The Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) provides an extensible framework and exemplary tools for accessibility. In this talk, we will introduce two emerging technology components of the ACTF; the visualization engines and the components for alternative interfaces.
The visualization engines of ACTF help authors ensure that their content and applications are accessible and usable by the visually impaired. The blind visualization engine simulates voice browser behavior to a estimate reaching time to each element of the content. By presenting the reaching times using background colors, authors can easily grasp the ease of navigation of their page. The image simulation engine enables authors to understand the experience of users who have low vision. A collaboration between these visualization features and the accessibility validation functions of ACTF offers tools to easily learn about and understand the real accessibility issues.
The ACTF's alternative interface work includes components to create alternative accessible interfaces for people with disabilities. The multimedia controller allows screen reader users to control embedded multimedia content, with commands to play, stop, and control the volume for streaming video by simply using predefined shortcut keys. The alternative UI transformer enables users to customize the behavior of existing Web content by using metadata called fennec. Audio descriptions and caption services add audio descriptions for Internet movies based on a simple text script. Text-to-Speech (TTS) services provide common interfaces and implementations to use several TTS engines and screen readers from Eclipse applications. By using these features, developers can create new alternative interfaces on top of ACTF for their target content and applications or for their own purposes.
In this talk, we will briefly demonstrate several exemplary tools, and we will invite you to get involved with the project to create new visualization features and new alternative interfaces.
Kentarou Fukuda is Co-technical lead of the Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) project. He received his M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Information and Computer Sciences from Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, in 1998 and 2000, respectively. He joined the IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory in 2000. His research interests include Web accessibility, Web application development, and multimedia systems. He has been an accessibility researcher for 8 years and is one of the originators of the RCP-based accessibility check and usability visualization tool aDesigner.