App need: Accessible IRC chat app

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Posting this in iOS apps, but a MacOS app would also be great.

Many blind and low vision people with retinitis pigmentosa, myself included, meet weekly in an IRC chat room. However, there don't seem to be any VoiceOver-compatible IRC chat apps. People in the RP community who depend on screen readers are feeling left out.

The most widely used IRC chat app appears to be Colloquy. I tried it on MacOS and suspect it has the same VoiceOver issue on iOS, namely that focus is either in the message entry box or the conversation box, but not in both at the same time. If you type a message, VoiceOver does not read incoming messages from others.

It seems like it would be pretty straightforward for an experienced app developer to slap together a quick and dirty chat app that reads incoming messages using Apple's speech API regardless of whether the user is actively typing a message or not.

I have my own solution for chat - I use Terminal on MacOS with the Epic5 command-line chat app. But I've worked with Linux systems for years, and I don't think the average person is going to want to bite off installing HomeBrew and familiarizing themselves with the shell, so this is not a solution for the average user.

If any kind-hearted app developer would like to develop an accessible IRC chat app, I can promote it in the RP community. I can't promise a ton of sales, but I'll do what I can.


Coloquy might work actually

Last I remember, Coloquy on iOS read things automatically, or if not I didn't find it terribly difficult to review the messages. It's worth a try.

Have you tried Adium?

I'm not sure, but I think Adium supports IRC as well. I used this program many years ago for Live messenger and Skype chats as well. I'm not sure on the programs current state, but then I used it, it could read incoming messages automatically.

What's the channel?

What's the challen that you hang out in? I'm an IRC user with RP.

Re: What's the channel?

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hi Patrick. The server is and channel is #RPSupport. We meet Monday and Thursday at 9:30 PM US Eastern time. Hope to see you there!

To sli, thanks, I've take a look at Adium.

Irc is the best

I still get on irc most days.
Play trivia with friends most evenings.
irc in linux works better than anything in ios for me.
I was on deepspace for years using lag as my nickname.
Used to chat with lots of blind ppl on dalnet starting in 1995 I think.
Now I usually go to

If you know any good active servers and channels I am interested.


You might try #blind on Snoonet, though it's been a little quiet lately. I'm often in there.

I'm traveling until August but mightstop in at RPSupport after that.

Still doing these?

Hate to necro post, but wondering if you still do the RP support meetings in IRC.

Still doing RP chat

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hi Patrick. The server is and channel is #RPSupport. We meet Monday and Thursday at 9:30 PM US Eastern time. It's a small handful of people, 3 or 4 is typical. Most people in the chat actually have Ushers.

Thank you

I've said I would play a game with a friend this evening but perhaps we can end early and I'll log on. Thanks for the quick reply!