WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Accessibility of Word and PowerPoint


From: Michael Goddard
Date: Sep 21, 2001 10:29AM

Adobe has added an Accessibility plug-in for Acrobat 5.0 which creates an
Accessible PDF document. I have not had the chance to fully test this but I
do know that it renders the text readable for screen readers and indentifies
various parts (images etc.) by tagging them etc.
For more information, I would check up on the www.adobe.com web site and
look for the Accessibility link.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Ward" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: "WebAIM List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 11:59 AM
Subject: Accessibility of Word and PowerPoint

> Hi everybody,
> I have a question about document formats and Section 508. I understand
> 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
> 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,
> 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