Spreadsheets and documents and presentations, oh my

The following is an open letter that David Poehlman posted on several blind Mac users lists or was forwarded by other members. David was kind enough to give me permission to post it here. Whether you agree or disagree with his position, it is still very good food for thought. I will post the letter and then follow up with a post with some additional thoughts of my own on the topic.

>spreadsheets and documents and presentations, oh my!

Many blind folk are successfully employed for performing tasks which
the above and have been for many years. Few if any though are using the
for many reasons but I want to focus on moving forward in areas in which
can move forward and to focus your attention and seek your assistance with

We need gallant folk to step up to Microsoft and shout out that office
to be made accessible in order that the market for blind employees will be
wider. To do this, folk must provide concrete detailed and factual
information about the issues of using Microsoft office on the mac. You
even find some good stuff that is already written and submit it to them.
don’t have a handle on the Microsoft stream and cannot purchase the
so cannot help directly but am willing to help in any other way I can.

We need to provide solid feedback to apple on issues related to IWork from
productivity standpoint. Some employers will be willing to accept a blind
person with a mac since we can export office formats and they would be
willing to mix systems if they are able.

We need to locate employers willing to work with us and rehab or other
agencies who are willing to take on the challenge if for nothing less than
the potential cost savings.

I know that there are a myriad of issues which we face with regard to this
ultimate goal of prominent positioning of mac in the work place of the
blind, but if we work together, perhaps we can move forward and provide
assistance in this important effort.

I know that there are efforts ongoing at apple and lots of feedback coming
to them which they are paying attention to and which is helping to guide
them toward better accessibility. I’d like though to discuss experiences
and desires and perhaps translate some of those into meaningful dialog
apple and microsoft.

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