Hi Nick,
When it comes to Java there are ways of making your Java software accessible. Currently there are two accessibility solutions available. The first is if you are using the Swing graphics toolkit for programming you will need the Java accessibility bridge in order to get programs like Jaws to interface with the Java program. The problem with this solution is that currently not every screen reader has Java access bridge support. So even if you can get Jaws to work with your Java application there is no guarantee that Window Eyes or something else won't have a problem with it. Therefore I'd stay clear of the Swing graphics toolkit for accessibility reasons. The second solution is to use the SWT toolkit. What makes SWT different here is that it is a Java based wrapper for the underlying standard graphics toolkit for the target platform, such as the Win32 API on Windows, so that any kind of programs you create use the standard GUI for programming. The advantage is because it uses say Win32 instead of a totally Java based GUI all of the screen readers I know of, including Window Eyes, can use the Java application without the need of any special software like the Java access bridge. So if you do decide to go with Java I recommend using SWT rather than Swing for your programs.


Nick Helms wrote:
good question! I'd like to take some computer science classes,
possibly next summer to learn some programming, but I'm not sure with
language to persoo. I've been told that java is a good starting point,
but I don't believe I've ever used a program created with java that is
usable with jfw.

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