This report is the second in a series of reports on the accessibility of Google Apps. Its predecessor, the “ATHEN Report on the Accessibility of Google Documents”, is available at http://athenpro.org/google-docs-accessibility. This report uses the same methodology as the previous report but is applied to GMail and Calendar. The same set of assistive technologies is tested with the addition of the VoiceOver screen reader. For details on the background of ATHEN or on the nature of this project please refer to the original report.
One observation made during our tests is that the level of accessibility support in Google Apps is constantly changing. Google constantly updates the applications, the Chrome browser, and ChromeVox. Many, if not most of the changes that occur during these upgrades are not published by Google. Our tests were completed in late January and early February 2012, and even during that time and throughout the end February while compiling the report there were noticeable changes in the level of accessibility support. Because of the ever changing accessibility landscape in the applications and the lack of information about changes made by Google, some of our findings could be moot by the time this report is published. While we welcome all of these improvements, communication about what changes are happening would greatly benefit the community. Without that level of communication, we cannot make an assessment of the current status of accessibility support without doing a complete re-evaluation of the application suite.