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Canterbury Christ Church University Business School Accessibility Research

AccessOnto Toolkit


click here for AccessOnto Version 1
This version has been developed using XML and XML schema. Currently the tool is used to:
  • extract accessibility requirements for special needs based on guidelines from leading accessibility bodies. The guidelines can be used to manually express accessibility requirements at System requirements Specification stage. They can also be applied with some limitations using the Select Enterprise.
  • provide international data relating to countries, country codes, conventions and languages for general purpose use. 
The tool currently consists of three repositories which can be used to populate requirements databases.

Guidelines Repository

This repository contains two key objects:
  • A <RelatedGuidelines> object, currently populated by guidelines from WCAG, Sun Micro System, IBM, Microsoft, Apple. The guidelines are asserted as constraints of objects within classes represented by the requirements models: chiefly INTERFACE classes and USER classes as well as states and methods represented for example by transitions within state transition diagrams.
    Click here for tabulated list of exemplary Guidelines
  • A <RelatedLegislation> object which unpacks world legislations as well as making links between accessibility legislation and guidelines
Interface Object-Actions Repository
This repository holds the object classes for all the objects of the AccessOnto domain. It includes:
  • <UserAgents>  class which list holds descriptions of user agents (i.e. input/output hardware and software applications) and their shortcut key assignments
  • A Languages> class which contains international languages and their codes as applied in key development environments to aid the process of internationalisation.
  • A <Countries > class which contains international countries and their codes as applied in key development environments to aid the process of internationalisation related to global positioning. The countries object also tags the national languages and the time zones associated with the country.
  • A <KeyCodes> class which provides ANSI and UNICODE key values for the different keys so as to assists low level requirements specification where sometimes characters need to be expressed using a code e.g how many times has one had difficulty inserting a copyright or trademark sign or other character into a document. The keycodes character indicates the ANSI or unicode value and also describes how the code is assigned in different development environments e.g. in HTML copyright (©) is inserted by &#169;
  • General purpose objects class: <ObjectClasses> which describes all objects in the AccessOnto domain and maps their relationships using relationships defined in the <Relationships> object. The objects include interface objects which for example provide instances of the INTERFACE objects and their application in development protocols e.g. Unified Modelling Language UML, the Document Object Model (DOM) and so on. This helps developers in applying models as well as migrating from environment to environment. The class also provides a generalised model for linking all the other objects within AccessOnto.
  • A common <AccessibleInterfaceObjects> class that furnishes interface objects with ready made accessibility semantics including
    • <TaskActions> which identifies typical tasks plus their task types and keeps a record of dialogue style assignments used for each task by different user agents and application. The dialogues style assignments, not only serve to suggest dialogues to analysts of new systems (i.e. analysts can pick up tasks from the repository with ready-made dialogue assignments), but also serves as a reserved keys module that lists commonly used keys which are disallowed during requirements specification so as to avoid conflict between the application, host/parent applications and user agents.
    • <TaskTypes>
  • A <DocTypes> class
  • A <Relationships> class which lists relationship semantics and permitted equivalents and associations
UserProfiles repository
This includes Userprofile semantic and reusable instantiations especially relating to:
  • <UserTypes>which describe special user traits mainly disabilities and level of learning.
  • <UserSystemConfig> which provides descriptions relating to operating system type system roles (currently unpopulated).
Plans for later versions
Version 2 will be derived from a rolled over version of the XML(S) site and is intended to provide greater reasoning. It will therefore be developed using an ontology language.

Although the guidelines can be used wit SELECT , the problem with this is that Select does not accommodate all the techniques recommended to capture the essence of accessibility requirements specification.  A special case tool is therefore also being developed using Java, to provide models specific to accessibility requirements specification as follows:
  • State transition diagrams supported by Interaction/dialogue styles table.
  • Use case diagram supported by guidelines list
  • Class diagram supported by component description table and guidelines list