[Accessibility] NSF Draft: Section 1 Summary

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Wed Apr 7 08:40:11 PDT 2004

* __    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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