Apple has published extensive documentation to encourage developers to add Universal Access features to applications.

The company's Universal Access technologies are set for a major overhaul when Apple releases Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) next year. Most well-reported of these is the 'Spoken Interface' the company discussed earlier this year. The VoiceOver Spoken Interface is now going through an extensive and wide public beta-testing process.

The developer notes explain the essential nature of Universal Access technologies: "For most everyone you know, computers are simply part of everyday life; for office workers, children, grandparents. That is, everybody who has good eyesight, good hearing, and full use of both hands.

"But for those with any kind of disability, using computers has often been problematic."

Technological advances and new laws worldwide are encouraging companies, like Apple, and developers on all platforms to find ways to make their products usable by people with disabilities.

"Apple has been working hard on Universal Access and it's time for you, the developer, to start incorporating Universal Access into your application if you haven't done so already," Apple says.

Available information discusses some of the features Apple is preparing for Tiger, and offers developers resource material to allow them to include key Universal Access elements now.