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Will this affect accessibility?

I saw this article on Slashdot and I just want to know if it's going to effect access issues? Will Microsoft making it's standards available to the masses/other companies/whoever they're talking about here do anything to help us? Can the makers of screen reading and magnification software use these standards to help them at all? Or, will this stuff help any of the note taker/personal management system makers? Just wondering. I have no clue what I'm talking about, so take this with a grain of salt.
Microsoft to Open up Office Formats


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Nov. 22nd, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
microsoft and formats
I don't think this will mean anything for blind people. Perhaps keysoft can be made to read word document, excel spreadsheets, and access databases better than is does (and it may do fine now, since I don't own the product I can't say,) and it might mean that programs such as open office will handle microsoft files better, but at the level at which file reading occurs, I don't think access is an issue. The ability to represent table data to a screen reader, explain picture placement, colors, etc. is independent of the type of file used to store the document(i.e. it doesn't matter if a document is written in html, word, or whatever. Our ability to understand its contents has nothing to do with how those contents are stored on a flash disk, network, etc.) I guess what I'm saying is that microsoft opening its file formats may allow notetakes to read more types of files, but our ability to understand layout will be up to the designers of the notetaker to figure out. MSAA is the technology which lets blind people interact with windows applications better. the java access bridge lets us see what's going on in the gui of java, but these technologies probably won't be effected.
hope this babling maes sense
Nov. 22nd, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: microsoft and formats
Okay, that sort of makes sense. I've got questions, but think it'd be better to ask you tonight. If I'm not completely wrung out tonight, I'll try to remember to ask you.
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