Re: Coding Google docs Not possible

  • From: "Charles" <onthego2005@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 05:31:12 -0700


I suppose we will have to see if Google will correct this accessibility 
problem. Perhaps the NFB complaint will wake them up. 


From: John Martyn 
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 1:17 AM
To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Subject: Coding google docs Not possible

Total bummer. I worked quite a while trying to get it to respond but nothing 
works on the script end. Google docs is entirely written in javascript with a 
bunch of div tags. I could get to the menus with some tricks and even select 
stuff, etc. using control tab can get you to the top of the page and using the 
f key will get you to the items in the document buttons. the buttons don't 
respond but you can get there. The menus do work with space bar and down arrow 
and such. the text editing is totally unreliable and doesn't work hardly at 
all, if it does sometimes. 
There's just nothing I can do to fix this one.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Negoslav Sabev 
  To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:08 PM
  Subject: Re: Coding google docs

  Good, but what will happen if they change the look or the structure of the 
site after few months and once again after few more. This good man will stay 
for hours to code something that will change after while and will need to do 
this again for another set of hours.
  Since jaws stays for job access with speech my vote is for MS Access, because 
it's a work app and some people need it for a living . But maybe it's better FS 
to do their job. Anyway, I believe that work is more important than 
entertaining, because on the first place it gives you money to pay for it,, 


    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: John Martyn 
    To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
    Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:34 AM
    Subject: Coding google docs

    No, everything you are saying is important to know. For the future of 
google docs it is important to know what direction things are heading in, how 
fast they do it, and whether they do anything at all. We don't know what side 
will win. This just argues that the use of google docs by colleges is unfair. I 
don't know if google would even do anything. Given that they somewhat make 
things accessible, what chances are that they make this possible. Would freedom 
scientific listen if we put this task on them?
      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Marquette, Ed 
      To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
      Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:38 AM
      Subject: RE: Coding for a new jaws accessible app

      Thanks for sharing this.  I was unaware that NFB had taken on Google Docs 
indirectly by taking on the universities that apparently mandate it.  I think 
that may have been the same strategy employed against the Kindle.  There some 
progress was made -- though much slower than would have been ideal.  
Nevertheless, YEA for the NFB!
      I reviewed the video which purports to demonstrate the challenges of 
using Google Docs with a screen reader.  The demonstration uses JAWS 12.  It 
would have been a little more effective had the demonstration pointed out that 
the help section entitled "Access with a Screen Reader" actually gives bogus 
instructions.  The demonstrator merely mentions that, by pressing Alt, the user 
is taken to the browser menu and not the applications menu.  The "help" section 
specifically warns against that and encourages the user to hit "ESCAPE" to 
access he menus.  The problem is that the ESCAPE key, in fact, does not take 
the user to any menus.  As it stands, the video could be criticized because the 
person doing the demonstration apparently didn't read the "access with a screen 
reader" text in the help section.  Of course, I may be too critical.  After 
all, this presumably wasn't produced as an exhibit for a jury.  
      It is one thing to offer up an inaccessible application.  It is something 
else (and much worse) to offer up an application which suggests it may be 
accessible, but it is not.
      Who knows?  Perhaps officials at New York University and Northwestern, 
the universities taken on by the NFB,  actually took accessibility into account 
and, seeing a whole section in the help system devoted to access using a screen 
reader, concluded, erroneously, that Google Docs was accessible.
       You are all probably sick of hearing me go on and on about Google and 
Google Docs.  I'll shut up now.

        From: jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Charles
        Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 12:34 PM
        To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
        Subject: Re: Coding for a new jaws accessible app


        In a news release dated 3/15/2011 the NFB has filed a complaint against 
two Universities namely NEW York University and Northwestern University 
concerning their adopting of software that is not accessible to the blind. 

        In their  request to investigate made to the  department of Justice 
Civil Rights Department the NFB states the adopting  of Google apps for 
education which includes   Google docs, g mail, etc;, discriminates against 
blind staff and students.

