Enabling and Testing Java Access Bridge

Java Accessibility Guide > Enabling and Testing Java Access Bridge

Java Access Bridge is a technology that enables Java applications and applets that implement the Java Accessibility API to be visible to assistive technologies on Microsoft Windows systems. See Java SE Desktop Accessibility for more information.

The following topics are covered:

Enabling and Disabling Java Access Bridge

Java Access Bridge is included with Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) Release 7 Update 6 (7u6) and later. Java Access Bridge 2.0.3 is included with JRE 7u6. By default, Java Access Bridge is not enabled.

Enabling Java Access Bridge

To enable Java Access Bridge, run the following command (where %JRE_HOME% is the directory of your JRE):

%JRE_HOME%\bin\jabswitch -enable

Alternatively, in Windows Vista and later, you can enable Java Access Bridge through the Control Panel:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center. Alternatively, press Windows logo key+u to access the Ease of Access Center.
  2. Select Use the computer without a display.
  3. In the section Other programs installed, select the check box Enable Java Access Bridge (you may have to scroll down).

Note: After enabling Java Access Bridge, you must restart your assistive technology software and Java applications that use the accessibility API.

Disabling Java Access Bridge

To disable Java Access Bridge, run the following command:

%JRE_HOME%\bin\jabswitch -disable

Note: You cannot disable Java Access Bridge through the Windows Ease of Access Center.

Testing Java Access Bridge

To test Java Access Bridge, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that Java Access Bridge is enabled.
  2. Install an assistive technology product that supports Java Access Bridge such as JAWS or NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA), screen readers for Windows.
  3. Run a Java application that uses the accessibility API such as the SwingSet2 demonstration program. Ensure that your assistive technology product works properly with the Java application.

Obtaining Java Access Bridge Testing Tools

The Java Access Bridge testing tools Java Monkey and Java Ferret are not shipped with the JDK. These tools are included in Java Access Bridge 2.0.2. Download this version from Java Access Bridge Downloads.


Using Assistive Technologies on 64-Bit Operating Systems

The following lists the minimum version requirements of the assistive technologies JAWS and NVDA on 64-bit operating systems (when using them in conjunction with Java Access Bridge):

Note: If you are using the 64-bit version of JAWS with the 32-bit Java Runtime Environment (JRE), JAWS may not read values correctly. If this is the case, install the 64-bit JRE and restart JAWS.

Using Java Access Bridge with Only the Private JRE

The JDK contains a private JRE. This is required to run tools included with the JDK. Private JREs do not register themselves with the system; no files are copied to other locations and no registries are created. Unlike the public JRE (which you can install separately from the JDK), the private JRE does not copy the dynamic link library (DLL) file required by Java Access Bridge to your Windows system32 directory.

If you want to use Java Access Bridge with the private JRE, copy the file named WindowsAccessBridge*.dll from the directory <JDK installation directory>\jre\bin to your Windows system32 directory.

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