[Blindmath] Using R with JAWS

Jonathan Godfrey a.j.godfrey at massey.ac.nz
Sat Jun 13 05:00:26 CDT 2009

Trevor et al.,

I can only suggest you try R for yourself in windows when it is 
installed in the default way. This is a GUI system albeit with 
limited inter activity. None of the statistical functions are in the 
menus; they are only there to facilitate operating system functions 
and program management. All functions are achievable in the terminal mode.

Other platforms do use a different interface, but I am not familiar 
with them enough to comment with accuracy. I have seen R run under 
cygwin but I would ask why anyone would load cygwin then R when you 
could run R from the terminal window and achieve the same outcome?

Somewhat unfortunately, front ends with more detail are being 
developed all the time. The most advanced of them is called R 
commander.  The tool kit used to construct these pull down menus and 
dialogue boxes also creates an utterly inaccessible system with jaws. 
In my experience this system is even less accessible than the basic R 

I am happy to assist in getting people into efficient use of R. One 
of the beauties of R is that it doesn't matter which operating system 
anyone uses - everything we do is done the same way with the same 
commands and will achieve the same outcome. I can deliver the same 
output to my students from the terminal window as they would create 
for themselves no matter which system they are using. And the best 
thing is that for the privilege of using the same software as my 
students the cost is zero for all of us. I compare that to Minitab, 
SPSS, Statistica, Matlab, SAS, etc. where we all pay something and I 
end up shafted because of  inaccessibility issues.

I have made a start on a document for instructing use of R as a 
blindie. Its progress has stalled through my need to do real work 
though. There are some previous postings on the use of R in the list 
archive though that might well be worth people's time to read.


At 11:11 a.m. 13/06/2009, you wrote:
>well, it seems to work under linux with no X.  So I would think you 
>could use it
>in cygwin, but I have no idea about any GUI that has been cooked up 
>for windows.
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Dr A. Jonathan R. Godfrey
Lecturer in Statistics
Institute of Fundamental Sciences
Massey University
Palmerston North

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