This morning I received a call from a fellow blind Skype user asking for help with one of the program’s few significant accessibility quirks. He had installed a new program for automatically voicing Skype events, yet he could not figure out how to access the automatic prompt for allowing the utility to use Skype. This dialogue box is, in fact, inaccessible in all recent Skype versions. If you are a blind screen reader user who wishes to allow another program to use Skype, you are not out of luck. It turns out that an advanced configuration option exists to manually specify which software on your system is permitted to access Skype. Follow these steps to control the use of Skype by the software installed on your system:

  1. Run Skype or open it from the System Tray in the usual manner. In JAWS, press JAWS Key+F11, down arrow to Skype, press enter, down arrow to Open Skype and press enter to open the program’s main window.
  2. Press alt+t to pull down the Tools menu followed by p to access the Options dialogue.
  3. Down arrow to Advanced Settings.
  4. Press shift+tab three times to select “Manage other programs’ access to Skype” and press the space bar to open this window.
  5. Press tab to enter the list of programs about which Skype is currently aware. Arrow up and down this list. Notice that the program’s name is given along with information indicating whether or not it is allowed to use Skype.
  6. Locate a program whose settings you wish to change.
  7. Press tab to select the Change button and press the space bar to open the window.
  8. Press tab to move into the group of two radio buttons used to determine whether or not the selected program is permitted to use Skype. If desired, press down arrow to change to the opposite setting.
  9. Press tab followed by the space bar on the OK button to accept any changes made to the program’s status.
  10. Press tab three times followed by the space bar on the OK button to accept all changes made for the entire list of programs.
  11. Finally, press shift+tab twice to select the Save button followed by the space bar to save all changes made in Skype’s Options dialogue box.