The Accessibility Tools Framework Validation Engine

Michael Squillace (Human Ability and Accessibility Center, IBM Research)

Tools · Long Talk

Thursday, 14:30, 50 minutes | Room 207 | Download in iCal Format

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The Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) includes an extensible validation engine that can measure the compliance of applications or document content with user-specified rules or guidelines. The ACTF validation component specifies a markup language for writing validation rules in an XML document called a "validation document" and for processing these rules and applying them to runtime structures or rendered content rather than the original document markup or application source code. In this talk, we describe the architecture of the validation engine and its API and provide examples of validation documents and the sorts of guidelines they can embody. We will also discuss the "dynamic" nature of the validation engine (i.e. its ability to generate validation reports as an application is being used or as document content is being manipulated), which will take us into technologies like aspect-oriented programming and Java XPCOM. Finally, we emphasize that, although the engine is a part of a framework for building accessibility tools, it is sufficiently extensible for performing validations based on other sorts of guidelines and of applications or content for which accessibility is not a consideration.

Michael Squillace is a technical lead for tools projects at the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center and has been developing Eclipse-based tools for about 3 years in the area of accessibility enablement for applications and content. It is this work that led to his status as co-technical lead for the Eclipse Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF). As a totally blind Java developer, he has not only a professional but personal stake in this work. He has been with IBM for 6 years and also is a professional vocalist/pianist.

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