[Athen] Visually Impaired Student and Microsoft Visio 2013

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Thu Jan 23 06:33:07 PST 2014

Good morning,

It has been my experience that MS Visio is almost impossible to use with a
screen reader, and it would probably be almost impossible to make it so.
Unless the student has some usable vision and can use a magnification
product with audio reinforcement such as Supernova or ZoomText w/speech.
There are thousands of software packages out there that are similarly
problematic, and that is one of the most significant issues on having
courses that are product based instead of learning outcome based. Other
examples would be MS Project, MathType, and AutoCAD. The issue here is not
one of having to use a mouse, it is one of having to be able to see the

I have worked with several students, who used a variety of screen readers,
over the years who were taking courses that primary utilized Visio in a
number of fields, and in all instances we had to provide alternative
learning experiences or had to determine that the necessary course content
modification necessary would be a fundamental alteration. Visio is a visual
design tool, now if the class is on MS Visio then the student is highly
likely to be unsuccessful in it. My suggestion would be to work with the
instructor to work through alternative learning activities to achieve the
essential elements of instruction for the course. I am deliberately using
legal language here because this is a real problem through tech based

I really hope someone has a better answer than mine, because I encounter
this a lot in my work with campuses and software vendors.

Ron Stewart

From: athen-list-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu
[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Chris
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 8:09 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Visually Impaired Student and Microsoft Viso 2013

Hi all,

I have a visually impaired student using JAWS working with Microsoft Visio
and they're having a tough time. Does anyone have any experience and/or
suggestions about what they can do?

Kindest regards,

Christopher J. Cuevas

Assistive Technology Specialist

Office for Students with Disabilities

Valencia College

P: 407-582-2530 | F: 407-582-8908

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20140123/d11271e1/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list