AJAX techniques have helped Web developers create live applications within Web browsers. The AxsJAX framework helps inject accessibility features into these applications so that users of adaptive technologies such as screen readers and self-voicing browsers experience the same level of interactivity that is now taken for granted by users of Web 2.0 applications.
Our accessibility goals include but are not limited to:
AxsJAX initially targets Google applications. As we discover design patterns that work, we are refactoring these into common modules that foster code reuse. Notice that these common modules are not Google specific, and can be leveraged to inject accessibility enhancements to any application deployed on the Web.
The long-term goals of AxsJAX will be largely end-user driven. This initial release hints at the type of end-user benefits that can be enabled via such a framework. Our goal is to create a healthy community built on an open framework for enhancing the accessibility of Web 2.0 applications.
AxsJAX is pronounced Access Jax to rhyme with AJAX.
AxsJAX injects accessibility enhancements as defined by W3C ARIA. The prerequisites for experiencing its benefits include:
W3C ARIA is a collection of specifications that is presently under development at the W3C. Early support for W3C ARIA is available in Firefox 2.0, and its features are beginning to be leveraged by newer versions of screen readers.
The set of specifications collectively known as W3C ARIA is still under active development. Applications that have been enhanced via AxsJAX provide real-life examples for testing ARIA support within new versions of screen readers. Thus, whereas individual test-suites help screen reader developers test support for a given feature, AxsJAX enabled applications provide live examples for carrying out end-to-end testing.
W3C ARIA is still under active development. By access-enabling complete applications, AxsJAX helps in the development of the W3C ARIA specifications by discovering what works and by identifying gaps that need to be filled.
The AxsJAX framework can inject accessibility enhancements into existing Web 2.0 applications using any of several standard Web techniques:
The open source Fire Vox extension to Firefox provides an ideal tool for Web developers who may not necessarily have commercial screen readers available for testing. Fire Vox is a cross-platform self-voicing extension to Firefox that includes early support for most of the leading edge features of W3C ARIA.
Date: 2007/10/30 14:35:13