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Accessibility of Word and PowerPoint

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From: Joel Ward
Date: Sep 21, 2001 10:04AM


Hi everybody,
I have a question about document formats and Section 508. I understand that
PDF is generally not considered an accessible format, but what about Word,
PowerPoint, and Excel?
One of our government client's web sites has certain documents only
available in Word and PDF formats. If they have a Word but no text/HTML
version, is that document considered accessible?
The full version of Word 2000/XP may be considered accessible (according to
Microsoft), but is the freeware Word Viewer accessible? I can't find any
documentation either way. The Word Viewer seems to work okay with JAWS, but
that doesn't necessarily mean it passes with Section 508. And what about
the PowerPoint viewer?
Because not all users will have Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on their
machines, we need to provide links to the free viewer applications. This
falls under item 1194.22(m) in the Section 508 guidelines, as I'd consider
these to be "plug-ins."
I guess the basic question I'm asking is: Does anyone know if these
plug-ins are considered accessible?
Thanks!
Joel