[Athen] Possible changes in student email clients

Heidi Scher hascherdss at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 06:10:16 PDT 2009

And many thanks to you, John! I'm certainly getting a lot of different view
points on this issue!

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM, John Foliot <jfoliot at stanford.edu> wrote:

> Heidi Scher wrote:

> >

> > Our IT department is currently looking at the email

> > client we are using as well as reviewing Microsoft’s

> > Live at edu and Google Apps to see which would better serve

> > our student body email needs. Thought I'd ask the experts

> > if you have any tips/hints regarding accessibility issues

> > with either of the last two apps.


> Heidi,


> We went through this process a while back and are actually in the midst of

> the migration process. At the time, the evaluation process had ultimately

> focused on 3 possible solutions, including both MS's and Google's, as well

> as Zimbra. The goal was an integrated email and calendaring solution.


> Ultimately our university chose Zimbra, based upon a number of factors,

> but from the accessibility angle I was lobbying for Zimbra anyway. While

> Zimbra 'shines' as a Web 2.0, browser based solution (shine of course

> being relative), all of the functionality can also be ported to other,

> more native apps such as Outlook, Thunderbird or OS X Mail (for example),

> and the 'basic' web-based interface is workable although hardly slick with

> AT (and screen readers in particular). Like many of these apps, there is a

> whole whack of Web 2.0, Ajax-y whizz-bang eye candy.


> The Microsoft web-based solution (and again this was almost 2 years ago)

> relied on using Internet Explorer for the "full" experience/functionality,

> a serious issue on a campus that is likely close to 75% Mac-centric. By my

> recollection, it met minimal Section 508 requirements, but hardly excelled

> as a model of web accessibility. The Google solution of the time was an

> absolute failure - to the point that when I enquired about Section 508

> conformance the sales rep looked at me and said "...we have problems..."

> (kinda slammed the door there I'd say).


> The migration to Zimbra has been a scaled initiative with all students

> having access to the web-based client for a couple of months now. I know

> that there have been a few issues with the calendaring piece, but the

> Zimbra team has been working with our IT services to iron out the bugs -

> and while not yet there it appears that progress is being made.


> Hopefully this info is of some use.


> Cheers!


> JF


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Heidi Scher, M.S., CRC
Associate Director
Center for Educational Access
University of Arkansas
ARKU 104
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479.575.7445 fax
479.575.3646 tdd
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