OpenDocument - Accessibility SC

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The Subcommittee was closed by OASIS TC Administration on 11 February 2020 and is no longer active.

Archives of its work remain publicly accessible and are linked from this page. OASIS appreciates the efforts of all those who participated in this SC.

Statement of purpose

  1. Ongoing review of the OpenDocument specification for accessibility, both to discover potential accessibility issues and to improve the usability and functionality of creating, reading, and editing office documents for people with disabilities.
  2. To provide accessibility related feedback to the OpenDocument Technical Committee and implementors of the OpenDocument specification.


  1. Proposals for accessibility enhancements to the OpenDocument specification.
  2. Accessibility related guidelines for OpenDocument implementors and users.

Scope of work
The subcommittee's work is to ensure that OpenDocument schema allows to store the information that is required by applications aimed at allowing people with disabilities to access properly the content of OpenDocument documents.

Manner and schedule of work
The work of the subcommittee will be primarily through a mail list set up by OASIS for subcommittee work. Access by the public will be through an openly available mail list archive.

Conference calls will be scheduled on a regular basis as agreed by the subcommittee after its formation.

Hello, and welcome to the accessibility subcommittee page. This subcommittee meetings every Thursday, starting January 26, from 11-12 AM US Eastern time, via teleconference. Calling information is posted to the mailing list prior to each meeting.

Why this sub-committee is needed
Accessibility is generally accepted today; excluding people is not wanted. Translating this desire into positive actions in complex designs such as ODF is not easy. This sub-committee of volunteers from many organizations share the goal of equality of access for all.

Initial deliverables
The group delivered a review of the 1.0 version of ODF specification to the main committee in November which resulted in a number of changes to the specification, realized in ODF version 1.1. In addition a set of Guidelines for implementors, and hints for users is being developed. The current draft of guidelines is available.

Future work
The sub-committee has a number of work items planned for the next release of ODF. These are:

  1. Background images. Access to any information contained in images used as backgrounds.
  2. Navigation. The way in which people with disabilities can navigate round an individual slide in a presentation. Improving access to tabular data as is found in a spreadsheet.
  3. Multi-modalities. The provision of access in alternate modalities. For example, improving access to charts and graphs.
  4. Reviewing ODF support for a wider range of disabilities. We recognise that our expertise is limited in the full range of disabilities.
  5. More detailed support for spreadsheets. Easier access to header information, cell labels and formulas.

This list of work will be posted to the working groups website and will be updated as new work items are discovered.

Currently our group represents about ten organizations plus individuals. These range from registered charities to multi-national organizations. We benefit from both.

Providing Feedback: OASIS welcomes feedback on its technical activities from potential users, developers, and others to better assure the interoperability and quality of OASIS work.