U of T support’s IBM accessible software initiative

The University of Toronto is among the initial supporters of an a collection of software-building tools created by IBM that will be used to make applications for the disabled.

Big Blue on Thursday said it was contributing its Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) to open source community Eclipse Foundation. ISVs will be able to use ACTF to build alternative accessible interfaces for the visually impaired, for example, or to enhance their usability for those with hearing, speech or other physical challenges, IBM said.

HTML, the OpenDocument Format, Flash and Java will be among the first kinds of format the ACTF supports. Others include Microsoft’s Active Accessibility and IAccessible.

The news from IBM comes just a few days after BMO Financial Corp. hosted an event in Toronto discussing the potential for technology to deal with accessibility issues.