and ODF Accessibility, ABI Workshop 2006


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  1. 1. AbI-Kongress 2008-04-09, Berlin & ODF Accessibility Malte Timmermann Technical Architect StarOffice/ Sun Microsystems 1 and ODF Accessibility
  2. 2. About the Speaker • Technical Architect in StarOffice/ Development • Working on StarOffice since 1991 > Accessibility > Security > Sun ODF Plugin for MS Office > Architecture and Performance > Past: EditEngine, VCL, Help System, BasicIDE, ... • Member of the OASIS OpenDocument Accessibility Subcommittee • 2 and ODF Accessibility
  3. 3. Agenda • What is StarOffice / • Accessibility Features • Assistive Technology • OpenDocument Format (ODF) • OASIS OpenDocument Accessibility SC • Accessible Document Creation • Q&A 3 and ODF Accessibility
  4. 4. What is StarOffice / • Integrated productivity suite > Text Processor > Spreadsheet > Drawing & Presentation > Database > Formula Editor & Chart Module • Programmability > Basic interpreter and Basic IDE > Object Model (UNO) > Create components in Basic, C++, JAVA or Python, ... > Software Development Kit (SDK) > Netbeans Plugin for easy extensions development 4 and ODF Accessibility
  5. 5. What is StarOffice / • Multi Platform > Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, ... • Interoperable with MS Office > Can read and write MS Office files > Comparable feature set • Native document format is ODF (OpenDocument Format) 5 and ODF Accessibility
  6. 6. What is StarOffice / • Create (accessible) PDF files > Tagged PDF, TOC, Hyperlinks, Controls > PDF/A-1, long-term archiving of electronic documents • Support for different languages > Including CJK and CTL languages > Support for Right to Left and Vertical Writing • Digital Signatures > W3C DSig - XML based, open standard 6 and ODF Accessibility
  7. 7. What is StarOffice / • is Open Source! > The license is LGPL • was created from StarOffice > Sun made the code base of StarOffice available as in 2001, with ~5 Million lines of code > ~90% of current development still done by Sun • Nowadays, StarOffice is simply the Sun branded and supported version of, with some extras 7 and ODF Accessibility
  8. 8. What is StarOffice / • StarOffice extras > Licensed software > Spell checker and thesaurus > Database engine (Adabas D) > High quality fonts, for better multi platform support > Extra document filters > Documentation, Templates and Clip Art > StarOffice includes support > Optional: Sun's Enterprise Service Support with with 24/7, escalations and migration services • Free version of StarOffice for Teachers and Students 8 and ODF Accessibility
  9. 9. Demonstration • StarOffice / > Quick overview 9 and ODF Accessibility
  10. 10. Accessibility • People with disabilities should be able to work with • Access for people with disabilities must be comparable like for people without disabilities 10 and ODF Accessibility
  11. 11. Accessibility Features • Keyboard Navigation • Colors and Fonts • Documentation • Accessibility Features • Assistive Technology 11 and ODF Accessibility
  12. 12. Keyboard Navigation • All features must be usable via the keyboard! > Some users cannot use a mouse If they can't access every function without one, productivity may suffer, or the application might be unusable > Some users cannot see the screen But they still have a good mental picture of what's there, so require consistent, reliable keyboard navigation to get around • Many users find it faster to use the keyboard • Keyboard Accessibility improves the user experience for everyone, not just for those with special needs! 12 and ODF Accessibility
  13. 13. Colors & Fonts • Adapt to the color schemes and contrast display settings of the operating system • Offer additional settings for colors which are not specified in any system color schemes • Support for High Contrast and Large Fonts > Document content might be rendered differently > User Interface uses the default system font, but the user can choose a different one 13 and ODF Accessibility
  14. 14. Documentation • Documentation accessible, available in HTML and PDF format • The help system is accessible • Templates and sample documents follow rules for accessible document creation 14 and ODF Accessibility
  15. 15. Accessibility Features • Read-Only cursor > Makes it much easier to navigate in read only documents > Text selection with keyboard is possible • Theming for help viewer • Animations for images and text can be switched off • “Automatic Font Color” as the default for new documents > To make sure text is readable regardless of the color theming • Force Automatic Font Color for screen display > Needed for documents which do not use automatic font color 15 and ODF Accessibility
  16. 16. Demonstration • StarOffice / > Scheming, Fonts and Colors > Accessibility Options and Features 16 and ODF Accessibility
  17. 17. Assistive Technology • Screen Readers > Use speech or refreshable Braille to quot;readquot; the contents of the screen • Screen Magnifiers > Magnify the portion of the screen that the user is interacting with > Tracking mouse movement, keyboard focus and text entry • Onscreen Keyboards > Use the mouse or a simple switch to enter text and to control the application 17 and ODF Accessibility
  18. 18. Assistive Technology • Voice Control > Use speech to control the application and to dictate the document content • Keyboard/Mouse Enhancement Utilities > Key debouncing, sticky keys, repeat delay/rate • Alternate Input/Output Devices > Eye-gaze, simple switches, braille devices, alternate mice 18 and ODF Accessibility
