Spreadsheets with no useful vision - opinions?

macOS & Mac Apps

I have enough useful sight to use Numbers to work on spreadsheets is iOS and Mac OS with a mix of screen magnification and VoiceOver on iOS and speak selection on Mac Os. This works reasonably well for me although I sometimes get a little lost in the magnified screen.
I've been asked to help a friend with no useful sight to work on spreadsheets. Numbers with VoiceOver on iPad seems to be fully integrated in to VoiceOver, but I suspect that it will take a lot of practice and familiarity with the spreadsheet layout to work reliably and effectively this way.
I'd be interested in comments and advice from spreadsheet users with no useful sight who are totally dependent on VoiceOver either on iOS or Mac OS. Is this one of those tasks that it's probably best to leave to someone else or perhaps you're coping just fine?



Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If you can, I'd recommend using a VM or something like that and using microsoft XL. It is usable with NVDA, JAWS and as far as I know other screen readers. I used XL in an I.T course I did and it was very accessible. Sure there's a little getting used to the way things are layed out but once you get used to that you should be fine. I've not used numbers so I can't comment on that.

Submitted by Jake on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Best to work using Numbers, or the latest Excel, on OS X. Forget messing with a VM and all that. Alternatively, if your friend is a spacial learner as I am, Excel on iOS would be a good fit. I'd say Excel on iOS is a bit more streamlined than Numbers, which has some serious verbosity problems with VoiceOver lately. Either way, there is no need to leave the task to someone else and, indeed, to suggest such to them would undermine their independence.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sorry I didn't think about the issues that could go in to using a VM. You'd have to set it up, put your screen reader on it and go from there. As jake said, best to use IOS or mac. I can't help any further with this as I've not used Numbers or XL on OS x. I hope you get the help you need.

Submitted by Brian Negus on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thanks both. It's certainly clear that working totally blind with spreadsheets is fine with a little determination. Jake, my initial reaction to Numbers on iPad with VoiceOver was to be kind of overwhelmed by the verbosity; so much information. So, yes, we'll take a look at Excel.
Really appreciate your help.