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RE: MS Office and Accessibility

From: Kelly Ford <Kelly@kellford.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 05:51:42 -0700
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.0.20011023054759.024848f0@pop.onemain.com>
To: "Scarlett Julian (ED)" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>, "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
If you are doing this in a closed environment where you have control over 
the Desktop of the end user, I would actually advise going for a 
modification of the individual systems to open these files in their native 
applications.  You mentioned NT and JAWS for example has a great deal of 
ability in working within Excel that is lost when dealing with any HTML 
solution.  This is especially true if you are expecting the end user to 
modify or enter data in these files.

Kelly



At 08:31 AM 10/23/01 +0100, Scarlett Julian (ED) wrote:
>Denise,
>thanks for that information. When you say you tested a simple Excel
>spreadsheet, what was in that? Just cells of data with no charts, formulas,
>linked worksheets? I think I know the answer already but not having the
>relevant technology I can't check for myself.
>
>I'm not too concerned about the interactivity atm, anything like that can
>wait till all the info is held in a database. In the interim any
>modifications to information held in the Office files is best done on the
>users local machine. The modification of data is not a two way process afaik
>i.e. any changes made by the user are for their own use and do not need to
>be saved back to the web server.
>
>As far as saving Office docs as html goes - given the bloated and peculiar
>code this method produces, that is my last choice solution. However, in the
>interests of corporate harmony I think this may have to be the way to go.
>The problem is the sheer volume of files (over 2000!) and an understandable
>unwillingness on my colleagues' part to start a new system from scratch. I
>know it should all have gone into a database from day 1 and I think they're
>realising that now.
>
>regards
>Julian
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Denise Wood [mailto:Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au]
>Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 6:04 PM
>To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: RE: MS Office and Accessibility
>
>
>Thanks David
>Yes I tested both Word files saved as html via Office 97 and as web pages
>from Office 2000, and also a simple spreadsheet saved as a web page from
>Excel 2000 using Lynx with Windows Eyes and all of these files were fine
>both viewed on screen and with spoken output.
>However they were not overly sophisticated files so would need to test for
>robustness using a wider range of Office formatting options and
>functionality. Also, I neglected to ask Julian in my email if he is
>embedding the files as application specific resources because he wants the
>interactivity. If that is the case then no, you can't (well in my experience
>any way) achieve that in a non-browser specific way. Embedded interactivity
>requires IE 4 or higher.
>Denise
>Dr Denise L Wood
>Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
>University of South Australia
>CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
>Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
>Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
>Mob: (0413 648 260)
>Email:  Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
>WWW:    http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@home.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2001 2:08 AM
>To: Denise Wood; 'Scarlett Julian (ED)'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: Re: MS Office and Accessibility
>
>
>have you tried them out with screen readers?  I often find that there
>are no alt tags and that many of the links are marked up poorly.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Denise Wood" <Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au>
>To: "'Scarlett Julian (ED)'" <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>;
><w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
>Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 12:33 PM
>Subject: RE: MS Office and Accessibility
>
>
>Julian
>Can't you save the documents as html documents (if office 97) or web
>pages (if
>office 2000). I have views a few different files saved via Word and
>Excel in IE
>5, NS 4 and Lynx and they all open OK.
>Denise
>Dr Denise L Wood
>Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
>University of South Australia
>CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
>Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
>Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
>Mob: (0413 648 260)
>Email: Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
>WWW:
>http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Scarlett Julian (ED) [mailto:Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk]
>Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2001 1:02 AM
>To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
>Subject: re: MS Office and Accessibility
>
>
>Firstly, apologies for the "Hi all" greeting and the corporate
>disclaimer
>that my employer tags onto the end of all my emails for me. I have no
>choice
>but to post to public lists from work so you'll have to just pretend you
>didn't see it ;-)
>Secondly, my badly phrased original post has thrown up some interesting
>answers. I accept the points about access of proprietary file formats
>causing problems but what I was really after was whether or not the
>presence
>of a .doc or .xls or .ppt file opening within a browser ( I chose IE
>because
>I don't think NS automatically tries to open them) would cause problems
>for
>screen readers. Sorry, I should have been more specific in my original
>query.
>The users for this portion of the site are schools that all have a
>common
>desktop installation (MS Office 97, NT4, IE5+) and hence the specificity
>of
>my question. Ideally I would get all infomation presented in html but to
>do
>this I have to get the info owners in our organisation to agree. They
>are
>under the illusion that because their client group all have Office that
>it
>is ok to serve up Office files rather than html pages. I need a solid
>argument why they can't do this .
>
>
>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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Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 08:50:42 GMT

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