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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

Special Features
for users with disabilities

Your Systems2win templates have special features to allow you to continue to be productive even if you experience temporary or permanent loss of some physical functionality

If you have limited vision

Your Systems2win templates have several features to make it as easy as possible to be used with limited vision.

You can use your Screen Reader

Users with very limited vision (or no vision at all) can use a screen reader application to read text aloud.

See our Suggested Reading and Resources for a list of optional screen readers.

All of the training in this section assumes that you are using the JAWS screen reader, which is the most popular screen reader on the market, and has the most robust support for Microsoft Excel.

If you are using any other screen reader, then you will need to refer to the documentation for your preferred screen reader to find instructions for how to have similar functionality.

For a list of the most popular keystroke commands, refer to your screen reader documentation:

JAWS > F1 > Popular Applications with JAWS > Microsoft Applications

Shapes and Objects

The problem with objects...

One of the foundational lean principles is to make everything as visual as possible and for sighted users, your Systems2win templates provide many diverse tools and methods for powerful, compelling Visual Management.

Shapes are one way to make things more visual, and Excel has outstanding features to allow you to communicate more visually,
using drawings and illustrations, rather than just words.

The truth is, however, that (like Visio and most other drawing applications)...

Microsoft Excel doesn't make shapes very accessible to visually impaired users

When you select a cell using your screen reader, it won't even notice that a shape exists in that cell.

Why is that?

Because while most things in Excel are associated with a range of cells (e.g. cells A1:B3), shapes exist on a layer that can be considered to float above the cells.

The solution... the Systems2win Objects menu

Your Systems2win menu has special features to make it MUCH easier for visually and physically challenged users to work with objects.

Excel > Systems2win menu > Objects

or keyboard shortcut ALT+S, O


ALT+S, O > Buttons

Provides a list of all macro buttons on the worksheet.

Select from the list, then select the ENTER button to run the macro.


ALT+S, O > Objects

The initial dialog windows gives you a couple of dropdown choices:

Location: can be Sheet (entire current worksheet), or Selection (which will list only shapes that have their upper left corner in the range of cells you have selected)

Size: can be All or Large (larger than a Link Icon)

The resulting list will display columns for the Type of object, the cell location of the upper left corner of the object,
and the final column will display either:

1) Text within the object, (the same text read by sighted users), or...
2) if the object doesn't have Text, or has text that cannot be read by a screen reader, it will display the Alt Text

Select from the list, then select the ENTER button, and the object will be selected.

If you are using the JAWS screen reader,
you can also select CTRL+SHIFT+O to bring up the JAWS Object List,
but it's features aren't near as nice as the Systems2win Objects menu.

For example... the JAWS Object List does not provide Alt Text

To read Alt Text using standard JAWS, you need to CTRL+SHIFT+O, > select the shape object >
then use SHIFT+F10 to right-click > Format Object > Alt Text

Once you've done that a few times, you will quickly get in the habit of using the much easier Systems2win Objects menu.

We at Systems2win have done all we can to make shapes and objects as accessible as possible for our physically challenged users

while still providing outstanding support and features to allow sighted users to make extensive use of shapes within their own working documents — to support the foundational lean objective to make everything as visual as possible.


Excel > Systems2win menu > Objects > Hyperlinks
or keyboard shortcut: ALT+S, O > Hyperlinks

The initial dialog windows gives you a couple of dropdown choices:

Location: can be Sheet (entire current worksheet) or Selection (which will list only hyperlinks within the range of cells you have selected)

Type: can be All (to show every hyperlink), or Objects (to show only links associated with objects)

The resulting list will display two columns:

The first column will show either the cell location for text links, or the object name for hyperlinks associated with objects

The second columns will show either the readable text for text links, the Screen Tip for object links,
or (if neither of those exist), the URL.

Select from the list, then select the ENTER button, and it will follow the hyperlink.

And (unlike most screen readers), it correctly handles links outside of a workbook, within a workbook, within a worksheet, and links containing bookmarks to specific places within a page.

If you are using the JAWS screen reader, you can also select INSERT+F7 to bring up the JAWS Hyperlink List, but it's features aren't near as nice as the Systems2win Objects menu.

Link Icons

Systems2win provides the very powerful option to use associate hyperlinks with small visual shapes, using Systems2win menu > Functions > Insert Link Icon

Many users (especially sighted users) prefer to use Link Icon shapes for hyperlinks to related documents, because they offer some advantages over text links.

