Help Us Make Visual Studio More Accessible!

I'm Aaron Brethorst, the Program Manager responsible for Accessibility and User Interface Consistency throughout Visual Studio. The team I work with is very interested in building up a contact list of our users who use Visual Studio with any and all accessibility settings enabled:

  • Screen readers and other assistive technologies.
  • High contrast mode.
  • Large fonts.
  • and anything else I may have missed.

We'd love the opportunity to discuss how we can improve your experience with Visual Studio on an ongoing basis.

Please leave a comment on this weblog, or email me directly at


Comments (3)

  1. Jeff Bishop says:


    My name is Jeff Bishop and I use VS.Net with Window-Eyes and JAWS for Windows. I would love to discuss issues concerning VS.Net with you. My email address is:


  2. Jeffrey Sax says:

    What would be really useful is a ‘UICop’ tool. Like FXCop, it would validate your project against UI design rules, and find instances where your UI code can cause accessibility problems. For example: hard-coding light background without hardcoding dark text color; inconsistent tab order; inconsistent hotkeys; missing implementation of accessibility features…

    It could be used for Windows Forms applications as well as ASP.NET applications (style sheets, etc). I like to use the high-contrast black color scheme (not to be confused with the accessibility feature with that name), and I can’t say how many websites and applications are partially or completely unusable because of color issues.

    Perhaps if developers had a tool that could do most of the hard work of testing for them, they would deliver more color scheme-aware applications.

  3. Hey Jeff (Bishop) – thanks for getting back to me on this. I’ll contact you in the near future via email.

    Hey Jeff (Sax) – I agree that this would very useful to Windows developers. One of my co-workers, Sara, actually did write a tool that does this for verifying proper implementation of MSAA. You can find out more about this at its <a href="">GotDotNet workspace</a>.



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