Members of the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee have approved a Committee Draft version of the "Accessibility Guidelines" for public review. Open Document Format v1.1 Accessibility Guidelines Version 1.0 is a guide for Office Applications that support version 1.1 of the OpenDocument format, to promote and preserve accessible ODF documents. The public review period ends 21-December-2007.
ODF 1.1 is capable of encoding and storing a lot of structural and semantic information. This information is needed by people with disabilities and the tools they use (assistive technologies), to gain access to computers and information. The review document provides guidelines for ODF 1.1 implementation. A successful ODF 1.1 implementation will enable users with disabilities to read, create, and edit documents -- with full access to all of the meaning and intent -- just like a person without any disability. Accessibility is about enabling people with disabilities to participate in substantial life activities that include work and the use of services, products, and information. In the context of ODF documents, this means that people with disabilities should be able to participate fully in the creation, review, and editing process of the documents. A blind person, for example, should be able to work with a document someone else created (by getting a text description of the images used). A person should be able to fill out a form without using hands. A person with poor vision should be able to read through presentation materials easily.