StarOffice/ accessibility effort (fwd)

Janina Sajka janina at
Thu Nov 15 21:15:29 EST 2001

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Korn <korn at>


The Sun Accessibility team is delighted to announce the establishment of
the Accessibility Project.  This work will also allow Sun to
build accessibility into the StarOffice productivity suite. is the open source community project dedicated to creating
an international office suite that will run on all major platforms. Sun
contributed all of the StarOffice source files to on October
13, 2000.  Versions of StarOffice software, beginning with version 6.0
(currently in beta testing), will be built using the
sources, APIs, file formats, and reference implementation.  A future
version of the Sun-branded StarOffice application suite will utilize the
accessibility support being developed by the Accessibility
Project. is architecting accessibility support by adopting the Java
Accessibility API as the external accessibility interface.  This means that
existing assistive technologies on Microsoft Windows that support the Java
Access Bridge will be able to provide access to future
applications.  In addition, any assistive technologies developed for the
GNOME Accessibility Architecture will also be able to provide access to
future applications. (Today, development of assistive
technologies for GNOME includes the recently announced Gnopernicus open
source screen reader/magnifier and the open source GOK on-screen

In addition to adopting the Java Accessibility API as the published
external accessibility interface, the Accessibility Project
is defining an Accessibility API in UNO, the the object
model.  This means that in the future, applications could
expose their accessibility information in other forms, in addition to the
Java Accessibility API.

Beyond implementation of the UNO Accessibility API on the individual
user-interface elements of the applications, the Accessibility Project is defining the details of the
accessibility interfaces to the documents created and viewed by those
applications.  Providing access to this content -- complex text documents,
spreadsheets, and presentations -- poses some of the greatest accessibility
challenges faced by assistive technologies, making this an important part
of the Accessibility Project.  And as previously announced,
in addition to developing programmatic interfaces to document
accessibility, the project is publishing the XML file
formats of those documents, providing an additional accessibility avenue
for assistive technologies which can then interact with the documents

For details on the accessibility project, please see:

For details on the UNO Accessibility API, please see:

To view the proposal for presentation document accessibility, please see:

On behalf of the Sun Microsystems Accessibility team,

Peter Korn
Sun Microsystems
access at

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