Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)


OASIS is an international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. One of the key open standards is Open Document Format (ODF). ODF is an open XML-based document file format for office applications to be used for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical elements. The file format makes transformations to other formats simple by leveraging and reusing existing standards wherever possible. As an open standard under the stewardship of OASIS, ODF also creates the possibility for applications and solutions to be developed other than traditional office productivity applications. ODF v1.0 was approved as ISO/IEC 26300 on May 3, 2006. IBM is a strong proponent of ODF. Applications developed by IBM that use documents, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical elements and that meet internal accessibility requirements will be compliant with the ODF standard. Refer to an introduction to ODF for additional information.

IBM Lotus Symphony has implemented ODF 1.2, including support for the accessibility features found in ODF 1.2.

The ODF technical committee formed a subcommittee to address accessibility in the ODF standard. The Accessibility Subcommittee is described in the following paragraph.

ODF Accessibility Sub-Committee

The ODF Accessibility Sub-committee works to ensure that OpenDocument schema allow information to be stored so that applications for people with disabilities can properly access the content of OpenDocument files. More specifically, the committee provides:

  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. Accessibility-related feedback to the OpenDocument Technical Committee and implementors of the OpenDocument specification.

To accelerate ODF's acceptance in the disability community, IBM partnered with Sun, the RNIB, and others to fill gaps in the ODF specification and to produce accessibility developer guidelines for office application developers who need to exploit the accessibility features in ODF. ODF v1.2 (96KB, ODT) was approved by OASIS on March 26, 2011.

Last updated, June 1, 2011


For additional information on the ODF standard refer to: