Letter to the editor
I'm a Section 508 coordinator working for the Coast Guard. Recently, I was concerned that our standard desktop configuration was not set up to support the Java Foundation Classes/Swing or Java Virtual Machine application program interfaces for accessibility. We currently deploy the Microsoft Corp. JVM with Internet Explorer, which Microsoft has been prohibited from updating in accordance with their settlement of a lawsuit with Sun Microsystems Inc.
Fortunately, our systems personnel have found a way to enable both JVMs to work in our configuration. The Sun JVM loads when an applet on a Web page requires it (called via OBJECT/EMBED tags), and the Microsoft JVM loads when the applet (called via APPLET tags) does not.
So it appears we get the best of both worlds: Our legacy applications that require the Microsoft JVM are not broken, and our system configuration can now leverage Java's accessibility features.
Other agencies that may want to use Java's accessibility features may be pleased to learn about this.
John Brown U.S. Coast Guard