Blind World Magazine

Microsoft to Make Accessibility Controls Cross-Platform.

November 30, 2005.
The Windows Observer--But Wait, There's More.

With the next version of Windows, Microsoft will be looking to export to other platforms the accessibility work it has done for making user interfaces easier to use for people with disabilities.

Windows Vista will include a new accessibility model, called Windows User Interface Automation, that developers on other platforms will also be able to use. It will likely increase the number of applications that have accessibility features (such as screen readers, type enlargers, or alternative input mechanisms) built into them.

"Microsoft is excited to offer UI Automation to the industry because it allows application developers to easily expose the rich semantic information needed by assistive technology products to create effective, interactive experiences for computer users," Rob Sinclair, director of Microsoft's accessible technology group, said on the company's Web site.

UI Automation, which will debut with Windows Vista in late 2006 and will also be back-cast to support Windows XP, will replace Microsoft's current accessibility model, called Microsoft Active Accessibility. All development done with the older model will be supported on UI Automation, the company says.

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