Re: Cognos Accessibility

  • From: "Brent Neal" <bneal@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Aug 2009 07:51:39 -0600

Thank You for the information and the thoughts.  I will give Cognos a try and 
see how it works.
Brent Neal
140 E 300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone:  801.526.9797
Email:  bneal@xxxxxxxx 

>>> Dorene Cornwell <dorenefc@xxxxxxxxx> 7/30/2009 1:56 PM >>>
Hi Brent

Like Jim, I also do not have very current information about Cognos. I
ask fairly often when I am among high-end users with more JAWS
experience than I have whether they know anyone working with tools
like Cognos or Business Objects. The answer is always No, partly I
think because of tool issues and also because of other career path /
blindness points.

I do have experience with data warehouse projects at a time when I was
not yet even a Zoomtext user. The reason I was not a ZT user was not
necessarily that I did not need it, but every time I demo'ed anything
ZT crashed too many times in a row to make me think it would add any

Anyway, a few different strategies to think about:

--You may not be on the team because the tool is accessible. It could
be nice if your work on the team raises the profile of accessibility
issues, but I assume your employer thinks you will add value for a
number of reasons. Are you a subject matter expert about some area of
your company? Do you already do a lot of documentation? Do you have a
sense of big customer reporting needs. You will not necessarily need
to use the tool at all to add value in these areas.

--Other people have posted to this list much more eloquently than I
have about the value of clear documentation including the contents of
data models, and I have talked to several blind IT people who simply
concentrate on clarity and adding value there. Awhile ago there was a
really lively discussion about UML diagrams and accessible tools. Most
of those tools will create the kinds of data models needed for Data
Warehousing projects just as well.

--There is a TON of work in data warehousing that is data modelling,
data analysis, definition of reporting dimensions, transforming data
for aggregating rather than small transactions. Some of this is done
in data modelling tools and I would care as much about whether those
tools are accessible as about whether Cognos is. Lots of times data is
transformed and loaded into Data warehouses with other tools besides
the report writer such as stored procedures. Those I assume you can
create with any text editor or whatever method you currently use to
create code. It would also occur to me to check whether you can create
Cognos frontends without having to interact with the inaccessible UI
but I do not know the answer to that off the top of my head.

--The Microsoft MDDB engine for creating OLAP cubes also appears to
have a way to edit code in text editors. I looked at it briefly a
couple years ago but have not wound up doing anything with it.

Forgive me if this sounds like a lot of jargon, but I hope it is some
thoughts to get you started.

Dorene Cornwell
Seattle WA

On 7/30/09, Brent Neal <bneal@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Is the Cognos reporting tool accessible with JAWS or any other screen
> reader?  I have just been assigned to the data warehouse team here at work
> and they are using Cognos.
> Brent Neal
> 140 E 300 S
> Salt Lake City, UT 84111
> Programmer
> Phone:  801.526.9797
> Email:  bneal@xxxxxxxx 
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