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RIA & Ajax: Article

IBM Makes AJAX-Based Applications More Accessible To Visually Impaired Users

Free Standards Group To Develop And Maintain The New Application Program Interfaces As An Open Standard

This effort was accelerated by the need to produce accessible productivity software based on the OpenDocument Format (ODF) to meet the needs of municipalities such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has mandated the use of open standards such as ODF. The technology makes browsers such as Firefox, and formats such as ODF -- used in open source productivity suites like OpenOffice.org or commercial messaging environments such as IBM Workplace -- relate more automatically and more fully to assistive technologies such as JAWS, MAGic or Windows Eyes.

This work was performed by IBM engineers across two continents involving IBM Lotus engineers in Beijing and Boston, as well as accessibility experts in IBM's Emerging Technologies group and in IBM Research, many of whom have developed assistive technologies and performed work to make Java, Linux, Firefox, and Rich Internet Applications more accessible. The work was validated by Freedom Scientific and GW Micro, both of which worked closely with IBM developers. Both Freedom Scientific and GW Micro will support IAccessible2 in products designed for blind and low-vision users.

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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ajax news desk 12/16/06 10:23:23 AM EST

IBM announced that it has developed software interfaces that will make it easier for assistive technologies to provide those with disabilities access to advanced features in software programs -- such as editing functions, hyperlinks, charts and menus. Many browser-based Rich Internet Applications or Web 2.0 technologies, such as AJAX don't have standardized programming interfaces to communicate behind the scenes with assistive technologies.