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Google Calendar Evaluations

High Contrast Mode

Grade: A on OS X, D+ on Windows

There are no major issues with high contrast mode on OS X. However, on Windows, several user interface elements become invisible and several lack any type of tooltip. This requires the user to explore the screen with their mouse to discover what hidden functionality is there.


Grade: D-

JAWS has numerous accessibility problems, rendering the Calendar almost unusable for practical purposes. The problems include the inability to:

  • use semantic markup to navigate through the user interface
  • add guests to meetings
  • find available meeting times for multiple participants
  • set repeating meetings
  • manage calendars and calendar subscriptions


Grade: C

ChromeVox has numerous accessibility problems, rendering the Calendar almost unusable for practical purposes. Some of the overarching themes are:

  • the lack of audio feedback after performing actions
  • the lack of internal navigation
  • unlabeled, or poorly labeled form elements

The lack of semantic structure and properly labeled form elements in the page makes numerous tasks extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish.

Additionally, ChromeVox was not able to

  • find available meeting times for multiple participants
  • easily determine if a meeting is repeating


Grade: D

VoiceOver has numerous accessibility issues in Calendar, notably:

  • difficulty finding the controls to create and save meetings
  • times being misread while creating meetings
  • finding common meeting times for multiple participants
  • removing already invited participants
  • adding and removing additional calendars

Keyboard only

Grade: B

Most of the functions are accessible while only using the keyboard. The most notable exception is the inability to find available meeting times for multiple participants. There are also times when an excessive amount of tabbing is required to get to portions of the interface.

Much of the keyboard-only assessment came from the Sticky Keys assessment, which in essence is also a keyboard-only test too.

Sticky Keys

In addition to testing with keyboard alone, an assessment was conducted using Sticky Keys. Sticky Keys is not a product, but rather is a function built into operating systems. Sticky Keys allows users to submit key press combinations in serial as opposed to the normal parallel fashion. For instance, instead of simultaneously pressing Control and V, the user can press the Control key, let go of Control, and then the V key. Sticky Keys is used by some people with mobility impairments.

This assessment was included because in the earlier evaluation of Google Docs, problems were observed that only occurred if Sticky Keys was enabled. However, this was not the case with GMail (or with Calendar). The same problems reported in the preceding section related to keyboard accessibility were observed, but there were no additional problems that solely affected Sticky Keys users.

Read & Write Gold

Grade: A

All of the major functionality of Read and Write Gold works fine in Calendar.


Grade: B

The screen magnification functions of ZoomText work quite well with Calendar. When using the screen reader functionality some of the same problems as in other screen reader tests are uncovered, namely that the tab order for user interface elements are not always logical. This makes looking for specific functions problematic at times as the control being looked for is not already in the zoomed-in section.

Dragon Naturally Speaking with IE

Grade: D- (possibly a B when Dragon is used in combination with Firefox)

All of the same issues raised in GMail usability also apply to Calendar usability in regards to Dragon Naturally Speaking.

  • Dragon does not recognize any of the user interface as being clickable textual items
  • Shortcut keys or tab navigation must be used
  • The Mouse Grid must be used

Additionally, Dragon is not able to dictate text into any of the text boxes within Calendar. This makes it impossible to even schedule a meeting.

Again, late in our testing we discovered that the combination of Dragon with Firefox yielded unexpectedly good results. We are doing more testing to see what level of accessibility support exists with this combination.