Yeah you definitely have a challenge ahead I'd say trying to do this thing with a screen reader. There are parts of Reaper that you can't get to using just tab. You need to use something called Object Navigation (NVDA) Or Jaws cursor (Jaws) to get to certain parts. Also, if you as a sighted person are used to certain key actions doing certain things, like if you are a hybrid user of keyboard and mouse, the Osara keymap might overwrite them so they might be different. I know that there for instance, is nothing bound to tab by default, but Osara uses tab as move to next transient. I don't know how much your course will involve automation, but one instance where you definitely do have to use object navigation is when arming track or take envelopes. I use the shift L keystroke to bring that up, and I can switch automation mode, arm all, hide all, etc. but I can't get into the area where you just arm one or the other. So what you have to do is use NVDA with numpad 8 to jump up a level, then NVDA numpad 6 over and over to get to the one you want and hit NVDA numpad enter to activate it. You don't actually need to hit arm, visible, etc. you just hit NVDA on the name and it does all of them. There is another way though. With plugins, you can hit F, in certain ones if you hit tab, nothing will happen, because the window is up, so you hit escape once to make that go away then hit tab until you hear param (which might be a graphical button for sighted people, I'm not sure), NVDA numpad enter on that then go down to FX parameter list, then show track envelope controls, then pick the one you want, rinse and repeat, then you can work with them. Also, this business with NVDA numpad enter, you probably won't see it unless you delve into NVDA documentation, then you might go right past it never thinking why it might be important, so I'll tell you. In quite a few places in reaper, you can't use space like you're supposed to do in NVDA, and enter might close the window, so you can't do that either. Space will usually cause the project to begin playing back, so what you do is use NVDA numpad enter which causes NVDA to invoke the default action on that control. So, if it's a button, it gets clicked, etc. There is a setting I think somewhere in Reaper, but I have no idea where though, which I think stops this behavior, but I wouldn't recommend it since it's useful to have. I use play/stop when I'm adjusting EQ and stop if I need to hear my speech over the mix, because I hate audio ducking and would never use it in audio editing. But a lot of times, you need to use NVDA numpad enter rather than space in order to activate buttons in windows.
Also, a majority of plugins out there aren't of themselves accessible. I know you said you wouldn't be using VST's, which eliminates most of that concern, but Osara adds a custom menu with P for track, and shift P for the master track. What this does is presents an accessible dialog that grabs all parameters the plugin exposes for automation. You can then arrow down the list, or use first letter navigation to reach the desired parameter, then tab, and you have two ways of changing the value, the slider, or the edit box, though it's worth mentioning that the values in there won't match the values in the slider in most cases, so it's best to use the slider. But it gets weird. In the ReaPlugs, the ones that you can actually tab around inside their GUIs and work with accessibly, some of those don't like the parameter dialog changing their settings, because they immediately revert back to what they were. So, when using Reaper's stock plugins, it's best to work directly with their interfaces, and stick to the P dialog for VSTs. Also, one thing is that we as blind people do not get access to all the features of each plugin. I know damn well that Sylenth is so powerful, but some of that power is hidden from me, because while I can work with a lot of it, there's just some stuff I can't do and I can tell that just from some of the presets, same with Oatmeal, a free synth that's actually quite good and powerful. For instance, I think Oatmeal might have it's own wavetable where you can draw in your own waveforms. I am lead to that conclusion because under waveform, you can select user, and user PWM. We can't do that... which burns me, but it is what it is.
Hmm, what else, there seems a lot of things really, a lot of really niche things that we just do that we don't think about that is different from a sighted person's workflow. One thing is there is a custom Osara action for splitting items that I highly recommend using, it's bound to `A', and it first selects the item under the cursor and then splits, if you use S, and the item is not selected, you get nothing. Along that line, bind the loop points to the time selection in preferences, and also that thing about repeat at end of project and the one about start at time selection I think I have played with that one. There are so many preferences, I should actually export them because I changed so much crap it's hard to remember all of what I changed and all of what you can change.
Depending on the person's usage, there is another thing to make things a bit easier. Since I use Reaper for working with audio more than I use it to compose music, I actually have set my ruler to display time rather than beats and bars, which, for the purposes of NVDA and Osara, it makes it so it gives time in control shift J by default, without having to press it twice, and also as you move along. To make that change permanent, you start with a blank project, then find the option in the view menu, I think it's 5 up from the bottom, and then hit Alt enter and save as default project template or whatever.
Osara has a fair few custom actions which do interesting things, and one possible annoyance about Reaper is that you don't move by time, but this is a feature you will find if you use SWS. There's a configuration somewhere, which I haven't found yet, and two unbound actions that say move configured time forwards and back, or something to that effect. Also, Osara has a configuration dialog with control F12, and on F12, it turns on a training mode where you can hit keys to find out what they do. This works in track view, also in the MIDI editor for actions specifically meant for that.
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