From KDE Developers:
Thomas Zander reports on the fallout from the decision by the state of Massachusetts to adopt the OpenDocument format for its documents "in a very open and clear decision process leading to a lot of fuss and accusations, mostly coming from the closed source camp that obviously has a big problem if the number one reason for customers buying Word is eliminated, which is Lock In". Among the issues was accessibility for blind and otherwise disabled people:
The last set of accusations and basic FUD surrounding the ODF acceptance in Massachusetts is that the applications implementing ODF are bad for blind people and other people with disabilities. This is a hot topic, and if true could put a big peg in the decision process since in most countries its legally required to provide a good working environment for people with disabilities. You can understand how upset some politicians can get when the government would suggest to ignore that.
The requirement is naturally not a surprise and some weeks ago we got a request to specify how accessible KOffice actually is. Our KDE Accessibility gurus directly delved into the issue and found that back then KOffice could be rated pretty poorly. KWord worked fine if you had a simple document, but insert a table or any frames and you were lost. That was 2 weeks ago. Due to the cool work of Gary Cramblitt today most usage can be done by any user that does not want to touch the mouse which means that with the proper (and standard) accessibility software users with disabilities can actually use it. Now, this is the best example of the strength of competition combined with open source, right there. Hah!
Read the lot.