Microsoft has launched a new online resource and released two new open-source accessibility testing tools for developers who want to create accessible and assistive technology products that make it easier for everyone —including people with impairments and disabilities — to see, hear and use computers and other devices.

As the demand for accessibility increases, driven by a rapidly aging work force and an increasing number of people who use accessible technology to customize their computers for greater comfort and productivity, so does the need for more developer resources and better testing tools that have the capacity to evolve.

A New Developer Community and Accessibility Testing Tools

The new Web site, Microsoft Accessibility Labs (http://msdn.microsoft.com/accessibility), is integrated into the Microsoft Accessibility Developer Center in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). The site is designed to provide developer resources, from technical content to prototypes, and to foster dynamic communication among people who develop accessible technology (AT), conduct accessibility research or rely on AT products.

The two new tools, UI Accessibility Checker (AccChecker) and UI Automation Verify (UIA Verify), enable developers to test accessibility implementations and functionality in applications that use either Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) or Microsoft User Interface Automation (UIA). Both tools were released through CodePlex (http://www.codeplex.com), a Web site that Microsoft created to host open-source projects and to better serve the developer community.

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