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ATHEN Report on the Accessibility of Google Documents

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Google Inc. is in the process of improving its Google Application suite to make it more accessible for people with disabilities. To date, many improvements have been made, but the efforts have largely targeted screen reader users and not considered people with other types of disabilities. In order to begin to assess the accessibility of the application suite for a variety of disability types, the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN) performed functional tests (described in detail below) on two applications: the Google Docs Document List (hereafter referred to as “Document List”) and the Documents portion of Google Docs (hereafter referred to as “Documents”). These tests show that many people with disabilities are currently unable to successfully use these applications. No assistive technology tested was able to fully perform every function within these applications, and the level of support for assistive technologies ranged from being able to perform many, but not all of the functions to not being able to use the applications at all.

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