[nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps complaint

Mary Fernandez trillian551 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 16:05:27 UTC 2011


`And so the controversy continues. It seems ironic that the student
body, for which this complaint has been filed in the first place, is
so divided. Here is what i think.
Accessibility not only means that you can use google calendar only if
you have a mac. I just recently switched over to a mac, and still use
Jaws on a day to day basis in my research job, because it works better
with the software I'm required  to use. Accessibility, means that app,
prorams etc. are universal. Ashley seems to be having trouble with her
school's communicational software which is based on the google
platform. The educational package does not look like your normal
gmail. The platform we use at Emory, has a web version, however, the
features are incredibly limitted to the software everyone else gets to
use. In fact, the web version is meant to be used as a temporary, or
on the go usage. The designers understood that was  limitted, but
didn't care, because most people never even use it, unless they are in
someone else's computer and dont have the installed software that
first class has. I, on hte other hand, use the web version, all the
time, and do noteven have the choice of having the full program
installed, since it's totally unaccessible.
In addition, someone pointed out that colleges have a choice of what
platforms they use. And that is the key  here. why, would you choose
to use a platform that is not accessible to everyone And by everyone,
we mean, those  who use Jaws, Window Eyes, Zoom Text, Mac and whatever
other screen reading software there is out there. I am personally a
huge fan of Google Chat, but it's a pain in the butt to use. I have to
use my jaws cursor to get it to read messages, and in my mac, I have
to use the web version. I never figured out how to use google
calendar on windows, and forget  google docs. Yeah, you could, if you
decide to spend 12000 on a computer, get a mac, learn an entirely
different operating system, and use through the mac apps, the google
apps, but honestly,sighted students don't have todo that, why should
we?
Educational institutions usually seek to find technologies that
supplement students' learning, not to make their lives harder by them
trying tofigure out how to click on something so they get the result
they wan. By having apps that are so much more difficult for a blind
student to use, you are not on equal footing. You cannot compete
fairly with your peers academically, if you have to spend 15 exra
minutes, everytime you log on to your email, to dowload something your
professor sent.
I'm not going toeven address the attention seeking laims that have
been made, except to say that if the NFB was not as fearless to
address real issues that present barriers for blind individuals to
become first class citizens then we would not even be having this
conversation.
Sincerely,
Mary Fernandez

