[Athen] [EXT]Re: Fw: Office365 - Online vs Desktop applications for accessibility

Hunziker, Dawn A - (hunziker) hunziker at arizona.edu
Tue Apr 6 18:23:44 PDT 2021

Thank you, everyone, for the responses and confirmations! I'm starting discussions to verify that those who need the Office Desktop applications for disability-related reasons, or to create accessible content, have that access. I don't think this will be a concern, I just need to make sure it's a question we ask to make sure we provision the correct license option.

Have a good evening!

Dawn Hunziker

IT Accessibility Consultant, Sr. | Disability Resources

The University of Arizona | hunziker at arizona.edu

drc.arizona.edu<http://drc.arizona.edu/> | itaccessibility.arizona.edu<http://itaccessibility.arizona.edu/>


From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> on behalf of tristenbreitenfeldt at gmail.com <tristenbreitenfeldt at gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 3, 2021 7:59 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [EXT]Re: [Athen] Fw: Office365 - Online vs Desktop applications for accessibility

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I think the bigger issue to consider is that employees with disabilities, (especially screen reader users) would have a very difficult (if not impossible) time using the online Office applications. I am a blind screen reader user and I used to be an accessibility tester; some of the applications I was testing were the online Microsoft Office applications. They are not great for accessibility or usability, and I fear that if your campus decided to use only the online Office suite, they would be excluding a significant population of employees, which could leave the college open to legal action. That’s just my two cents…

I am strongly in favor of finding ways to save money, but cost-saving measures that are not accessible will eventually backfire in one way or another. Another option might be providing incentives to employees to use their own (personal Office subscription/installation key on their work machine. That way, the college would not need to pay for as many Office 365 subscriptions.)

I realize that this answer may not be a popular answer, but when weighing the annual cost of Office 365 against potential lawsuits and negative publicity, I’m pretty sure that keeping the desktop versions of Office will prove to be much less expensive in the long run.


Tristen Breitenfeldt

[JAWS Certified, 2019]<http://www.freedomscientific.com/Certification>

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