Since software is constantly updating and evolving, we have to keep up with changes to make the most accessible documents as possible. With that in mind, issues can sometimes arise with the new versions of our most commonly used software, such as JAWS. What works in an older version may not translate well into the newest update.
This post will cover the process of defining the title region in Excel worksheets. In JAWS 13, it was straightforward to set the title region. Users of JAWS 16 will have to take a different approach, however, as what worked in the old version no longer applies.
Issue Defining the Title Region
With Excel worksheets, JAWS 13 was able to read a defined title region by announcing the row and/or column header. Unfortunately, this convenient function does not apply automatically to JAWS 16. The newer version will read out either the heading row or the column. It won’t read both. The header it chooses is determined by whether the row or column is selected first (while holding down the CTRL key).
However, we have found that it is still possible to get JAWS 16 to define a title region in Excel worksheets. The only issue is that Excel has a setting that prevents it from doing so. All you have to do is switch that setting!
Within Excel is a JAWS verbosity setting that will prevent the software from using the old JAWS 13 manner for defining a title region. The following steps will allow you to define a title region in JAWS 16:
Go into the settings by pressing JAWS Key-V from an Excel window
Type ‘name’ into the search box
Change the override name setting (which should be the only search result) to ‘off.’
Now you should be able to define the title region, giving you a more accessible Excel worksheet!
This post is the start of a new series concerning Section 508 compliance remediation. Our expert 508 compliance team has encountered several workflow errors while using Acrobat for 508 remediation. These errors cause some serious headaches for both users and clients. As such, we felt it would be useful to cover some of these issues here, along with advice on how to overcome them.
Experience with Section 508 Compliance
Being compliant with Section 508 does not necessarily mean that the document is completely accessible. Our team has been working to achieve both compliance and accessibility for over five years. We boast 100% USA citizen employment for guaranteed quality, and do not outsource our labor. The issues that we will be discussing in further posts are ones that have come up while working, and which we have been able to resolve.
The Word Wizards team has been working with Acrobat for our Section 508 compliance since version 8. When an issue with Acrobat arises, we have worked directly with Adobe in order to solve it. As such, we’ve developed a reputation for being able to resolve some of the most difficult problems with PDF documents. If you come across a problem of your own that we haven’t covered, let us know in the comments! We will be more than happy to answer your questions.
For this year’s section 508 accessibility remediation exhibit, we are pulling out all the stops! We are putting together a serious of materials to identify some of the key issues that contractors must manage when conducting a remediation to achieve 508 compliance. Furthermore, we are highlighting the issues that have come about as this industry attempts to standardize its processes. In addition, we will have working examples of our closed captioning services, audio description capabilities, and screen reading technology for people to explore.
Accessibility for clients and conference attendees alike!
Word Wizards has been working closely with our new partners at Braille Works to provide fully accessible conference materials in the form of braille hand outs for attendees. It is the first time we will be providing conference materials in braille, which will allow us to inform the large amount of conference goers that are visually impaired. We are committed to making the internet a more accessible place, and thus we find ourselves in a position to raise awareness about section 508 compliance and digital accessibility technology. It is the perfect platform to host a discussion about the constant evolution of standards and expectations surrounding the hot ticket issue.
We will be conducting a survey to identify the most important issues people come across when using screen reading technology. Visit our table and you can participate in this survey and sign up to receive an extensive analysis of what people are saying about the difference between section 508 compliance and practical accessibility from a user standpoint. We think this will allow us to further refine the industry standard method of remediation, and provide a forum to let people share their opinions about what makes a document truly accessible to those with disabilities.
We look forward to seeing you there, and if you cant make it, use our Contact Us page to request a copy of our newsletter which will contain the results of our analysis of this survey.
Accessibility vs. Compliance: Whats The Difference?
The demand for section 508 accessibility compliance services has never been greater. With a huge volume of companies, organizations, and independent consultants now claiming to offer 508 compliance solutions, it is increasingly difficult to know who is who in the industry. From our experience there are two different types of player in the world of 508 compliance services.
The first is are firms looking to marginally increase their revenues by accessing the emerging market for 508 compliance services. These companies claim that they are 508 compliance experts, who then turn around and outsource to firms that are very good at meeting the legal requirements of compliance without a concern for the accessibility of the final product. In this case, the client meets its legal requirement, yet fails to provide true accessibility. Unfortunately, the end result is a low cost solution to a potentially expensive problem and people are willing to ignore the obvious short comings for minimal cost savings.
The second type of player are the firms that are honestly dedicated to providing accessible content solutions for their clients. Companies of this nature (like us here at Word Wizards) actually know how this process is done because they do it in house. These companies make it a priority to go beyond the legal requirements of the section 508 accessibility law, ensuring that the services they provide for their customers result in media content that is accessible and of significant value to those with visual or auditory disabilities.
The difference is all about context, its about creating something that takes the limitations of those individuals with disabilities into account. Something could be considered “compliant” with no real advantage to the end user, aka someone with sensory disabilities; and, in our minds, that is worse than doing nothing in the first place. It is our continuing mission here at Word Wizards to work towards a more accessible internet experience for the U.S. Government and beyond.
Some Good IDEAS
So, we invite you to join us this year at the IDEAS conference and decide for yourself, just remember, when your age finally catches up and your senses no longer work like they used to, are you going to expect the bare minimum when it comes time to interacting effectively with the government, or would you rather someone had gotten the job done right before it was to late for you.