On 3/17/11, Joe Orozco <jsorozco at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, I think that's how cases normally work, since it's not feasible for a
> plaintiff to go after every single offender engaged in the same wrongdoing.
> Even if the case does not set a precedent, the publicity may motivate other
> universities to evaluate Google Apps and maybe even encourage them to work
> with Google to make the apps more accessible.  There are multiple benefits
> that come from filing complaints.  The complaint itself is only the
> foundation for the type of change that may evolve.
>
> Joe
>
> "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,
> some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
> Of Kirt Manwaring
> Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:35 AM
> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps complaint
>
> Joe,
>   All I'm saying is this doesn't really solve the potential problem.
> The press release mentions...what, 3 or 4 universities that are being
> investigated.  I think probably a lot more than that use google aps,
> and that number's certainly growing.  So is this just a way to bring
> limited results and hopefully set a future precident?  Cause, four out
> of hundreds of universities (maybe not that many are using google aps,
> but four out of a lot who do), seems like a comparatively small
> affair.
>   Best,
> Kirt
>
> On 3/17/11, Ignasi Cambra <ignasicambra at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Joe,
>> Maybe you are right. I don't know if you know anything else about the
>> complaint other than what the press release tells us, but I don't. The
> press
>> release specifically says that Google apps doesn't let us use email and
>> calendars, and that's not true. And if the NFB is going to complain about
>> those to points, then they are wrong. If this whole argument comes from
> the
>> fact that whoever prepared the press release didn't really know what the
>> complaint was about and ended up providing readers with inaccurate
>> information about it, then I don't really know what else to say...
>>
>> IC
>> On Mar 17, 2011, at 9:04 AM, Joe Orozco wrote:
>>
>>> Ignasi,
>>>
>>> The complaint is not centered around the basic Google features: GMail,
>>> Calendar, and Contacts.  You can't possibly think that schools are
>>> leveraging the platform merely to give their students a different way to
>>> communicate and keep track of their schedules?  It's about Docs, and
> Sites
>>> and the other wide range of Google products that enrich the educational
>>> field and provide the incentive for universities to completely switch out
>>> their platforms.  The press release could have been written a little
>>> better
>>> to reflect this point, but understand there is more at consideration than
>>> the basic features people use outside of schools and businesses.
>>>
>>> Kirt,
>>>
>>> I don't know that it's true the NFB has money to spare.  We need to
>>> understand that despite our critics' position that we sue everyone under
>>> the
>>> sun, the leadership really does prioritize and act on cases with the most
>>> immediate impact.  I'm glad that education is important enough to the
>>> leadership for it to continue pursuing avenues to improve the quality of
>>> studies for students.  For all their grumblings on the ACB student list,
>>> I'm
>>> not sure the ACB can claim the same high priority.
>>>
>>> Jorge,
>>>
>>> If an organization wants to get attention for themselves, they don't
>>> attract
>>> it by filing complaints against corporations, or in this case,
> educational
>>> institutions.  In some rare cases negative publicity can be hammered into
>>> something ultimately beneficial, but for a nonprofit with limited funds,
>>> it
>>> files complaints because change needs to happen and not because it hopes
>>> its
>>> opposition will suddenly change heart and applaud the NFB's efforts.
>>> There
>>> are enough projects to draw positive attention to its activities.
>>>
>>> Anyway, just my thoughts,
>>>
>>> Joe
>>>
>>> "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their
> sleeves,
>>> some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>>> Behalf
>>> Of Ignasi Cambra
>>> Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:37 AM
>>> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps complaint
>>>
>>> Again, there is no way you can say that gmail is not accessible, even for
>>> opening attachments. The default version of the site which comes up when
>>> you
>>> log in might not be perfectly accessible with all screen readers, but
>>> there
>>> is a link called "basic html" which you can use to switch to a different
>>> version of the site, which does work very well with screen readers. You
>>> can
>>> navigate it by headers and attachments open just fine.
>>> If you don't like that, you can always get emails from an email client
>>> such
>>> as Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail...whatever you like!
>>> The situation with google calendar is pretty much the same. The only big
>>> problem comes with Google docs. To the best of my knowledge, that's
>>> actually
>>> not accessible as of today. Some office suites will allow you to retrieve
>>> Google docs documents, work on them and save them. But the Google docs
>>> site
>>> itself is not accessible.
>>> On Mar 17, 2011, at 12:27 AM, <bookwormahb at earthlink.net>
>>> <bookwormahb at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>> My school, nova, uses the google email application too.  What I hate is
>>> trying to open attachments.  They are so hard to find among the links and
>>> text!
>>>> You have to find the attachment link to click and download. Quite
>>> frustrating.
>>>> Yes colleges do have a choice and unfortunately when choosing software
> to
>>> communicate in and out of class, accessibility is not considered.
>>>> Ashley
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message----- From: Elizabeth
>>>> Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:01 AM
>>>> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps complaint
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Hello All,
>>>>
>>>> I am by no means an expert in the field of technology, but I do know
> from
>>> my own personal experience that the Google applications used by some
>>> colleges and universities are not accessible. I know this to be true
>>> because
>>> my college uses the Google email application for its email system, and
>>> somehow it is set up differently than a regular Google account, and as
>>> such
>>> is not accessible. I would imagine that the national office is choosing
> to
>>> go after the colleges and not google because the colleges have a choice
> in
>>> what they choose to use when it comes to disseminating electronic
>>> information. I believe it would be the responsibility of the college or
>>> university to ensure that the software programs they use are accessible
> to
>>> all students.
>>>>
>>>> Just my thoughts for whatever they may be worth.
>>>>
>>>> Elizabeth
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:31:25 -0600
>>>>> From: kirt.crazydude at gmail.com
>>>>> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps complaint
>>>>>
>>>>> The only reason for doing this that makes sense to me is the NFB not
>>>>> wanting to get in to a long, drawn-out court battle with google. I
>>>>> know the Federation has money to spare...but going up against the
>>>>> likes of google and winning would take a lot of money and, probably,
>>>>> litigation. So maybe they see this as a way to bring about some
>>>>> limited improvements and set a precident for the future? Sounds like
>>>>> a stretch, but it's all I can think of.
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Kirt
>>>>>
>>>>> On 3/16/11, Laura Glowacki <orangebutterfly87 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> I agree. Google has done a lot in the past with seeking feedback
>>>>>> from users on accessibility. Obviously there are still things
>>>>>> that need to be worked on, but has anyone actually approached
>>>>>> google and offer to help with that process?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>> From: "Jorge Paez" <jorgeapaez at mac.com>
>>>>>> To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
>>>>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:39 PM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] confused - regarding - NFB Google Apps
>>>>>> complaint
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I don't know,
