I’m a blind software developer who picked up Inform 7 a few years ago, and to be sure the syntax is a refreshing break from twisty little punctuations!
As people very helpfully pointed out above, the program has great keyboard access, and should you forget any of the commands, they are read when scrolling through the menus, if you have your screen reader configured to allow that.
It may be system dependent, but I am able to switch between the source and story tabs with CTRL+F2 and CTRL+F6, respectively. I am also able to interact with the story tab using the NVDA object navigator and review cursor.
If you’re having problems with things not focusing, remember to route your object navigator and review cursor to your system focus. Because of technical blah-blah-blah, the various methods of focus NVDA employs are not always synced up. Inform is not designed as a screen reader-accessible program, so a screen reader has to be conservative about the decisions and guesses it makes when presenting the user interface.
When you jump tabs in Inform, the NVDA cursors may not follow. You can sync their positions with the command referred to in documentation as:
Sets the navigator object to the current focus, and the review cursor to the position of the caret inside it (if possible).
The keyboard shortcut you use to do this may vary depending on your configuration, by default it is NVDA+BACKSPACE. I’m not sure what a user of another screen reader might do, but I know JAWS at least has something like the NVDA object nav system.
As pointed out above, however, the text in the story command prompt is not dynamically sent to a screen reader, so at present we will all have to use the cursors. Perhaps there will be more discussion on improving accessibility for the community when the process of open sourcing is completed, though the source code for the Windows interface is already available.
As for syntax highlighting:
Most screen readers, NVDA included, have a comprehensive way of reporting formatting of all kinds. Unfortunately, because of the way the Windows interface is currently coded, NVDA can’t detect formatting changes in the source document. It may be an issue of custom class, or just the wrong kind of document altogether, but for whatever reason, Inform doesn’t expose that information to NVDA. Not sure about others.
I’m glad to discoverI’m not the only blind Inform programmer out there! I am familiar with IF, but new to the community, and my first post is here. I hope it helped!