Looks like Massachusetts' commitment to open file formats is steadier than some may have thought.
The state's plan to migrate its offices from Microsoft Office formats to OpenDocument Format will not, in fact, be completely derailed by the current lack of assistive technologies that work with ODF-compatible office suites.
While development continues on those technologies (like screen readers used by blind employees), select agencies, including the Massachusetts Office on Disability, will use Microsoft Office plug-ins to translate files to ODF format, the CIO of the state's IT division said in a letter released Wednesday.
The state will continue to monitor the status of the ODF-compatible assistive technologies and modify the implementation plan accordingly.
Such an approach, the IT division CIO says, will meet the state's moral and legal obligations to disabled citizens as well as its open standards goal.