiple formats. Download mcBass here.

Other Plugins

Troubleshooting

Note: I don't know how relevant these instructions are anymore, I'm keeping them here for historical purposes and for people who use really old versions of JAWS. If you use anything recent, these instructions probably won't work and aren't needed.

If you are using an older JAWS and the plugin does not install correctly, you might need to install JFWAPICtrl.dll. This automatic installer should do it for you. To do this manually:

  1. unzip the jaws api file, and put the jfwapictrl.dll file in a place where it'll be safe from deletion, for example in the windows directory.
  2. Open a command prompt to that directory and run: regsvr32 /s jfwapictrl.dll