Is a GUI application built with exclusively with native GTK widgets accessible?

I am currently evaluating the dogtail gui testing tookit for use in GUI testing an application under development. This toolkit uses Accessibility (a11y) technologies to communicate with desktop applications.

My understanding is that native GTK widgets are accessible. If this is the case can one assume that a GTK application built with native GTK widgets alone accessible?

Well, sort of, and sort of probably not. Yes, GTK widgets have the accessible bits done for you, but you often need to properly use them for the resulting application to actually be accessible. One example is that while GTK makes it very easy to tie a label to another widget so the accessibility layer knows that that label is for that widget, GTK still doesn’t magically know what label goes with which widget: you have to tell it (hint: gtk_label_set_mnemonic_widget()).

Also, for an application to actually be accessible, it should be usable with a keyboard alone. And while GTK again does most of this for you, it often requires to at least think of the app’s usability that way.

So again, it’s gonna be a little bit of both. But if you’re using exclusively GTK widgets, it should be fairly easy to make your application decently accessible.

But it also depends on what you mean by “accessible”. I’m talking about what makes an application usable by people having a disability of some kind (be it visual using a screen reader, motor unable to use the mouse, or one of the other million possibility and of course, everybody that lie a bit in the middle of all this). Given your first paragraph, maybe you’re only concerned by whether dogtail will pick up your widgets (you shouldn’t!), and then the answer will yield a lot more towards “yes”.

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