Re: What makes a document inaccessible?

Hi Brette.

Given a sufficient amount of time, I could probably come up with all
sorts of examples. But off the top of my head: 

1. Causing the object to *look* right rather than taking into account
what that object actually is. You already gave a good example of that
with increasing the font size to make something appear to be a heading.
A few other common "favorites" of mine:

* Formatting text that should be a table by using whitespace characters
rather than an actual table.

* Using an actual table to spatially arrange text that is not table
content (e.g. for the purpose of alignment or to achieve multiple

* Improper use of styles -- you see this on the web a lot: achieving
indentation with <blockquote></blockquote>, getting the desired space
you want between list items by making each item its own list, etc.

2. Certain embedded objects. This is an area in which we should
(continue) to see improvement. However, *currently*, depending on the
software in question, this can pose some challenges. For instance
copying and pasting a spreadsheet (as an object, rather than a table)
into a text document. It's not necessarily impossible to get at the
information, but it's not always obvious (non-visually) that the object
is even there -- and it can sometimes be equally puzzling to figure out
how to get *into* the object in order to access its contents.

Along these same lines, if you are using presentation software (be it
Impress or PowerPoint), pasting text onto a slide as an object -- rather
than as text into a text placeholder -- will cause it not to appear in
the outline. (And the outline is often the most efficient way to read a
presentation with a screen reader and/or export the contents so that you
can import them into your braille translation software)

3. Silly things like scanning in an image of a document, not applying
OCR, and inserting the resulting picture of the text into the document.
(This really happens -- and more often than you might think!)

4. Certain document-protection schemes. This is an area I'm not
well-versed in. But I have come across PDFs which screen readers could
not get at due to the level of encryption that was selected.


On Mon, 2006-12-18 at 13:46 -0500, Brette Luck wrote:
> Hi,
> At the accessibility summit, it was mentioned that people often
> unknowingly create open office documents that are not accessible.  I
> know that one example of this is when people simply change the font
> size to indicate that there's a heading.  What are other specific
> things that users do that make documents inaccessible or hard for an
> assistive technology to interpret?
> Thanks so much for your time,
> Brette
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
> gnome-accessibility-list gnome org

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