Using a screen reader...

you will find every hyperlink in the worksheet
(including links associated with Link Icons)
using the JAWS Hyperlink List (INSERT+F7).


Systems2win has scientifically chosen colors with sufficient luminosity contrast to make it as easy as possible for people with limited vision to read without assistance of a screen reader.

Cell Background Colors

Systems2win has made every effort to avoid using colors as the only visual cue to differentiate types of cells.

Some of your Systems2win templates do, however, use cell background colors as an extra visual cue for sighted users.

Cells containing formulas

The value displayed in a cell might be the result of an underlying formula.

There are 2 primary ways to identify cells containing formulas:

  1. Select the cell, and look in the Formula Bar.
  2. Use Excel's Formula Auditing feature — to display formulas, rather than the usual values.

Cell Comments

Users of a screen reader will be relieved to know that your Systems2win templates do NOT use cell comments for pop-up help.

The pop-up help that appears when you click any row or column header in any Systems2win Excel template uses a technology is easily read by your screen reader.

If someone has added cell comments to your working document, then your JAWS reader will notify you that the cell has a Comment.

To read the Comment, the user must know to use ALT+SHIFT+' (apostrophe), or CTRL+SHIFT+' to list all Comments on the sheet.


Wherever you find a dropdown list on any Systems2win template, you will also find a 'DV' worksheet, where you can find (and personalize) all dropdown lists.

On every 'DV' sheet, you will find 6 symbols. Systems2win often uses these symbols for conditional formatting that turns the cell red, yellow, or green whenever the data in the cell begins with one of these symbols. Learn more.

This feature is VERY useful for our international customers with users that speak multiple languages — because the cell will still correctly turn red, yellow, or green, no matter what language is displayed in the cell.

This Systems2win innovation also has the huge advantage that for the first time, unsighted users are also able to know whether the cell is red, yellow, or green — because your screen reader will read the symbol.

As of April, 2014, however, the standard, unmodified JAWS screen reader only reads 2 of the 6 standard Systems2win symbols (which have been carefully chosen to work with international keyboards). We have requested JAWS to add the other 4 to their standard application, but until they get around to adding them... you can simply use INSERT+D to add those unrecognized symbols to your personal JAWS Dictionary.


Microsoft Word Navigation

For a list of the most popular keystroke commands, refer to your screen reader documentation:

JAWS > F1 > Popular Applications with JAWS > Microsoft Applications

The most important JAWS reader commands (in our opinion):

UP or DOWN ARROW — to move between lines of text

CTRL+UP or DOWN ARROW — to move between paragraphs

HOME key — to go to the beginning of a line

which is a really good idea — to ensure that you are scrolling to the beginning of paragraphs

How to read the document Title

Tip: Most Systems2win Word documents are delivered with your logo in the upper left corner.

To read the document title (to the right of the section containing your logo)...

RIGHT ARROW — (to scroll to the right — past the column break)
then DOWN ARROW — (to move off from the title)
then CTRL+UP ARROW — (to read the title)

MS Word Tables

Popular commands for navigating Word tables

ARROW keys — to move between cells of a table

Note: when you select a table cell containing a form field,
JAWS will read the cell to the left as well as the cell you selected.

ALT+WINDOWS KEY+COMMA — to read the entire table row

ALT+WINDOWS KEY+UP or DOWN ARROW — to read the previous or next table row

When reading entire rows or columns, JAWS unfortunately skips dropdown lists and check boxes
so if a table contains those types of fields, you will need to use your arrow keys to read each table cell.

ALT+WINDOWS KEY+PERIOD — to read the entire table column

Two more Tips:

JAWS does have commands to read just the cell in the first row or column, but they are cumbersome and buggy.
To read the row or column header, you will usually either use your arrow keys to select it, or read the entire row.

If JAWS doesn't seem to be working correctly, ensure that your focus is on the current window.
Perhaps get out of Excel, and come back in.

Microsoft Word Forms

Some Systems2win Word templates use form fields to make it easy and obvious for where a user is supposed to fill in data, and to provide dropdown lists and check boxes to make data entry easier and less mistake-prone.

