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The Java Accessibility Utilities help assistive technologies take advantage of applications developed using the Java Accessibility API.  The Java Accessibility API is one of the core foundation services in the JavaTM Foundation Classes, a comprehensive set of graphical user interface components and foundation services designed to simplify deployment of Internet, intranet and desktop applications.   An application developer can use the Java Accessibility API directly or indirectly via a toolkit such as Swing that implements the Java Accessibility API.  By doing so, developers will be able to create Java applications capable of interacting with assistive technologies such as screen readers, speech recognition systems and Braille terminals. Accessibility enabled Java applications are not dependent on machines that require assistive technology support, rather these applications will run on any Java platform with or without assistive technologies.

In order to provide access to Java applications, however, an assisitive technology requires more than the Java Accessibility API:  it also requires support in locating the components that implement the API as well as support for being loaded into the Java Virtual Machine, tracking events, and so on.  The Java Accessibility Utilities provide this assistance.  Note that these utilities are not needed by application developers -- application developers only need to be concerned with developing accessible applications using the Java Accessibility API.  Instead, the Java Accessibility Utilities are meant to be used primarily by assistive technologies.

The Java Accessibility API and all the features of the Java Foundation Classes are part of versions 1.2 and later of the Java Development Kit.  In particular, the Java Accessibility API ships as part of the core package named javax.accessibility.    Because of security restrictions, browsers cannot download packages beginning with java.*.  As a result, the Java Foundation Classes are packaged under javax.*.  In particular, the Java Accessibility API support for JDK1.2 and later is in the package named javax.accessibility.

This release of the Java Accessibility Utilities is not compatible with JDK 1.1.

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