The accessibility of application components is key to enhancing the usability, ergo the user experience, of profoundly blind computer users. However, this accessibility is hampered when platform independent applications are developed because the normal operating system / application interface is abstracted. This means that implicit information inferred by the operating system in platform specific builds is not available in platform independent developments. The current most common platform independent language is Java and the key interface environment for Java is a set of Java Foundation Classes (JFC) known as ‘Swing’. Based on faults, identified from conducting systematic testing of Swing applications, we have developed a web-based programming manual for writing accessible Java applications and checking their accessibility. Here, we present the major points from this manual as an abridged set of programming checks to help programmers overcome many of the technical errors that lead to accessibility faults when programming Swing.
Author and article information
]Information Management Group
]BioHealth Informatics Group,
School of Computer Science University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK