[Accessibility] NSF Draft: For Today's Call

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Wed Apr 28 15:27:59 PDT 2004


Greetings,

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...


Peter

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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 
experience.

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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