ACCESSIBLE - Applications Design and Development


Scientific innovation of ACCESSIBLE with regard to the state of the art

The main goal of ACCESSIBLE is to utilise the fundamental properties and to improve the accessibility of software development products, by introducing a harmonised accessibility methodology (for more details see the public deliverable D3.1) into accessible software development processes, using significantly better measurement strategies, methodologies, etc. The envisaged improvement will enable large organisations, SMEs or individuals (developers, designers, etc.) to produce software products of superior accessibility accompanied with appropriate measures, technologies and tools that improve their overall accessibility.

Based on this Harmonised Methodology the accessibility assessment tools developed covering the following fields:

  • Web applications
  • Web services
  • Mobile applications
  • Description Languages

The framework aims to formalize conceptual information about:

  • the characteristics of users with disabilities, assisted devices, applications, and other aspects that should be taken into account when describing an audience with disability
  • accessibility standards and associated checkpoints and guidelines
  • semantic verification rules to help describing requirements and constraints of users, and associating them to accessibility checkpoints

Key publications of the HAM:

  • E. Chalkia, E. Bekiaris. "A harmonised methodology for the components of software applications accessibility and its evaluation", Universal Access in HCI, Part I, LNCS 6765, July 2011, pages 197-205.
  • Chalkia Eleni, Evangelos Bekiaris, Rui Lopes, Kastori Grammati-Eirini and Luís Carriço. "HARMONISATION OF ACCESSIBLITY COMPONENTS IN THE CONTENT OF "ACCESSIBLE" PROJECT". In Free and Open Source Software for Accessible Mainstream Applications (FOSS-AMA), collocated with ETAPS (European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software), Paphos, Cyprus, 2010.
  • Van Isacker, K., Goranova-Valkova, M., Chalkia, E., Bekiaris, E., Votis, K., Tzovaras, D. "Accessible Web Design a Burden? - Lessons learned from the Accessible Project", European Journal of ePractice, 2010, pages 12-20.
  • Lopes, R., Votis, K., Carriço, L., & Likothanassis, S. “A Service Oriented Ontological Framework for the Semantic Validation of Web Accessibility”. In M. Cruz-Cunha, E. Oliveira, A. Tavares, & L. Ferreira (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Dimensions of Semantic Technologies and Web Services, IGI Global, Hershey, 2009, 49-67, DOI=10.4018/978-1-60566-650-1.ch003
  • Lopes, R., Votis, K., Carriço, L., Tzovaras, D., and Likothanassis, S. “Towards the universal semantic assessment of accessibility”. In Proceedings of the 2009 ACM symposium on Applied Computing, (Honolulu, USA, 2009), ACM, 147-151, DOI=10.1145/1529282.1529311
  • Votis, K., Lopes, R., Tzovaras, D., Carriço, L., and Likothanassis, S. “A Semantic Accessibility Assessment Environment for Design and Development for the Web”. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Part III: Applications and Services, (San Diego, USA, 2009), Springer-Verlag, 803-813. DOI=10.1007/978-3-642-02713-0_86

To know more about the HAM framework follow this link.

ACCESSIBLE Technical innovation as a series of tools (The ACCESSIBLE tools)

ACCESSIBLE, provides a holistic accessibility assessment and simulation approach, by developing a series of assessment and simulation tools in order to provide designers / developers / testers with appropriate accessibility tools for evaluating the accessibility of their software applications. ACCESSIBLE main innovation lies in the fact that the proposed assessment simulation environment and appropriate tools will support not only Web applications but also, web services, mobile applications (including Java Native applications) as well as description languages (e.g. SDL, etc.). Thus the following series of tools were developed during the project:

Web accessibility assessment Tool – WaaT

WaaT is a Web applications assessment tool for the accessibility verification of Web applications. For the convenience of ACCESSIBLE users two different versions of the tool are being supported. Thus, a standalone version in addition to a web based version that can be accessed through the ACCESSIBLE portal are offered to potential users. So, each system user will be able to define some input parameters /rules/ constraints regarding the overall assessment process (e.g. evaluate a web page according to a specific WCAG 2.0 accessibility technique, or according to a specific disability, AEGIS and ACCESSIBLE personas, etc.).

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

Mobile Web accessibility assessment Tool – MobileWaaT

MobileWaaT provides accessibility evaluation of mobile web applications by applying the Mobile Web Best Practices (Mobile Web Initiative) as well as the WCAG2.0 guidelines (WAI Initative) into mobile-simulated environments (e.g., iPhone, Android ,..)

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

Web Service accessibility assessment Tool – WebSaaT

WebSaaT is a tool for the accessibility assessment of Web Services. The tool parses web service definition files and allows for the accessibility assessment of the web service operations defined within it.

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

Description Language accessibility assessment Tool – DLaaT

DLaaT provides the opportunity to evaluate the accessibility status of the SDL (Specification and Description Language) design of an application according to a set of guidelines.

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

Disability Impairment Approximation Simulator - DIAS

DIAS is a Netbeans plugin. It approximately simulates the difficulties someone with vision and other impairments face when interacting with Java Swing GUIs.

Actually, DIAS comprises of two Netbeans plugins. One that enables the developer/designer to preview the implemented GUI application in a simulated fashion and also alert him for any accessibility errors/warnings the application may have. The developer/designer is then able to resolve any of these erros/warnings. The other plugin enables the developer/designer to run the implemented GUI application in a simulated fashion and test the full functionality.

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

Mobile Impairment Simulator - MIS tool

The Mobile Impairment Simulation tool is targeted to mobile application developers who want to simulate either effects of visual impairment (e.g. blurred vision) or impact of physical environment (e.g. reflection of objects on the display).

More detailed information about the innovation and key publications can be accessed here.

The overall layered architecture of the proposed tools is shown in the following Figure

Layered architecture of the ACCESSIBLE tools