[Accessibility] NSF Draft: For Today's Call
Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Wed Apr 28 15:27:59 PDT 2004
Here's a couple of quick paragraphs to add to the "Outcomes and Benefits"
section of the NSF grant proposal. They could use more wordsmithing...
Vendors and developers of assistive technologies (and through them the users
they serve) who will be able to build much richer products for people with
disabilities based on these standards, and be able to deploy those assistive
technologies on a wider range of computing systems thanks to these standards.
Furthermore, because the accessibility standards being developed are
explicitly supported standards within the platform, assistive technologies for
compliant systems will no longer need to hack the system in order to implement
their functionality, freeing precious development time to focus on the user
There are already several assistive technologies that are taking advantage of
components of this emerging standard and serve to illustrate these benefits.
The Gnopernicus screen reader/magnifier uses AT-SPI and because of that has
reached a high level of functionality with a broad range of applications in
far less time than similar screen readers for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh.
GOK, the dynamic GNOME On-Screen Keyboard uses AT-SPI and also the XKB
functionality to provide a set of access features that go far beyond any other
on-screen keyboard for any other computer, resulting in dramatic speed
improvements for single switch and head-mouse users (easily 5 times faster
control of dialog boxes, web browsing, text editing, and numerous other
tasks). Dasher is an innovative and cross platform text entry application
optimized for eye-gaze and head tracker systems from the University of
Cambridge. The most recent releases of Dasher utilize AT-SPI to provide for
control of the desktop. The Dasher folks would very much like to implement
the same control features on all desktop computers, and they will have a much
easier time of doing this if more desktop systems implement the standards this
group is developing. It is also noteworthy that Dasher comes from University
research, and has been incorporated into the GNOME 2.6 desktop and from there
into various GNU/Linux distributions - a rapid example of technology transfer
made possible in part by the user of open standards.
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