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2015 NFB Statement on Google

Resolution 2015-17

Regarding the Accessibility of Google Drive and the Google Docs Productivity Suite

WHEREAS, Google is one of the largest and most far-reaching companies on the internet today, with products that touch hardware, software, work, entertainment, education, and many other spheres of life; and

WHEREAS, some of the best-known and most heavily used of these products include Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides; and

WHEREAS, these products have been adopted by many businesses, government agencies, and educational institutions; and

WHEREAS, the use of these applications has become essential within these institutions and organizations to participate fully in employment and education; and

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind and Google have spent considerable time and resources in forging a partnership to improve the accessibility of this suite of applications; and

WHEREAS, blind people in these environments are increasingly able to use these products due to the increased accessibility of the suite arising from this partnership; and

WHEREAS, Google has created some truly innovative solutions allowing blind users to collaborate in real time with their peers; and

WHEREAS, the stability and usability of the suite with screen-access software has increased dramatically over the last three years, but some features required for full accessibility of the tool, including full Braille support, have yet to be fully implemented; for example, it is not possible to read spreadsheets with Braille or to move the cursor with a Braille keyboard in any of the Google Apps: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in convention assembled this ninth day of July, 2015, in the city of Orlando, Florida, that this organization commend Google for the progress it has made in improving the accessibility of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we strongly urge Google to continue to maintain and improve the accessibility of this suite, particularly for Braille users, by continuing to partner with the National Federation of the Blind so that blind people can enjoy the benefits of these applications.