[Accessibility] NSF Draft: Section 1

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Tue Apr 6 19:23:59 PDT 2004

I apologize for the poor formatting. I will send out a cleaned up version early in the U.S. business day, Wednesday.

* __    Summary of one page or less indicating the objectives of the

The Accessibility Workgroup of the Free Standards Group (FSG) wishes to convene a face-to-face meeting of invited experts in 2004/early 2005.  We
request funding of $35,900 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of this meeting. This meeting will develop and adopt an engineering
agenda and technology standards in support of comprehensive access to information and user interfaces by persons with disabilities on computing
platforms which adopt free and open standards (such as Linux, BSD, AIX, MacOSX, and Solaris). A face to face conference is both needed and the
appropriate mechanism to:

	Achieve consensus and propose industry wide standards where FSG work has already begun;

	Define a Road Map for developing additional open source technologies and standards in order to achieve comprehensive accessibility support on
open platforms;

	Reach consensus on a common layer of accessibility support that can be deployed and maintained on multiple platforms and can serve as the basis
for future collaborative research to provide multiple, interoperable, heterogenous and accessible products.

Achieving standards to support comprehensive accessibility in the free and open source environment will require participation among developer
communities, marketers of free and open source technologies, and user communities. The very diverse and unstructured nature of these groups has tended
to prevent adequate contact and communication among them so that excellent accessibility for some users exists in certain contexts, while other contexts
remain unaddressed and inaccessible. The objectives of our international conference, therefore, are:

	achieve consensus on those standards which can be adopted to support accessibility in the near term;

	Agree on engineering work which must yet be performed in order to support all persons with  disabilities; and

	Provide structured and sustainable working mechanisms to accomplish both.

We plan to invite between 20 and 30 individuals from industry, developer communities, research and educational institutions, and persons with
disabilities. We need to ensure broad participation across all sectors of these groups worldwide, and we need, particularly, to engage participants who
would otherwise not become involved in this process.

				Janina Sajka, Director
				Technology Research and Development
				Governmental Relations Group
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Email: janina at afb.net		Phone: (202) 408-8175

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