Thursday, September 15, 2011

News - Google Sites Accessibility

Summary:

Google Sites has the ability to speak actions that are taken place for the benefit of the blind. Also, hotkeys are promoted within Google Sites.

Significance:

Accessibility for people of all sorts is a good thing. Google Sites is that much more viable to companies who strive to provide fair opportunity to all their employees. As for hotkeys, I wouldn't emphasize that significance too much as I don't use them. However, if I want to turn Google Sites into a real-time strategy game, I'm all set!

Article:

Today we announced some of the updates we’ve released recently to make Google’s applications more accessible to the blind community. For Google Docs and Sites, we’re pleased to announce new keyboard shortcuts and better screen reader support for our blind users.

Screen reader support in Google Docs and Sites
To help blind users read, edit and navigate content, Google Docs (including documents list, documents and spreadsheets) and Sites now support two screen readers: JAWS and ChromeVox. Here are a few examples of how screen readers work in Google Docs and Sites:
In documents, you’ll hear feedback when you format text or insert tables, lists or comments in your document.
In spreadsheets, you’ll hear the cell’s location, contents and comments when moving between cells.
In both documents and spreadsheets, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate to areas outside the main content area, such as the menu bar, chat pane and dialog boxes.
In your documents list, you’ll hear feedback when you upload or download a file, organize collections or move between files in your documents list.
In Sites, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate and manage your sites, create and edit pages, and navigate through menus and dialog boxes.

For a complete list of screen reader-supported features and instructions for how to use them, visit the Docs and Sites help centers.

New keyboard shortcuts

We’ve also added new keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to use Google Docs and Sites. In your documents list, for example, you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the files in the list, and you can open the selected document by hitting Enter. For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, please refer to the help center articles for spreadsheets, documents, documents list and Sites.

With these new accessibility features, we hope to make it easier for everyone to use Google Docs and Sites. Please use this form to share your feedback directly with the accessibility team so we can continue to improve our products.
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