Successful collaborative partnership with RNIB opens doors to opportunity for blind and partially sighted users .
Telerik, a leading provider of development tools and solutions for the Microsoft .NET platform, today unveiled an enhanced version of its popular RadEditor for ASP.NET AJAX that includes innovative new features and upgrades, making it one of the most accessible rich text web editors available on the market. With greater ease-of-use and optimum accessibility, the new edition of RadEditor is opening new avenues of interaction and productivity for blind and partially sighted users.
RadEditor will be a key part of a new Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)-based website developed for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that will enable better management and sharing of content for blind and partially sighted users. Upgrades to RadEditor were developed in conjunction with RNIB, the UK’s leading charity supporting blind and partially sighted people and Content and Code, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in building MOSS solutions. The three organizations formed a close-knit collaborative partnership, with key development personnel from each organization working together at Content and Code’s London headquarters.
“Often, when people talk about accessibility, they have neither a fundamental grasp of what the term means nor a true interest in solving real-world accessibility issues,” said Tervel Peykov, Senior ASP.NET developer at Telerik and lead software developer on the RNIB project. “By working closely with RNIB, we came away with both a deeper understanding of some of the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted users and a real desire to address those hurdles. RadEditor was designed to provide the highest level of accessibility possible for all users, which translates into greater opportunities for interaction and productivity.”
The product retains all essential functionality including out-of-the-box XHTML-enabled output, a wide range of HTML editing capabilities, and intuitive formatting tools, while integrating optimum support for advanced screen-reading technologies such as Job Access With Speech (JAWS). Telerik focused particularly on creating logical pathways and functionality for blind and partially sighted users, such as simplifying the process of browsing to content nested several folders deep and making it easier for programs like JAWS to recognize various RadEditor elements, tools, and onscreen dialog. The design changes have resulted in a superior level of content control and management, making RadEditor the most accessible editor on the market, according to current accessibility standards.
“RadEditor was our first choice of editor technologies to be incorporated as part of this new site,” said Martin Hatch, Solutions Architect, Content and Code. “As the most widely deployed, proven, and award-winning solution in the marketplace, we felt RadEditor had the flexibility and adaptability needed to successfully implement the new RNIB website. We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Telerik to bring this very meaningful project to fruition.”
"For too long, blind and partially sighted people have been cut off from information and technology. RNIB aims to remove these barriers and make society a more inclusive place for all blind and partially sighted people,” said Fazilet Hadi, Group Director Inclusive Society at RNIB. “We are extremely proud to make this huge step towards equality in the workplace whereby blind and partially sighted people can edit and create content on the website in the same way as other staff."
The new accessible version of RadEditor will be released in Q3 2009, and will also be deployed as part of the new RNIB website. A demo of the accessible version of RadEditor is currently available online at demos.telerik.com/aspnet-ajax/editor/examples/accessibleeditor/defaultcs.aspx.