        A full copy of the news release can be found at:  


        From: Marquette, Ed 
        Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 6:30 AM
        To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
        Subject: RE: Coding for a new jaws accessible app

        This "coding for an application" raises a good point.  Indeed, Internet 
Explorer, FireFox, and the like are applications; however, Websites have 
progressed well beyond what we think of as traditional Websites.
        More and more, I'm seeing applications migrate away from the 
client/server model, where something is installed on a local PC, to Web-based 
applications, where the application resides remotely and is only accessed 
through the browser.
        For instance, I use a Web application at my office which is a pretty 
sophisticated document management system.
        By that, I mean only a shadow of a Microsoft Office document resides on 
the local drive (and only for emergency back-up purposes).  The real files are 
not even located on a remote server that our firm owns.  Instead, they reside 
somewhere in a mountain cave in Utah.
        When I want to access, search for, or save a document, Internet 
Explorer runs a Web application that looks up or stores the document with a 
whole range of information (e.g., author, creation date, last edit date, client 
number, matter number, document name, type of law, type of document, and 
selected key words.).  The look-up operates much like a Google search operates 
or, in the alternative, by field look-up.
        There are competitive applications, but they all operate on the 
client/server model.
        The point is that more and more of these Web applications are 
appearing.  Fortunately, the one referenced above is pretty well behaved, 
particularly with JAWS and its quick keys, or whatever they are called.
        It does not, however, respond all that well to scripts.  That, however, 
may be my ineptitude as a script writer, though the scripts I wrote were hardly 
more than macros, i.e., a series of keystrokes.
        I would certainly like to see an accomplished script writer tackle, or 
try to tackle, a Web application of general applicability.
        I cannot think of an application with more general applicability than 
Google Docs, but I do have my own selfish objectives that, in the interest of 
full disclosure, I need to reveal.  Still, a free application that can be 
shared in a collaborative way with power that approaches Microsoft Office would 
be pretty important to lots of people.
        Google Docs is free.  Microsoft Office doesn't come cheap.
        Google Docs, however, may simply be too great a challenge.  After all, 
all the screen reader people seem to have given up on it.

          From: jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Bob W
          Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:48 AM
          To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
          Subject: Re: Coding for a new jaws accessible app

          Peter, here's my thinking and I hope others will correct me if I'm 
          A website is not an application. 
          the applications involved would be your browser--i.e. or firefox, or 

          For that matter, google docs would not be an application either.

          Just my  thoughts.


          A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know 
that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams  

            ----- Original Message ----- 
            From: Peter Holdstock 
            To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
            Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:06 AM
            Subject: Re: Coding for a new jaws accessible app

            Hi, for many blind people dating is quite difficult and many dating 
websites don’t seem too accessible, and I have seen a few posts from people 
trying to get various websites working. I’d be very grateful if the website was made accessible in some way. It is pretty accessible 
at the mom            ent so shouldn’t require too much work, but there are a 
lot of extra links and information you have to try and bypass to get to the 
useful stuff.

            I may be the only one who wants that website accessible, but I hope 
not and I think lots would benefit from a fully accessible dating site where 
it’s not just disabled people.




            From: John Martyn 
            Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 8:33 AM
            To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ; jaws-users-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
            Subject: Coding for a new jaws accessible app

            Hi folks,
            As my 32nd birthday approaches, I think I am going to make a habit 
of picking one new application per year to make jaws accessible. Picking 
Rhapsody was not an easy task, but it taught me many things about an 
application that seems next to impossible to make behave. I am taking off this 
summer from school and will have the time to code a new application. Rhapsody 
Blind was a test to see if I could pull it off, and it worked. I selfishly 
chose the first one, now I'm looking for the popular vote on what you might 
want. I probably won't start until this semester is over at the end of May, so 
this gives plenty of time to decide. It would be a good idea to chat among each 
other and find out what is needed or just plain want for entertainment 
purposes. So, let's open up the floor and hear some suggestions.
            John Martyn




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