When initiating a change of fundamental technology, a critical eye must always remain on accessibility. To take an example from our everyday lives, the introduction of touch screens to coffee machines has unfortunately, completely changed the situation for blind people. This is something which is not always obvious to each of us.

The same scenario applies to our user interface technology. The introduction of a new web technology requires a new definition of methods and attributes for screen readers, which leads to a different keyboard navigation logic, in addition to many, many more specific things.

Fortunately for us, we have learned a lot from recent technology changes and we now consider accessibility very early on in the software design process. This not only increases the trust of our customers, but saves a lot of time and potential surprises for many people at SAP in varying roles, from design to sales. Today, we have an optimized product standard process. In each technology development team, resides at least one member who is educated, enabled, and part of a company-wide network, designated especially for accessibility. This person acts on the one hand as the go-to contact for team members and on the other hand as a touch point for all accessibility questions, requirements, etc. from outside of the team.

The facts are, that SAPUI5, SAP’s HTML5 based, state-of-the-art web technology, has implemented all major accessibility prerequisites for application development, starting with version 1.38. Using this or a newer SAPUI5 version enables application developers in building applications complying to the external accessibility acts and guidelines US Section508, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (AA) and the German Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung 2.0 (German Accessible Information Technology Regulation Priority 1). This covers the accessibility features: high contrast black theme, full keyboard navigation as an alternative to mouse usage, screen reader support and more. Compared to other user interface technologies available today, this is outstanding – especially given the high level of quality demanded by enterprise customers.

Please check out the Accessibility Guidelines for Application Developers for further information on SAPUI5!

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