How To Install Microsoft Outlook Security Patch Without Breaking Assistive Aids

Microsoft Corporation

September 2001

Summary: The following document describes how installing a security patch for Microsoft Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000 can affect certain accessibility functionalities. (1 printed page)

Viruses that spread through e-mail do so by using the Contacts list and Address Book in Outlook. By using Outlook automation (by means of the extensible object model in Outlook), the virus forwards itself to all contacts. The Outlook 98/2000 E-mail Security Update prevents mail from being sent without your permission and protects you from accidentally opening attached files that may pose a security risk to your computer. However, in providing a higher level of security, this update limits certain Outlook functionality.

Certain functionalities in assistive aids can be broken as a result. In particular, the patch blocks out the accDoDefaultAction Active Accessibility method of the Send button and the File Send menu item. Voice input utilities, onscreen keyboards or switch devices, for example, are unable to act on these objects by means of Active Accessibility.

The solution is to map the command to key sequences that achieve the same purpose. Although the accDoDefaultAction method is blocked, pressing ALT+S, CTRL+ENTER, ALT+F, E and ENTER on the File Send menu item will continue to work. Assistive aids can map their send commands to these key sequences.

The blocked accDoDefaultAction behavior can be demonstrated using the Object Inspector tool in the Microsoft Active Accessibility SDK.



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