iWork09 accessibility.

Accessibility Advocacy
I think that one of the future campaigns of the month should be aimed at Apple. iWork is not fully accessible to VO users and there isn't any indication of when that is likely to change. It seems a shame that what is a quality OS is let down by the lack of an office suite that is accessible. Just my thoughts.



Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hi. I think Iwork isn't even supported anymore, because you have to get pages, number, and keynote to get the excell, Word and Powerpoint equivalents. I've heard Pages could be better, I find it works ok but i was never a huge wrod enthusiast like others. Hope that helps a little.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I would also be interested in such a campaign. While I've learned how to milk the most out of Pages, Numbers & Keynote by taking lessons from Anne & Archie Robertson and by using the apps almost daily for schoolwork, there are certainly some areas of each app that need work from Apple to make them truly accessible via VO. The same holds true for the IOS versions of these 3 apps. I noticed the Apple rumor sites recently pointed out Apple job postings for Devs to work on the iWork suite. This is hopeful news and perhaps the time is right to again ask the good folks at Apple to address the accessibility shortcomings during the (presumed) upcoming updates to the aged iWork suite. Maybe we could start by compiling a thorough and accurate list of the accessibility shortcomings that exist in the current Mac versions of Pages, Numbers & Keynote, as well as a list of the shortcomings in the IOS versions of those apps. These lists could then be used as the starting point for an AppleVis campaign and/or other communication to Apple's Accessibility Team. Bryan

Submitted by Nicholas Parsons on Thursday, June 6, 2013

I think you're spot on with this one. Problems with iWork and the more extensive problems with Microsoft Office are the most serious accessibility issues still outstanding on the Mac. Other problems pail in comparison. Definitely worth a campaign.

Submitted by charadani on Thursday, June 6, 2013

I also agree on the fact that a campaign is needed for Apple to fix these issues at once. This may prevent users to change to the Mac full time (and I am talking about student, office workers, teachers an people who make a heavy use of word processor, spreadsheet and slide tools). I wish this campaign is made because this is a relevant accessibility issue on Apple's side.

I think that the lack of easy accessibility and full utility of both the Apple and Microsoft productivity suites with Voiceover on the Mac and iDevice platforms is by far the biggest obstacle to full conversion to Apple products and away from Windows. While I agree that Pages, Numbers and Keynote can be used, their ease of access compared to Word, PowerPoint and Excel on Windows platforms with any of the available screen readers isn’t even close. I think it is ashame that neither Apple nor Microsoft appears to have made any real efforts to make their productivity tools truly useful on the Apple platform.

I think it's a bit unfair to say that "no real efforts have been made". Apple has certainly made some effort. Otherwise we wouldn't have the level of accessibility we have today. As you said, it's useable even if it isn't easy or great. I'm also aware that Microsoft currently has at least one person working on Office accessibility for Mac. So they are making efforts at least, even if we haven't yet seen the result of this.

This is a very good idea. And the timing is good too as the current iWork suite is quite outdated and surely due a major update in the not too distant future. Microsoft Office for Mac might also be worth thinking about.

Submitted by JT on Friday, June 7, 2013

In reply to by Dave Nason

Out of the two, access to Office for the Mac would be a far more significant result. The ability to use Office is probably the main reason why people are still running two operating systems at the moment.

I don't think people are using Microsoft Office just because it's Microsoft Office. They use it because it's most accessible. If Pages became more accessible than Microsoft Office for Windows, then I'd stop using two operating systems. But the same goes for Microsoft Office on the Mac. Basically, I'd be happy with improvements to either or both.

First, I'm glad to see Nicholas' earlier post that noted that both Apple and Microsoft are at least dedicating some resources (although I would argue not enough) to make their productivity suites accessible. I was a bit unfair in saying "no effort" and it would have been better to say "not nearly enough progress." Where I totally agree with Nicholas is that I would love to go to one platform and not have to switch into Windows to use a word processor. Whoever wins the race for a good word processor on the Mac will put me on a single mac platform using their word processor. I wish we could give the winner a prize. Until then, I will get up my courage this weekend and install VMWare Fusion on my 11 inch Air and go from there.

Pages is used by a handful of users in comparison to Microsoft Office. If you want to use a mac for almost any sort of business, you will need to be able to use Office. People aren't using Office on Windows just because it is more accessible, it's because a large portion of the world use it in business and education. If macs are to become more than just home computers as for visually impaired people as they are now, the ability to use Microsoft Office is essential.

I don't exactly see the problem in the last post... You can both open and save office-documents in Pages, so there shouldn't really be a huge problem to use Pages instead of Word. But I truelly agree that some accessibility improvements are highly needed! And I think this would be a great idea for the next campagne!

But back in the real world Pages is able to open and save Microsoft Word documents and other industry standard formats such as RTF and PDF. You don't need to be using the same word processor to communicate or collaborate. Microsoft Office accessibility would be great. But so long as the advanced features of any word processor on the Mac are accessible I could happily never use Windows again. For me, these features essentially boil down to track changes, line numbers and reading footnotes.

Hi. I don't mind which is accessible, either pages and numbers etc or office. I am happy to use either application. I have to use ms office for TAFE but I would be just as happy if I could do everything on pages and save it as a word document. I think both products should be accessible. Maybe we can do i work for one campaign and then office in another one?