Accessibility Technology

Google Accessibility Update – Live Blog Post 5 – Drive and Docs Suite

Drive and Docs Suite

Ajay Surie and team (slide went by too quickly)

“These are rich web applications that allow creation of rich content within a web browser”

TEXT FROM SLIDE:  “Building accessibility for complex web applications is still hard.  Docs is built on JavaScript; working with ChromeVox has allowed us to iterate rapidly and identify challenges with today’s accessibility toolset.  Goal is to learn from our implementation and evolve current web accessibility standards where necessary.”  Also want to make apps work with NON-CHROMEVOX screen readers.  Building in dictation features.

Document editor cursor is drawn and positioned dynamically.  Traditional screen readers don’t really work with these kinds of web apps.  We have a way to have the app talk to the screen reader (this was not specifically described).

Dev team put out another call for feedback on Docs.  Docs team has Incorporated a process during development where accessibility is built-in from the start.

Some Drive changes highlighted:

  • Completely redesigned keyboard interaction model in Drive
  • Keyboard navigation across the list easier and more consistent
  • Document list is a single focusable elements:  shortcuts to navigate document list
  • Improved focus management
  • Better verbalization of instructions and application state

Like Alex with Gmail (see post 4), they’re looking at making navigation more consistent.

  1. Search area at top
  2. Folder list area on left
  3. Document list in the middle
  4. Details pane (right side of the page for sighted users, basically a preview area with editable settings such as sharing)

Demonstrated “starring” a doc using ARIA within the Document list, then listing all starred items.  A lot of the keyboard accessibility features and new keyboard model is useful for people without disabilities as well.

Google Slides

Made slide editor “completely accessible.”  This demonstration should be interesting…

Opened presentation inside a new tab; on open, it reads # of slides, title, text, and a lot of other details.

  1. Canvas view is where slide content is created.  Items on slide are tab-navigable.  Opening a slide makes ChromeVox verbalize what’s on the canvas.
  2. Filmstrip is where organization of slides happens.
  3. Notes panel

Slides Demo

  • Demo’ed selection of text on a slide and bolding
  • Added a slide in filmstrip by control-n
  • Control-shift-backspace to activate context menu (equivalent of right-click), selected a slide layout

Docs Editor

  • Showed a ton of keyboard shortcuts (I didn’t catch all of them, unfortunately)
  • Comments feature
  • “Alt-forward slash” key combo brings up search features within the documents editor, i.e. any feature in the visible menus
  • Move between headings: “Control-Alt-P” and “Control-Alt-H”
  • Demonstrated moving back and forth between footnotes

Google Sheets (Excel-alike product)

Focus has been on giving user more contextual information about what they’re working on.  Moving around a sheet’s rows and columns provides a verbalized summary of what’s on the sheet (this demo had a minor glitch with verbalization).

Selecting range of cells provides details on cell content as well (this could get interesting if selecting a large number of cells…this was not demonstrated).

PAUL’S QUESTION:  are keyboard shortcuts consistent across OS and browser platforms?

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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