Popular keystroke commands for navigating Word forms:

ARROW keys — to move between form fields

And it will read the text preceding the form field — even when the document is protected

ALT+DOWN ARROW — to activate a dropdown list

Which you can then use your arrow keys to scroll through, and Enter to select

SPACEBAR — to check a check box

Form Fields in a Protected Section

IF... a document is protected

AND... the form field is in a protected section of that protected document...

THEN... only form fields can be edited.

In other words, when you attempt to navigate anywhere in a protected section the cursor will always go to the next editable field.

Your Systems2win Word templates have been designed so that this isn't a problem.

When you select an editable field, the JAWS screen reader reads both the field you selected and the paragraph just preceding the field. All Systems2win Word forms are designed with the editable field just to the right of the field label, so that you will hear first the field label, and then the field contents.

And you can always unprotect the document to make sure that you're not missing anything, and then reprotect it to edit the form fields.

Review tab > Protect document

Form Fields in an Unprotected Section

IF... a form field is in an unprotected section of the document

(it makes no difference whether or not the document is protected)

THEN... rather than entering data within the form field — you overwrite it

In other words, the form field serves as a temporary placeholder, containing a brief hint or instruction for what kind of data to enter, and then you completely overwrite the form field, leaving no remnant of it

How to overwrite an unprotected form field

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. Pause long enough to ensure that you truly learn this...

Select the form field and start typing.

The form field containing the "placeholder" instructional text disappears, and is replaced with your text.

How do you do this using JAWS?

Use your LEFT ARROW key to move your cursor just to the left of the Text Field, then SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW to select the Text Field.

And then just start typing, which will overwrite the Text Field.

How to identify unprotected form fields

  1. Your Systems2win templates use the convention to enclose the temporary instructional text within less and greater symbols. Example: <Temporary placeholder instructional text>

    When you read text encased in less and greater symbols, you know that's a field that you should overwrite.

  2. You can use ALT+F9 to toggle the display of form fields (and hyperlinks)

    The document must be unprotected before you can use ALT+F9

Learn more about Microsoft Word forms.

Web site

When using your JAWS screen reader to read this Systems2win training and sales web site, you can skip the redundant stuff at the top of every page by using the 'H' key to skip directly to the main section headers.

You can find an entire list of hot keys in JAWS Help, and an audio list using INSERT+H.

If you have trouble using a

Mouse pointing device

Shapes and Objects

The JAWS Object List (CTRL+SHIFT+O) allows you to find and select shapes and other objects using your keyboard (rather than the mouse).

And the JAWS Hyperlink List (INSERT+F7) allows you to find and follow hyperlinks using your keyboard
(rather than the mouse).

Macro Buttons

To activate macros using buttons, simply find the button in your JAWS Object List (CTRL+SHIFT+O) and then use your keyboard (or mouse) to select the button within the list.

Note: Macro buttons can only be activated using a screen reader if the working document that you are using was created using a Systems2win template version 10 or higher, which is when Systems2win started supporting the JAWS screen reader.

Dropdown Lists and Check Boxes

Dropdown lists work great when you know to use the keyboard command ALT+DOWN ARROW to activate the dropdown list, then UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW to scroll through the list items, and ENTER to select.

To select a Check Box, use the SPACEBAR.

Also see more tips for how to use Word forms and tables with your screen reader (above).


508 Compliance

In the United States, government organizations are required to use software that is 508 compliant so that your software can be used by people with physical disabilities.

In May, 2014, Systems2win released a major upgrade to allow users to use a screen reader, and we have worked with 508 compliance specialists to identify a long checklist of what else needs to be done to earn approval for 508 compliance.

Although it will require several hundred hours of programming and testing, we are slowly chipping away at each item on the list.

If you would like to use Systems2win templates to improve processes within your lean government organization, then please contact us to get a status update on our progress toward 508 compliance.


Suggested Reading and Resources

Screen reader recommended by Systems2win: JAWS www.freedomscientific

Demo mode allows unlimited reading - but you must reboot your computer after 40 minutes.

Tip: You need to install it twice.

The first time just installs the DAISY book reader.
The second time you run the same installer, it will install JAWS.

Free screen reader: Non-Visual Desktop Access

Less robust features for Excel documents, but excellent reader that is totally free.

Own your Systems2win templates now with the comfort of knowing that you will ALWAYS be able to use them, even if you some day experience some physical challenges



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