Sharepoint Accessibility Solutions
The Sharepoint ChallengeThere are many tools that can facilitate productivity for workers who are blind or partially sighted. People who are blind or have low vision can be as productive as their sighted co-workers with appropriate accommodations. They may perform a task differently than a worker who is fully sighted, but they should be able to get the task accomplished in approximately the same amount of time and with the same level of accuracy as any other worker on the jobsite.
SharePoint offers organisations a single platform that provides collaboration tools, document management and publishes intranet and internet sites. Importantly SharePoint also provides the building blocks that can be used to achieve accessibility conformance, through the More Accessible Mode. However, the benefits offered by this mode are minimal. SharePoint can largely achieve accessibility conformance out of the box. However, for any installation there remains a gap that needs to be filled through customisation and governance. The challenge for most organizations is in the understanding of the Sharepoint accessibility needs without compromising features used by sighted employees. Customizing inaccessible page sgtructures and Complex interfaces (like the Calendar Control, can be handled by avoiding the use of these functions or by alternative functionality through Governance policies.
Microsoft's SharePoint "out of the box" experience appears not to be designed with all users in mind. It still falls short when it comes to those using screen readers to navigate, those using magnification software to see, those using voice activation applications to navigate, and those who are spatially challenged. The Discover 508 Sharepoint accessibility solution can transform your Sharepoint environment into a user friendly platform with immediate productivity gains, and avoid all though time consuming customization requirements. For a SharePoint accessibility review read the Vision Australia Sharepoint Accessibility White Paper (doc)
The Sharepoint IssueA recent AFB Sharepoint product evaluation stated:
It was very clear to us that Discover 508 has significant usability features over the out of the box experience in both environments. The superior usability comes largely from the intuitive architecture and lack of popup menus and other sighted user intended features, as well as from clear and easy to use instructions.
American Foundation for the Blind Evaluation
Discover 508 AFB Full Report (PDF)
More Challenges than Victories - By Curtis Chong, The president of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science
The Sharepoint SolutionWant a solution that make SharePoint easy to use for visually and cognitively impaired workers? Visually impaired SharePoint users are unable to access information as efficiently as their sighted co-workers, limiting both their productivity and their careers. Discover 508 software is Section 508 and AODA compliant, designed to provide visually impaired SharePoint users with an experience comparable to that of sighted users.
Discover 508 Sharepoint Accessibility Solution
Discover508 for SharePoint (PDF)
The Sharepoint User ExperienceThe following brief demos illustrate the Discover 508 Sharepoint Accessibility solution experience using the JAWS screen reader from Freedom Scientific and Internet Explorer from Microsoft.
- Introduction to page structure and content context (6:31Min)
- Using the Quick Launch Navigation to find Sharepoint content (4:31Min)
- Finding and Downloading a Document (6:52Min)
- Uploading a File and Setting Alerts (6:31Min)
- View Calendar Event Entries (4:14Min)
- Create A New Calendar Event (6:55Min)
- Creating A Discussion Board Entry (5:12Min)
Sharepoint In The NewsDiscover Technologies is a software and professional services company focused on two missions. First, providing professional IT services including implementation and migration of collaborative platforms and custom development efforts around enterprise search and BPM solutions as well as innovative data management applications. Second, building and deploying unique enterprise class software designed to enhance the search and collaboration experience of today's knowledge workers while improving productivity and accessibility for blind and low vision SharePoint users.
Discover Technologies announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acquired enterprise licensing on behalf of the agency's Section 508 Program Office. The Discover 508 for SharePoint solution was acquired to help bring the VA's 600 SharePoint site collections and 8,000+ subsites into compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, commonly referred to as "Section 508". Discover 508, a server-based usability tool, enables blind and low vision users to easily perform collaborative tasks in SharePoint such as uploading documents, creating calendar events, and managing alerts and permissions. Discover 508 is a software solution that once installed at the SharePoint farm level, renders SharePoint sites in a user friendly version without images, tables, etc., by eliminating any hypertext markup language (HTML) or cascading style sheets (CSS) formatting elements. Once installed, Discover 508's usability mode utilizes a few basic navigation keys (tab, back-tab, space bar) to enable easy cursor navigation. This extends the usability of SharePoint to blind and visually impaired users.
Discover Technologies, a unique IT services and software development company located in the Washington, DC area announced today the release of Accessible SmartForms, which addresses the accessibility challenges within K2 smartforms controls and out-of-the-box K2 dialogs regarding Section 508 and WCAG2.0AA accessibility standards. Accessible SmartForms is Discover Technologies' second release of a software solution designed to enable workers who are blind or visually impaired to be more productive in the technology space. The design of Accessible SmartForms enables screen readers such as Freedom Scientific's JAWS to describe the purpose, current state and usage instructions to blind and visually impaired users when using a K2 smartforms web application. The Discover Technologies solution supports 4.6.9 and later versions of K2 smartforms.
The Sharepoint ContactDiscover Technologies is a thought leader in integrating technologies solutions with the cloud. Discover Technologies possesses the skill and experience to support all system components of an integrated SharePoint environment. Discover Technologies brings the business experience and programming skills required to overcome many common challenges to custom application development. The Discover 508 solution demonstrates the agile, visionary approach to problem solving and collaboration as well as the ability to develop and build solutions around collaborative platforms like SharePoint.
Discover 508 for SharePoint Demo - YouTube (11Min)
Discover Technologies Professional Services
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