Coding google docs

  • From: John Martyn <johnrobertmartyn@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 16:34:29 -0800

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 wrong.
      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




    This E-mail message is confidential, is intended only for the named 
recipient(s) above and may contain information 
    that is privileged, attorney work product or otherwise protected by 
applicable law. If you have received this 
    message in error, please notify the sender at 402-346-6000 and delete this 
E-mail message. 
    Thank you.


Other related posts: