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Re: alert!Fw: For users of Arachnophilia

From: Sarah Kuehnle <sarah@thedesigngirl.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 08:05:41 -0500
Message-ID: <002a01c1bad8$86a5f550$8c0905d8@pebble>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Here is some information about Java and accessibility provided by Sun:

Accessibility on the Java platform consists of four basic elements. 
The Java Accessibility API, which is an informational contract between a given Java technology-based applet or application and the assistive technology charged with revealing its inner working to the disabled user. 

The Java Accessibility Utilities, which allow an assistive technology to actually get to the information offered up via the accessibility API -- the ability to load itself into the Java virtual machine, methods for listening to events in a running application, and more. 

The Java Access Bridge, which is a means by which already existent assistive technologies, operating on native platforms, can access the information offered up by the Java Accessibility API within a given applet or application. 

The Java Foundation Classes, which are a rich library of graphical user-interface components. These components fully implement the Java Accessibility API, can be manipulated solely from the keyboard, and are based on a Pluggable Look & Feel architecture. The initial purpose of the Pluggable Look & Feel architecture was to offer familiar interfaces -- a "Mac look," a "Windows look," and so on. But because accessibility features were built into the Java 2 platform from the start, the Pluggable Look & Feel architecture encompasses much more -- the ability to offer everything from an "audio look" to a "low-vision look" to a "Braille look." Such is the beauty of having designed accessibility features into the Java platform at the component level--and from its very inception. 

Utilizing the above elements, the Java 2 platform supports accessibility in six key ways: 

1. The ability to manipulate the Java Foundation Classes graphical components entirely from the keyboard 

2. The ability to track events, such as when a window is opened or when a keyboard or mouse button is pressed 

3. The ability to query components in order to determine their state -- such as whether a box is checked or unchecked, and to enumerate the actions that may be invoked upon them 

4. The ability to synthesize events that cause a change in the state of the application. In this way, an assistive technology can simulate the press of a button, or the click of the mouse 

5. The ability to inspect text components directly, to access both content and text attributes (font, size, color, style, etc.) 

6.The ability to implement a comprehensive set of keyboard navigation and editing sequences 

So, providing the author of Archnophillia has a good understanding of Java and it's accessibility API, the next version of his web development program may very well be still accessible, if not more so than the previous version.

Best Regards,
Sarah Kuehnle
Received on Thursday, 21 February 2002 08:06:13 UTC

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