AOSD Conference

D8: Aspects of Rich Accessibility Experiences

Alison Lee, IBM TJ Watson Research Center
T.V. Raman, IBM TJ Watson Research Center

Wednesday, March 17, 15:30
Thursday, March 18, 11:00

Providing rich user experiences to users with diverse abilities frequently requires modifying the application code base or maintaining multiple versions. An alternative approach is to view accessibility as a cross-cutting concern of usable and accessible software systems. This makes the task of developing accessible software both viable and manageable. Furthermore, when accessibility development is performed using an extensible and open application framework, developers can leverage the combined capabilities to facilitate the development of accessible software.

Our demonstration will illustrate three contributions of using aspects with Eclipse. First, we will show how accessibility enhancements (e.g., magnification, speech-enablement) can be added to an application like the Eclipse IDE. These same enhancements are also available for Eclipse-based rich- client applications such as the Lotus Workplace Activity Explorer. Instead of requiring a specialized version of each application, users can simply load the accessibility add-on plug-ins into the run-time environment and configure their preferences for the combination of speech and visual enablements they desire. The accessibility add-on uses aspects as well as Eclipse's frameworks to access the application context and render information in aural and visual form. Second, we will show how core functionality of the Eclipse framework can be extended with additional functionality for enriched accessibility and usability. In particular, we demonstrate how an "incremental find" capability was added to all tree widgets in Eclipse and Eclipse rich-client applications. Third, we will demonstrate two approaches for adding an additional pane such as a magnifier pane to all Eclipse perspectives that provide layouts for different tasks such as Java development or code archive browsing.

This is intended to contrast the benefits of using aspects combined with Eclipse's rich frameworks compared to simply using an Eclipse framework.

Edited by the AOSD Conference Committee.  Send comments to: