Engineering Your Software for Accessibility

Engineering Software for Accessibility 

Many developers realize they need to make their software accessible, but they don’t know where to start.  Scanning the internet will result in lots of different articles, focusing on implementations for a specific framework and platform.  In today’s complex world of software, developers don’t just start writing code; they design their software.  Unfortunately, that engineering process is not followed for accessibility.  Developers often run accessibility tools after creating their code, crossing their fingers and hoping it “just works.”  Unfortunately, this approach does not work, since accessible applications require planning and design: they require engineering!

Incorporating accessibility into your planning and design will reduce your costs during implementation and test.  As we all know, costs increase as you move into implementation and test, and it’s during these phases where accessibility is always started.  Instead, why don’t we actually design the accessibility right when we are designing the software?  Few accessibility articles and books tackle this difficult subject of actually engineering your software.  Microsoft has stepped up to the challenge with Engineering Software for Accessibility. 

At Microsoft, we are reinventing how accessibility is provided in software.  We realize developing software already takes a lot of preparation, so this book focuses on the essentials.  In less than 100 pages you’ll quickly come up to speed on designing your software for accessibility.  You will also:

·         Understand the basics of accessibility, UI Automation, and how it applies to your product

·         Create your specifications to ensure that you are meeting accessibility requirements  

·         Determine when to use standard controls and how to make custom controls accessible

·         Create a logical hierarchy to pinpoint accessibility requirements before writing code

Spend an afternoon thinking outside of the box and learning how to design for accessibility.   Follow the same process Microsoft engineers are using to create accessible software.  We all need to continue to find ways to innovate and enable all users to live in a world without walls.

You can now download a free version of  the Engineering for Accessibility book here:


Alternatively, will make a paper copy available as well:


Enjoy and please don't hesitate to let us know your thoughts!

Comments (1)

  1. JamunaRanaThan says:

    Windows UI Automation is wonderfule to automate Desktp application.

    Whether it will work to find the controls in the web sites rendered in IE Browser.

    Please help me to proceed…

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