>>>>>> this just sounds odd considering how much talk there has been on
>>>>>> this very list about
>>>>>> precisely how accessible Google Apps are.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Seems like a weird move by the leadership if they're trying to
>>>>>> get attention.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> And get attention for what exactly?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Jorge
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Mar 16, 2011, at 5:30 PM, Ignasi Cambra wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I think it's true that Google could do a lot more in terms of
>>>>>>> accessibility, especially with Google Docs. But their email and
>>>>>>> calendar services are perfectly accessible. Gmail even has an
>>>>>>> HTML only version which is as simple as it gets. Also, the good
>>>>>>> thing about Google apps is that you can use them through other
>>>>>>> software. I use Gmail and Google calendar everyday with my Mac,
>>>>>>> but I never actually open the Google site for that. I get my
>>>>>>> emails through Imap and use iCal to look at the calendar and
>>>>>>> add events etc.
>>>>>>> In other words, I think this complaint should have formulated
>>>>>>> differently. There are lots of things that can and should be
>>>>>>> fixed, but saying that these services are not usable by blind
>>>>>>> people in those universities is lying. My university uses
>>>>>>> Google apps, and I'm not complaining about it because I can use
>>>>>>> it...!!
>>>>>>> On Mar 16, 2011, at 5:13 PM, Jorge Paez wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Precisely my thoughts.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Where's the NFB suing Freedom Scientific?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Or Google?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Gosh knows Google could do way more then any school to fix
>>>>>>>> that problem.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Just my thoughts.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Jorge
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Mar 16, 2011, at 4:31 PM, Nimer Jaber wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Hello,
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Google Aps are accessible with screen readers that have
>>>>>>>>> innovated and
>>>>>>>>> are able to use google apps such as NVDA for example. JFW
>>>>>>>>> works, but
>>>>>>>>> very limitedly. What happened to the screen reader companies
>>>>>>>>> doing
>>>>>>>>> their jobs and making things accessible instead of the NFB
>>>>>>>>> getting
>>>>>>>>> sue-happy *gain* and complaining because screen reader
>>>>>>>>> companies are
>>>>>>>>> falling behind? I don't think that Google has _ever refused
>>>>>>>>> to work on
>>>>>>>>> accessibility for anyone. Just saying ...
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Thanks.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> On 16/03/2011, Jorge Paez <jorgeapaez at mac.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Hello fellow NABS members.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> I'm sure most of you have heard about the complaint National
>>>>>>>>>> filed regarding
>>>>>>>>>> universities using Google Apps.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> From what I understand, GMail is completely accessible but
>>>>>>>>>>> the rest isn't.
>>>>>>>>>> (I've never used anything more then Gmail in the apps as of
>>>>>>>>>> yet),
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> but so far, I haven't seen many people use this.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Are we complaining because the University is mandating that
>>>>>>>>>> everything be
>>>>>>>>>> done threw Google Apps (part of which is unaccessible) or
>>>>>>>>>> are we complaining
>>>>>>>>>> for simply using inaccessible web applications that could
>>>>>>>>>> potentially pose
>>>>>>>>>> problems?
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Jorge
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account
>>>>>>>>>> info for
>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/nimerjaber1%40gmail.
>>> com
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> Nimer M. Jaber
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> The message above is intended for the recipient to whom it
>>>>>>>>> was sent.
>>>>>>>>> If you believe that you are not the intended recipient,
>>>>>>>>> please notify
>>>>>>>>> me via reply email and destroy all copies of this email.
>>>>>>>>> Action taken
>>>>>>>>> as a result of this email by anyone other than the intended
>>>>>>>>> recipient
>>>>>>>>> may result in civil or criminal action. I have checked all
>>>>>>>>> files on my
>>>>>>>>> machine for security threats. However, I will not be held
>>>>>>>>> responsible
>>>>>>>>> for any damage caused to your machine as a result of any
>>>>>>>>> instructions
>>>>>>>>> or attachments provided by me. Security of your machine is up
>>>>>>>>> to you.
>>>>>>>>> Thanks, and if you don't feel that you are able to comply
>>>>>>>>> with these
>>>>>>>>> instructions, please notify me via reply email and destroy
>>>>>>>>> all copies
>>>>>>>>> of this email from your computer.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Registered Linux User 529141.
>>>>>>>>> http://counter.li.org/
>>>>>>>>> Vinux testing and documentation coordinator
>>>>>>>>> To get more information about a free and accessible operating
>>>>>>>>> system,
>>>>>>>>> please click here:
>>>>>>>>> http://www.vinuxproject.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> To find out about a free and versatile screen reader for
>>>>>>>>> windows XP
>>>>>>>>> and above, please click here:
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nvda-project.org
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Check out my blog related to technology by clicking here:
>>>>>>>>> http://nimertech.blogspot.com
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Phone: (720) (251-4530)
>>>>>>>>> Please reply to this email to contact me.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account
>>>>>>>>> info for nabs-l:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/jorgeapaez%40mac.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account
>>>>>>>> info for nabs-l:
>>>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/ignasicambra%40gmail
>>> .com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account
>>>>>>> info for nabs-l:
>>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/jorgeapaez%40mac.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info
>>>>>> for nabs-l:
>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/orangebutterfly87%40
>>> gmail.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>>>>> nabs-l:
>>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/kirt.crazydude%40gma
>>> il.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nabs-l:
>>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/lizmohnke%40hotmail.
>>> com
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nabs-l:
>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/bookwormahb%40earthl
>>> ink.net
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nabs-l:
>>>>
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/ignasicambra%40gmail
>>> .com
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nabs-l:
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/jsorozco%40gmail.com
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>>> nabs-l:
>>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/ignasicambra%40gmail
> .com
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> nabs-l mailing list
>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>> nabs-l:
>>
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/kirt.crazydude%40gma
> il.com
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
> nabs-l mailing list
> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> nabs-l:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/jsorozco%40gmail.com
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> nabs-l mailing list
> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> nabs-l:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/trillian551%40gmail.com
>


-- 
Mary Fernandez
President: Georgia Association of Blind Students
Emory University 2012
P.O. Box 123056
Atlanta Ga.
30322
Phone: 732-857-7004

"It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much
rather you weren't doing it."
Terry Pratchett




More information about the nabs-l mailing list