Very disappointing response from Freedom Scientific on e-mail program accessibility

Tom Behler

Hello, everyone.

This is Dr. Tom Behler from Michigan.

You may recall that last week, I posted a question about Jaws accessibility
with regard to three e-mail programs that my University is considering as a
replacement to Lotus Notes. The programs are g-mail, Merit, and MS365.

Below is my original post, followed by the response from Freedom Scientific.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed in this response. I am not
typically a complainer, but to me, this is yet another real indication that
Freedom Scientific simply is not keeping up with the current adaptive
technology needs of its clients.

Could this be why more and more people are switching to Window Eyes? Or
even better, could this be why more and more blind computer users are now
seriously considering Macs?

I can tell you one thing: I'm now less inclined than ever to renew my SMA
by the December 31st deadline, only to pay good money for a product that
seems to be increasingly inadequate.

If this e-mail seems too negative, I apologize, but I am really very
bothered by this response.

Again, please read on:


My name is Dr. Thomas Behler, and my Jaws serial number is 41503.

At Ferris State University in Michigan, where I now serve as a Department
Head, I have volunteered to be on a committee to look at various e-mail
program options, to replace their current Lotus Notes e-mail program.

The three programs they are looking at are g-mail, Merit, and MS365.

Can you give me any ideas regarding the comparative accessibility of these
programs, especially when it comes to interfacing with Jaws?

I have asked for demos of the programs so that I can examine them myself,
but I'm not sure what the vendors will come through with yet.

Thanks very much!

Dr. Tom Behler from Michigan

From: Freedom Scientific Technical Support
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 1:45 PM
Subject: FW: Question on e-mail program accessibility

Dear Dr. Tom Behler

Thank you for contacting Freedom Scientific technical Support.

We have no documentation pertaining to these applications as a stand alone
email client. The Gmail webmail works well with the JAWS(r) screen reading
software because they allow a basic HTML view that makes there site easily
accessed with the JAWS(r) screen reading software. In regards to the other
two options, we have no information available currently. I recommend
visiting the user groups list with the link below and see if someone here
may be able to provide you with some feed-back pertaining to this.

*User Groups

Be sure to include all previous correspondence pertaining to this matter
when replying to this message so that we might better assist you.

Mr. Tracey Jackson,
Technical Support Specialist
Freedom Scientific

Phone support: 727 803 8600, option #2
E-mail Support:
Visit our website at:

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