I thought this might interest those of you who haven't seen it. It is
certainly a subject of interest to all blind net users.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 16:48:40 -0500
From: Gregg C. Vanderheiden <gv@TRACE.WISC.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list BLIND-L <BLIND-L@UAFSYSB.UARK.EDU>
Subject: JAVA ACCESS - COOPERATIVE PROJECT
JAVA Accessibility Consortium Meeting
CSUN St Louis Room.
Wednesday Night 8:00
Trace has been asked by SUN to examine access issues around SUN'S Java and
Java Tools. Sun is interested in what the issues are, what could be done
in the short run and what they need to look at in the long run to maximize
the ability of people with disabilities to use systems and applications
written with the Java language and tools. This includes:
- understanding and documenting what the issues are
- what might be done to increase accessibility of Java based programs
- guidelines for Java developers
- potential enhancements to Java tools or the way Java is implemented
- possibility someone creating special Java toolkits for people with severe
disabilities where the regular toolkit might not be address all their
needs. (i.e. Make Java apps/applets as accessible as possible with the
standard toolkit and enable the creation of special toolkits to go even
This is seen as a multistage proposition. Everything is a moving target
so we need first to
1) identify what the issues are
2) identify what needs to be done now (most urgent - things that need to be
done now - and any easy ones)
3) develop preliminary design guidelines for SUN and other Java Developers
(what can be done with Java apps now to maximize usability by people with
disabilities - now and in the future as possible mods are made to the
Java/Java Tools implementations.
4) build and / or modify apps to test the concepts
5) Create simulations of proposed mods to Java Tool Implementations
6) Test mods made to Java Tools to see if they produce the desired access /
7) Loop back and do a more complete job of 1-6
Under this initial project we would be addressing the first pass of items 1
-3 and creating first pass design guidelines.
Overall the goal is to clear as much ground as fast as possible, then go
back and tame the ground covered. To say that the Java Team is overloaded
is an understatement. However there is the understanding that they can't
wait til later to consider the access issues. So their goal here is to
1) get input as soon as possible, and to do what they can with each
iteration of the code.
2) to get guidelines out to the field so that Java developers, particularly
those developing for public and commercial services, can write
programs/applets that are maximally accessible (and will work with future
improvements in the Java Toolkit. A key goal will be to try to capture as
much wisdom and understanding as possible in as few words as possible -
since Java developers are not likely to spend inordinate amounts of time
reading or trying to understand these sometimes complex issues. We also
want to address the needs across disabilities.
Although we were appoached to look into this for SUN, the approach we think
will work best is to form a virtual research and review team consisting of
the best minds and ideas we have in this field internationally. The
objective will be to keep the team open so that anyone can contribute to
the discussion and ideas. We also will do much of the work online so that
people with geographic and other disabilities can easily participate.
(geographic disability meaning one doesn't live in madison wisconsin or
This is a big project. We have initial support equal to about one half FTE
(one half person). That is enough to support a central point (which can
provide support to the working group) and some small support for people
investing the most time on the effort.
Anyone interested in participating let us know by
1) sending an email note to firstname.lastname@example.org Put the word JAC in
the subject line. (will that make our listserve on this topic JAC-L?)
2) show up at the meeting in the St Louis room 8:00 Wednesday Night.
Gregg C. Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Trace R&D Center
Waisman Center and Dept of Industrial Engr.
University of Wisconsin - Madison 53705
gv@Trace.Wisc.Edu , FAX 608 262-8848
FTP,Gopher and WWW servers at trace.wisc.edu
For list of our listserve discussions send LISTS to email@example.com
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