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RE: MS Office and accessibility

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 06:39:24 -0400 (EDT)
To: Harry Woodrow <harrry@email.com>
cc: "Scarlett Julian (ED)" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0110220635350.10114-100000@tux.w3.org>
It shoulld be noted that the latest viewers for many proprietary formats are
more accessible than earlier versions, and that more still is being done by
the companies concerned. The latest version of Adobe's Acrobat Reader also
enables access to the content by assistive technologies such as
screenreaders, and I understand there is a technique for making this
compatible with secured PDF documents (ones which cannot be copy/pasted).

I don't think this is an accessibiltiy issue first and foremost for these two
formats. (Even less so for PDF than Word, since the acrobat reader is
available for a wider range of platforms). The accessibilty argument is based
on people being locked into one Operating system and software setup which is
incompatible with what they need to use otherwise.

Charles McCN

On Mon, 22 Oct 2001, Harry Woodrow wrote:

  in fairness though to the big company they do at least provide free viewers
  for download for all their formats.  In some ways this is like pdf s except
  that at leat Microsoft stuff is generally Accessible.

  Harry

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of Charles McCathieNevile
  Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 6:16 PM
  To: Scarlett Julian (ED)
  Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: Re: MS Office and accessibility


  Well, it will cause a problem for me - I don't own the required software,
  and
  am not prepared to buy it for reasons of security and available machine
  resources. There is still a substantial minority who do not use IE. Since
  they have to install something else by hand, it is unlikely that they are
  doing it by accident, or that they really meant to use IE.

  For people who happen to be prepared to shell out the money (this software
  is
  NOT free, it costs a lot for people who pay for it) and are used to it I am
  told that Word is in fact a fairly accessible package for people who are
  blind, although I don't know if that is affected by it being opened inside
  IE.

  regards

  Charles McCathieNevile

  On Mon, 22 Oct 2001, Scarlett Julian (ED) wrote:

    Hi all

    I have a site that uses IEs ability to open MS Office files ( mainly Excel
    and Word ) within the browser window and am having trouble persuading the
    owners of the information that this is bad practice and the info should be
    served up as html with proprietary file formats only available as
  downloads.
    Could anyone on this list tell me whether opening up a xls file will cause
    problems for visually impaired users and/or those using non-GUI browsers?
  I
    want to persuade them to abandon their way of doing it in favour of what I
    consider to be a better way and any arguments I can use would be greatly
    appreciated.

    tia
    Julian

    Julian Scarlett
    Web Design & Document Management System Officer
    PPU
    Education Directorate
    Sheffield City Council
    0114 2735721
    mob 07904914976
    julian.scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk

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  --
  Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409
  134 136
  W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617
  258 5999
  Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
  (or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
  France)


-- 
Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Monday, 22 October 2001 06:39:27 GMT

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