Sharepoint Accessibility Solutions

The Sharepoint Challenge

There 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 Issue

A 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 Solution

Want 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 Experience

The following brief demos illustrate the Discover 508 Sharepoint Accessibility solution experience using the JAWS screen reader from Freedom Scientific and Internet Explorer from Microsoft.

MP4 Demos:

Sharepoint In The News

Discover 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.

The Sharepoint Contact

Discover 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