  19. 19. Accessibility API • To actively support Assistive Technology (AT) > AT shouldn't have to guess something or to patch the system > Patching OS and video drivers still bad, but needed, practice on Windows, because of a missing Accessibility framework > Standardization and broader adoption of IAccessible2 should fill this gap > With standard Accessibility APIs, AT doesn't have to “special case” for certain applications > When an AT supports one Office suite via that API, it automatically has support for other Office suites implementing that API > Customizations for certain applications are only needed for convenience features or for improving efficiency of certain work flows 19 and ODF Accessibility
  20. 20. Accessibility API • Derived from Java and GNOME Accessibility > To support multiple platforms • Used for UI and for document representation > Made enhancements for exposing the document content, which also led to improvements in Java and GNOME APIs > is probably the first application that fully exposes the document content and layout via Accessibility API • Bridged to Java Accessibility and GNOME ATK > AT doesn't have to know anything about or about that specific Accessibility API > Currently working on support for the Mac OS X Accessibility Framework, and on IAaccessible2 for Windows 20 and ODF Accessibility
  21. 21. AT Support for • GNOME > Good support for OOo because of GNOME's well defined Accessibility framework > Orca (Screen Reader and Magnifier) and GOK (On Screen Keyboard). All Open Source! • Windows > Most AT Vendors don't care much about support for OOo :( > Some have limited support for OOo through the Java Access Bridge > No AT vendor supports the OOo Accessibility API directly > Overall status on Windows: AT support for OOo is not sufficient > This should change with IAccessible2 in OOo 3.x 21 and ODF Accessibility
  22. 22. Demonstrations • Windows Screen Reader and Magnifier (ZoomText) • GNOME Screen Reader and Magnifier (Orca) • GNOME Onscreen Keyboard (GOK) • Dasher > Text entry alternative, optimized for eye-gaze users 22 and ODF Accessibility
  23. 23. OpenDocument Format (ODF) • Open Document Format for Office Applications > Or simply OpenDocument or ODF • Open, not proprietary, ISO standard > Defined in an open and transparent process > Mailing lists are open to the public > Individual members allowed > Public meeting agendas and minutes > Received public comments are publicly visible ISO/IEC 26300, May 2006 • Reuse of Established Standards > SVG, MathML, XForms, XLS:FO, XLink, SMIL, ... • Public Standard: OASIS and ISO/IEC 26300 23 and ODF Accessibility
  24. 24. OpenDocument Format (ODF) • Supported from multiple applications, on multiple platforms > Sun StarOffice,, IBM Lotus Notes and Symphony, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, KOffice, TextMaker, AbiWord, Gnumeric > Microsoft Office via plug-ins, e.g. Sun ODF Plugin for MS Office > Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, OS, FreeBSD, OS/2, Symbian, PalmOS, ... > OASIS ODF TC and ODF Adoption TC members include Adobe, IBM, Intel, Novell, Oracle, Sun, ... > ODF Alliance: More than 370 members in less than 12 month • Gartner says: > „By 2010, ODF document exchange will be required by 50 percent of government and 20 percent of commercial organizations (0.7 probability).” 24 and ODF Accessibility
  25. 25. OASIS OpenDocument Accessibility SC • Statement of purpose > Ongoing review of the OpenDocument specification for accessibility, both to discover potential accessibility issues and to improve the usability and functionality of creating, reading, and editing office documents for people with disabilities. > To provide accessibility related feedback to the OpenDocument Technical Committee and implementors of the OpenDocument specification. • Deliverables > Proposals for accessibility enhancements to the OpenDocument specification. > Accessibility related guidelines for OpenDocument implementors and users. 25 and ODF Accessibility
  26. 26. Accessible Document Creation • Accessibility capabilities and features alone are not enough • Authors of documents must make sure to help for good accessibility! • W3C Web Accessibility Initiative > Web Content Accessibility Guidelines > Version 1 (1999) concentrated on HTML > Version 2 (public working draft) is more general 26 and ODF Accessibility
  27. 27. Accessible Document Creation • Some simple rules > Create well structured content > Use named styles ( “Heading 1”, ... ) instead of font changes > Mark table column and row headers > For forms, use logical tab order > Don't rely on color alone > Ensure that information conveyed with colors is also available without color > Use luminosity contrast ratio > Provide text alternatives for all non-text content > Each image and each object should have a (unique) name and a description > Provide names and descriptions for hyper links 27 and ODF Accessibility
  28. 28. Accessible Document Creation • Make sure to keep you documents as accessible as possible > When exporting documents to an other portable format, use HTML or PDF > There is more AT support for browsers than for PDF viewers > Latest versions of Adobe Reader are better accessible now, including Self-Voicing on Windows and Linux > When using to create PDF files, make sure to create “Tagged PDF” > When using Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files, also make sure to not lock out AT by setting security restrictions 28 and ODF Accessibility
  29. 29. Q/A Accessibility OASIS OpenDocument Format W3C Web Accessibility Initiative 29 and ODF Accessibility
  30. 30. & ODF Accessibility Malte Timmermann 30 and ODF Accessibility