The Java Accessibility Helper
By user12607856 on Aug 16, 2004
Time to blog about something I'm actually working on. I'm part of the Accessibility Program Office. Part of our charter is to make sure all of our products are accessible to people with disabilities. When it comes to software, our job is made a lot easier by the built-in accessibility support that is provided by Java and the GNOME Desktop.
I wrote a month or so ago that I'd taken over the maintainence of a sizeable Java application and I was starting to try to get my head around it. Well that application is the Java Accessibility Helper which was written by Jeff Dunn when he was at Sun.
As the download page says:
The Java Accessibility Helper aids developers in making their JFC-based programs accessible to users with disabilities. A report is generated that includes a prioritized list of problems and potential problems with the application being tested. For example, the Helper verifies that all input fields in an application can be reached using only the keyboard. The Helper does not require the source code for the application being tested and will work with any AWT- or Swing-based application.
The current version that's available for download is 0.6, and I'm working on the next version. A feature I've just added is to help with testing Java applets. You now provide the URL of the HTML file containing the applet information as opposed to just the path to the applet class file. This means that it will now automatically pick up the jar ARCHIVE file tag, param name/values and any of the other HTML applet tags associated with the applet, functionality that has been missing from previous JAH releases.
There is still a fair bit of work to do to make the Java Accessibility Helper as great as it could be, but as we work up to the initial 1.0 releases, some of that missing functionality will be added in.