re: Thoughts on ATAG2 SC A.3.6.3 Apply Platform Settings

Hi all,

(cc'ing Jim Allan in case UAWG is interested)

A couple of weeks back I sent out some "Thoughts on ATAG2 SC A.3.6.3 Apply Platform Settings" ( - which were just some extra links to accessibility documentation for some platforms.

This triggered a conversation with Phil Jenkins and some other IBM folks about how ATAG might be more clear about the wide variety and level of different types of platforms authoring tools can run on. 

And of course there is talk of browsers becoming OS's and OS's becoming browsers etc. etc.

IMO the best way for ATAG2 to handle this is to make clear that we realize systems have lots of different platforms on top of and across other platforms, but that when a developer chooses to develop software on a platforms (presumably because they like some services provided by the platform) they need to play by the accessibility-rules that the platform sets out 

So I propose:

(1) Beefing up "Platform":
The software environment within which the authoring tool operates. Platforms provide a consistent operational environment on top of lower level software platforms or hardware. For web-based authoring user interfaces, the platform will be user agents (e.g., browsers). For non-web-based user interfaces, the range of platforms includes, but may not be limited to, desktop operating systems (e.g. Linux, MacOS, Windows, etc.), mobile operating systems (e.g. Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, etc.), or cross-OS environments (e.g. Java), etc. 
Note 1: Many platforms mediate communication between applications operating on the platform and assistive technology via a platform accessibility service.
Note 2: Accessibility guidelines for developers exist for many platforms.

(2) And then we should split up the "Related Resources" involving lists of platforms to put like-with-like. E.g.
- Desktop OS
- Mobile OS
- Cross-OS environments

IMO: I think "platform accessibility service" continues to work:
A programmatic interface that is specifically engineered to provide communication between applications and assistive technologies (e.g. MSAA, IAccessible2 and UI Automation for Windows applications, AXAPI for Mac OSX applications, Gnome Accessibility Toolkit API for Gnome applications, Java Access for Java applications, etc.). On some platforms, it may be conventional to enhance communication further by implementing a document object.


(Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc. | 416-977-6000 ext. 3957 | fax: 416-977-9844
Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) |
Faculty of Design | OCAD University

Received on Monday, 4 July 2011 03:53:38 UTC