Open Accessibility Framework (OAF)

AEGIS released the Open Accessibility Framework (OAF - D1.2.1 AEGIS Open Accessibility Framework, version 1.2.5, CC licensed).

This video outlines AEGIS' Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) through which aspects of the design, development and deployment of accessible mainstream ICT have been realised in the domains of web, desktop and mobile. These are presented by Peter Korn, Technical Manager of the AEGIS project, and Accessible Principle at Oracle during his speech at the 2nd and final AEGIS pan-European Conference on 29 November 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.

The Open Accessibility Framework (OAF - D1.2.1 AEGIS Open Accessibility Framework, version 1.2.5, CC licensed) consists of two parts:

  • A document describing the framework of things needed for 3rd generation accessibility, as validated by the prototypes and user/developer feedback in AEGIS
  • A collection of largely open source prototypes and code Deliverables implementing various aspects of the OAF, proven in AEGIS and contributed back to the open source projects of which they are part

It contains the initial AEGIS Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) description. It is based upon:

  • The accessibility API and framework support from the existing Open Desktop (GNOME Accessibility framework) and the Java platform (the Java Accessibility API, keyboard operability guidelines, and theme support);
  • The AEGIS generic accessibility framework requirements (AEGIS ID1.2.1).

It also incorporates the early feedback from AEGIS consortium developments – highlighting anticipated areas that the OAF will necessarily need to cover:

  • ARIA implementations on various UI elements,
  • Initial work on JavaFX accessibility,
  • Alternate input systems for users with physical impairments (both for the open desktop as well as “thought experiments” for mobile),
  • Development of the RIM Blackberry mobile accessibility API and its use by the Oratio screen reader.

Finally, it also considers the developments in the field of accessibility external to AEGIS development work. This includes:

  • ISO 13066 work to standardize AT-IT interoperability generally, and specifically to codify the set of information that must be provided via accessibility APIs;
  • The U.S. Access Board release of their “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” for the refresh of the Section 508 and Section 255 accessibility regulations/guidelines;
  • The Apple iPhone 3GS/4 (and iPad) which include a built-in screen reader and screen magnifier, both of which rely on a new set of multi-touch gestures for use;
  • The Android v1.6 and later operating system which includes the 'Talk Back' screen reading functionality.

This initial OAF description will be updated throughout the remainder of the AEGIS project with the practical information we gain from implementing it in the desktop, web, and mobile space.

AEGIS' Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) six steps are presented below.

Creation
Use
Step 1 - Define Accessible
Step 4 - Platform Support
Physical World
Define what 'accessible' means
a. width of door for wheelchair?
b. force to open a window?
c. elevator tones, Braille?
figure of wheelchair user logo
ICT World
Define what 'accessible' means
a. navigation-manipulation scheme
b. themes: contrast, large print
c. accessibility API: use with AT
Physical World
Locate buildings in good places
a. near public transit?
b. wheelchair ramp to building?
c. crosswalk buttons findable? figure of wheelchair user entering into a bus
ICT World
Plarform accessible, runs AT
a. expose accessibility API?
b. can load AT (security, etc.)?
c. user selectable themes? d. TTS, Braille, other AT libs?
Step 2 - Stock Elements
Step 5 - The App Itself
Physical World
Stock building materials
a. std. doors - wide enough
b. std. windows - easy to open
c. std. elevator - tones, Braille figure of a lego door
ICT World
Stock UI elements-components
a. desktop menus, windows, etc
b. web accordions, sliders, etc
c. mobile text fields, alerts, etc.
Physical World
Make accessible buildings and public infrastructure figure of wheelchair user pass
ICT World
Make accessible applications
Step 3 - Dev.Authoring Tools
Step 6 - Assistive Technology
Physical World
Tools that use stock material
a. manuals and standards for use
b. specs. for construction
c. tools for installation figure of components table
ICT World
Developer and authoring tools
a. manuals and tutorials
b. pallete of sample elements
c. highlights errors, helps fix.
Physical World
Disseminate access devices
a. distribute wheelchairs
b. provide seeing eye dogs
c. provide hearing aids d. provide canes figure of an ear
ICT World
Provide-disseminate AT
a. provide screen readers
b. provide keyboard alternatives
c. provide AAC aids
d. provide other AT, etc.
The AEGIS project contributions in the Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) can be viewed at AEGIS outcomes-All results-AEGIS through OAF section.
The clustering of the accessibility items of each of the most widely used platforms in desktop, mobile and web including AEGIS contributions can be found in the OAEG OAF section.

The OAF now has its own section a part of the Wikipedia entry on Computer Accessibility. Also, to get more information for our demonstrators, please look at: Overview demonstrators page