How and why I added an on-screen keyboard to my Windows Store app

This post describes how I added an alphabetically sorted on-screen keyboard to my 8 Way Speaker app, and prevented the Windows Touch keyboard from appearing while my own keyboard was enabled.   Figure 1: The 8 Way Speaker app showing its own on-screen keyboard.   Background A while ago I built an app which could…

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Allowing Narrator gestures to zoom at the explorable map

While making the demo video associated with Updating the explorable map to add support for scrolling with a screen reader, which shows how to zoom in and zoom out on the map using Narrator, I did feel that it was pretty tedious to have to swipe so many times to reach the Zoom buttons. Narrator…

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Using UI Automation to explore a map

A few weeks ago I was having coffee with a colleague who’s blind, and I asked him about exploring a map. He said that he’d like to be able to move his finger over a map of the US, and have the name of the state beneath his finger spoken. By doing this, he could…


One story of building a useful Assistive Technology tool from a UI Automation sample

Background At the 2011 Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (aka “the CSUN conference”), I gave a presentation on the Windows UI Automation (UIA) API. This API allows apps to find out what things are shown visually on the screen and to programmatically interact with those things. As such, it can be very…

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Using Dynamic Annotation with Child IDs

The Dynamic Annotation API in the Windows Automation API is a convenient way to make simple accessibility changes to the accessible properties of Win32 Common Controls without writing a lot of code. There is good reference documentation available on MSDN, and some samples, too. That said, I’ve received some questions about it and wanted to…


Building UI Automation client applications in C++ and C#

Sample #1: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Windows-7-UI-Automation-9131f729 Back in March I had the opportunity to attend the 26th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference, otherwise known as CSUN 2011. I was to present a session on the Windows UI Automation (UIA) API. The UIA API can be used by apps to gather information about UI shown in…


Windows Automation API 3.0 has shipped!

Greetings,   I am proud to announce that our Windows Automation API 3.0 Platform has shipped to Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.  Our platform now provides a consistent API surface for both providers and clients to create solutions for customers all supported Windows platforms.  This release enables ISV’s to…


Engineering Your 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…


Behind the scenes

Many people work together make an effective theatre production.  Some are actors, others directors, but many work backstage.  These guys and gals work hard to make sure the play goes smoothly, both for those on the stage and those in the audience.  You probably have seen our “Ease of Access Panel” or our other applets…