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Tue Jun 3 12:12:07 PDT 2008


Linux Foundation
June 5, 2008

The Open A11y Workgroup in the Linux Foundation works to develop free and o=
pen
standards supporting comprehensive access to information and user interfaces
for persons with disabilities. Our standards process is open to interested
members of industry, developer, and consumer communities. Obtaining public
comment on our proposed standards before they are finalized is one of the m=
ost
important steps in our process. Public review helps ensure our standards are
relevant and complete.

DETAILS:

We are now requesting comment on the following specification produced by our
IAccessible2 team. This specification is expected to become a Linux Foundat=
ion
standard this year.

IAccessible2
HTML - http://www.linux-foundation.org/~ptbrunet/ia2/docs/html/
IDL - http://www.linux-foundation.org/~ptbrunet/ia2/api/

Overview

IAccessible2 is a set of Windows accessibility interface definitions which =

complements Microsoft's earlier work on MSAA. The IAccessible2 interfaces f=
ill=20
critical accessibility gaps in the MSAA offering.  IAccessible2 is an engin=
eered=20
accessibility interface allowing application developers to leverage their=20
investment in MSAA while also providing an Assistive Technology (AT) access=
=20
to content in rich document applications and web browsers. The additional=20
function includes support for rich text, tables, spreadsheets, Web 2.0=20
applications, and other rich content often found in large, complex applicat=
ions.

IAccessible2 is implemented by application developers to allow Assistive=20
Technology, such as a screen reader used by someone who is blind, access to
an application's components, e.g. a table in a word processor.  IAccessible=
2=20
has been implemented in applications such as IBM Lotus Symphony and Mozilla=
=20
Firefox 3.  It has also been implemented in the leading Windows screen read=
ers,=20
e.g. JAWS from Freedom Scientific and Window-Eyes from GW Micro. =20

Developers of complex applications benefit because they can provide=20
accessibility to complex components well beyond what is possible with MSAA.=
 =20
Application developers also benefit because screen readers already support
applications that implement IAccessible2.  IAccessible2 was a joint effort =
with
the leading AT vendors. These vendors saw the need for an enhancement to=20
MSAA and worked closely with IBM accessibility architects and engineers
during the definition and implementation of the API.

Users benefit because they have full access to complex applications such=20
spread sheets in IBM Lotus Symphony and ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet=20
Applications) in Firefox 3.

It is also important to note that IAccessible2 has been harmonized with the=
=20
UNIX accessibility APIs to allow for efficient multi-platform development. =

This was done through close collaboration with accessibility architects who=
=20
have intimate knowledge of the UNIX accessibility APIs.

For more information please visit the IAccessible2 web site at
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Accessibility/IAccessible2
or equivalently
http://a11y.org/ia2

HOW TO SEND FEEDBACK:

You may respond through Bugzilla using the URI below, or by sending email to
the special RFC address below. Bugzilla is our preferred method for receivi=
ng
feedback because it automatically logs your feedback in our tracking system
without additional human intervention. If possible, only use the email meth=
od
if you have difficulty using Bugzilla. When using Bugzilla be sure to select
IAccessible2 from the list of components.

Bugzilla - http://bugs.linux-foundation.org/
email - accessibility-rfc<at>a11y.org

REVIEW TIME PERIOD:

Please provide your comments on these draft specifications no later than
midnight, 24:00 UTC, Monday, June 30, 2008.

Please feel free to forward this announcement wherever you deem appropriate.

On behalf of Open A11y, and especially the IAccessible2 team, we thank you =
for
your assistance.

Pete Brunet, IAccessible2 Team Chair
brunet<at>us.ibm.com

Janina Sajka, Open A11y Chair
janina<at>a11y.Org

--=_mixed 007272148625745F_=--


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