[AI] AVAST antivirus

himalaya singh Rawat himalayasinghrawat at gmail.com
Sat Aug 28 23:30:13 EDT 2010

*Dear Access Indians,

Here is what you have been discussing for long. I am pasting peters writup
about AVAST. hope this works for all of you.


Himalaya singh Rawat

By:* Peter Abrahams<http://www.it-director.com/about/author/47/peter_abrahams.php>,
*Practice Leader - Accessibility and Usability*, Bloor Research
*Published:* 25th August 2010
Copyright Bloor Research © 2010

Accessibility does not just mean access by everybody to Information and
Communication Technologies, it also means access to everything available
through ICT. It is not sufficient that applications and websites are
accessible, it is important that tools, widgets and add-ons are also
accessible. The importance of tools being accessible has been highlighted by
AVAST Software's recent announcement that it has upgraded its avast!
anti-virus program to be fully accessible to the vision-impaired.

Many users of screen-readers, such as JAWS®, had been attracted to avast!
because it included an audible alarm when a virus was detected, in addition
to the pop-up window. In this way users were made aware of the alert,
without JAWS losing focus on their current task, allowing them to deal with
the virus alert at a time convenient to them, in just the same way that a
sighted user could.

Essentially this meant that the day-to-day use of avast! was accessible. The
problem was that the installation, configuration and operation was not
accessible and the user of a screen-reader was dependent on the help of a
sighted user for installation, configuration and any special operations
(e.g. requesting an immediate scan). People with vision impairments want to
be as independent as possible and not impose on their friends or colleagues
when it is not essential.

The push for this development came from vision-impaired IT geeks who wanted
to use avast! Antivirus 5.0. "For the blind, the computer is an absolutely
fantastic invention. And for some, it's even their hobby to adjust it," said
Radek Seifert, work-team leader at the TEREZA Center, a support centre for
the sight-impaired at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

These volunteers fine-tuned avast! so it worked with JAWS. "They said, ‘give
us the beta' so we did," remembers Ondrej Vlcek, AVAST Chief Technical
Officer. "It was also a complicated issue on our side as avast! does not use
the standard Windows controls."

The user interface for avast! needed to be changed in two ways:

   - All functions had to be accessible using the keyboard, this is a
   prerequisite to being able to use JAWS. It has a beneficial side-effect that
   users who cannot, or prefer not, to use a pointing device have full access
   as well.
   - All the textual information had to be provided to JAWS in an
   accessible, logical and consistent manner.

AVAST developed a new framework for the user interface which means that
other products and new versions will automatically be JAWS friendly.

All through the development the new functions were tested and improved by
the vision-impaired geeks thus ensuring that it was not just accessible
using JAWS but that it was easy to use with JAWS.

avast! 5.0 was generally available in January 2010 and the new functions
came in an update in August 2010; with the new framework the next version of
avast!, planned for January 2011, will be accessible at GA.

It is great to see a company reacting quickly to user pressure for
accessibility. It is also good to see that the vision-impaired community was
actively involved in the development and testing of the new product.

The products should now be accessible to all disabled users, including those
with hearing impairments and muscular-skeletal impairments. It is also
available in 11 languages so making it easily accessible to users who prefer
not to use English.

I hope that other developers of tools, widgets, add-ons and applications
will take note and produce fully accessible versions of their products.

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