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Microsoft Active Accessibility


Microsoft Active Accessibility is a Component Object Model (COM)-based technology that improves the way accessibility aids work with applications running on Microsoft Windows. It provides dynamic-link libraries that are incorporated into the operating system as well as a COM interface and API elements that provide reliable methods for exposing information about UI elements.

Where applicable

By using Microsoft Active Accessibility and following accessible design practices, developers can make applications running on Windows more accessible to many people with vision, hearing, or motion disabilities.

Developer audience

Microsoft Active Accessibility is designed primarily for C, C++, and Microsoft Visual Basic developers. In general, developers need a moderate level of understanding about COM objects and interfaces as well as about Unicode.

Run-time requirements

Full support for Microsoft Active Accessibility is built into Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft Active Accessibility is also supported on Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6 (SP6) and later, and Windows 98.

In this section


Getting Started

Introduction to the Microsoft Active Accessibility components and the supported platforms, and a brief comparison of Microsoft Active Accessibility and Microsoft UI Automation.

Technical Overview

General information about Microsoft Active Accessibility technology.

C/C++ Developer's Guide

Information about how Microsoft Active Accessibility works from the perspective of a C or C++ application developer. It covers issues specific to client and server developers.

C/C++ Reference

Reference documentation about the Microsoft Active Accessibility API for C/C++ developers.


Sample programs that demonstrate how to use the Microsoft Active Accessibility API.


Additional reference material for Microsoft Active Accessibility client and server developers and Visual Basic developers.


Related topics

Microsoft Accessibility website
Microsoft Accessibility Developer Center on MSDN



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