Removing Accessibility Obstacles in Your RCP/SWT Application


This past year I was asked to evaluate the accessibility of my team's product. At the time, I was not entirely clear what that really meant. I knew there were people out there that used different input/output devices, could not perceive certain colours, had difficulty seeing small print-- and encompassed a variety of other concerns, but I really didn't know how that related to our product, or if our implementation helped or hindered these users (roughly 16% of the population).

After a fair bit of investigation, it is a lot clearer how the things we do in our design and code relate to the accessibility concerns of our users.

I'd like to share details of this investigation to help you understand what to watch for, how it impacts your users, and how to remove obstacles in your application to make it more accessible to your users. I'll present many of the issues discovered, why they are a problem for your users, and how to fix them. Surprisingly, most of the problems discovered were not complicated to fix; however, they created a significant obstacle for many users.

Unlike many accessibility talks in the past which focus on accessible HTML and web applications, this talk focuses on rich client applications using Eclipse RCP / SWT. Come to this talk to avoid the pains of trying to sift through the vast amounts of web application oriented accessibility content, and get the specific content you need to make your Eclipse RCP / SWT application more accessible.

The talk will introduce the SWT Accessibility APIs, Eclipse features to support Accessibility, tools available for accessibility testing, and assistive technologies used by users (such as screen readers) in context of real accessibility problems and solutions.

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