Fall 2011 Google Accessibility Improvements Accessibility features in Google Apps
Google has added accessibility improvements to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Chat, Google Docs, and Google Sites. The CSU has not tested these improvements. If any campus has tested these improvements then please send the results to the ATI Staff so we can share the information with all our campuses.
After negotiating contracts with Google and Microsoft in 2009 and early 2010 for enterprise email that campuses can adopt, the CSU Office of the Chancellor decided to provide campuses with:
- Information about the accessibility of email systems.
- Recommendations about how to best implement them for accessibility.
However, because these email services involve cloud-based computing (software-as-a-service), the findings and recommendations in this report can be rendered obsolete at any time. To stay current, campuses are advised to monitor best practices and adjust recommended accessibility workarounds and accommodations as necessary.
- Telephone surveys
- Online research (VPATs and other posted accessibility information)
- Campus web site reviews
- Limited manual accessibility testing of Gmail
- CSU testing and campus surveys revealed no accessibility problems other than those stated in the VPATs furnished by Google (VPAT Link for Gmail) and Microsoft (VPAT link for Microsoft).
- Gmail standard view and Outlook Web App light (OWAL), when combined with workarounds identified in this report, provided a sufficient level of accessibility.
Workarounds, Accommodations, and Best Practices
The following workarounds, accommodations, and best practices are recommended:
- Allow users to select the email interface they prefer (enable IMAP and POP).
- Allow users to forward their emails from the campus email system.
- Recommend OWAL for Microsoft users.
- Provide users with information about how to best configure email for accessibility (Appendices B and C).
- Give users links to accessibility support information.
- Link users to more accessibility information from email configuration support web pages.
- Include accessibility information on Email Recommendations and FAQ pages.
- Provide links to Gmail accessibility support resources. See, for example, CSU Chico’s Gmail support information.
- Provide a "Known Issues/Workarounds" Help desk page at CSU Fresno.