Showing posts from April, 2024

The Ableism of The DOCX File Type

     As composition continues to occur more frequently on digital mediums, institutions must question digital file types in terms of their accessibility. An unquestioningly and commonly used but inaccessible file type used by instructors is the DOCX file.        The DOCX file fails to be accessible due to a variety of structures built within the file type’s coding. DOCX files are, “not suitable for interactive help” (MS Word DOCX) this means, for example, that text-to-speech functions cannot be added to DOCX files. Furthermore, DOCX files limit program choice as they can only be run on, “a limited number of special software[s]” (Kivi) this can force students with dis/abilities to use unaccommodating programs. This program limitation comes from the very design of DOCX files which are, “a collection of XML files containing different types of content zipped in an archive. [DOCX files require] specific software with capabilities of correctly reading the XML contents and their dependencies,