[Accessibility] PROPOSAL: Accessible Document

Bill Haneman Bill.Haneman at Sun.COM
Wed Apr 20 14:11:51 PDT 2005

I believe that AT-SPI is already the right interface for this.  We 
provide the right structure for content accessibility, and we're using 
at-spi to do this already.

An additional at-spi interface called "AccessibleDocument" has been 
proposed but in fact we have not come up with a consensus for anything 
it needs to do which isn't already handled by at-spi.



Kris Van Hees wrote:

>You might be interested in the work done by the DocArch group of the Catholic
>University of Leuven (http://www.docarch.be/).
>	Kris
>On Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 03:46:25PM -0500, Catherine Laws wrote:
>>Using today's accessibility APIs, developers of assistive technologies face
>>difficult challenges trying to implement logical navigation of the content
>>and structures of complex documents for users with vision, learning,
>>physical, and cognitive impairments.  Some of the challenges include:
>>- Lack of rich semantic information to identify different document object
>>types (text, dynamic, embedded, enabled, etc) and document structure
>>- Performance issues when navigating large documents and structures and
>>when running out of process
>>- Missing dynamic document changes
>>- Different cross-platform APIs (MSAA on Windows versus AT-SPI on
>>Linux/Gnome) and application APIs (COM and DOM interfaces in Windows) for
>>accessing similar documents (word processing, Web pages and applications,
>>spreadsheets, PDF, presentation, etc) and similar applications (Microsoft
>>Office, OpenOffice, Adobe Reader, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, etc)
>>- Extensibility and scriptability of the APIs
>>To address these challenges, I propose the formation of a new FSG
>>Accessibility sub-workgroup, named the Accessible Document Workgroup, which
>>would initially adopt the following goals:
>>-  Create and propose a standard cross-platform, cross-document
>>accessibility API extension for navigating all content and structure and
>>for handling events and changes in complex documents.
>>- Include new techniques for handling performance issues
>>- Provide for extensibility and scriptability
>>An initial activity will be to create a "gap analysis" chart that
>>categorizes and compares all the different accessibility APIs and other
>>APIs used by assistive technologies on different platforms today to access
>>document content and structure information (including AT-SPI and ATK,
>>Microsoft's MSAA and UI Automation, various Document Object Models, IBM
>>Home Page Reader Web Access Technology (WAT), and others). Then the group
>>will start drafting an API recommendation for extending accessibility APIs
>>(AT-SPI and potentially MSAA/UI Automation and others) to provide a richer
>>accessible document interface that addresses performance and semantic
>>information issues when navigating today's complex documents. Also, the
>>workgroup will draft a style guide which will recommend navigation key
>>sequences, shortcut keys, user interface components, and highlighting that
>>assistive technologies should provide for navigating and obtaining
>>information about complex documents.
>>If we were a subgroup, then we could have an FSG mailing list, post
>>recommendations and documents to share on the freestandards.org site, and
>>hold regular teleconferences to openly discuss accessible document
>>proposals.  Any architects and developers involved in creating,
>>implementing, or accessing accessible interfaces for documents who want to
>>participate in this working group should contact Cathy Laws
>>(claws at us.ibm.com).
>>Cathy Laws
>>IBM Accessibility Center, WW Strategic Platform Enablement
>>11501 Burnet Road,  Bldg 904 Office 5F017, Austin, Texas 78758
>>Phone: (512) 838-4595, FAX: (512) 838-9367, E-mail: claws at us.ibm.com, Web:
>>Accessibility mailing list
>>Accessibility at mail.freestandards.org

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