[Accessibility] Re: Accessibility Q&As

'janina at rednote.net' janina at rednote.net
Fri Jan 16 10:11:38 PST 2004

Hi, Laurie Anne:

I like the new Q better. Here's a first try at an answer:

Q:	How has the Community responded to the demand for Linux based

In classic fashion, several developers have created applications that
support various interface requirements. For example, brltty has provided
an interface to the console environment for users of refreshable braille
displays. Emacspeak provided a tightly integrated audio-desktop
environment for emacs, and Speakup provided a kernel-based screen
reader. All three are applications typically used by persons who are

There are other examples, but the more important point is that no group
has attempted to address the issue holistically--to provide a full range
of support for the range of interface requirements of the various
requirements of different persons with disabilities. For example, the
issues of someone who does not have use of their arms or hands are not
the same as the issues of someone who cannot see. Furthermore, no one
has attempted to integrate solutions across all environments from bios,
through boot loader, kernel, console, and graphical desktop to assure
a seamless user experience wherever a user might need to interface with
their computer, or their digital device.

Recent preferences for accessible technology in major markets (such as
sales to the U.S. Government) have garnered wider industry attention.
The GNOME developments in accessibility represent an important recent
response by industry to provide technology which is accessible in order
that vendors might continue to be competitive in such markets. Our goal
is to provide comprehensive and powerfully functional technologies that
users will prefer because they do the job better. We believe this will help end
users and vendors alike.

LaurieAnne Lassek writes:
> From: LaurieAnne Lassek <LALassek at accesspr.com>
>    Doug - you raise some good points about the Q below.
>    My 2 cents is that the nature of a Q&A is that we design Qs to be
>    difficult, like this, in order to anticipate Qs that might come up in the
>    course of a press interview. This is the type of question that might be
>    asked, in some fashion, so we can certainly change it to be broader:
>    How has the Community responded to the demand for Linux based AT?
>    Thanks,
>    -LAL
>    -----Original Message-----
>    From: Doug Beattie [mailto:dbb at linkexplorer.com]
>    Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 9:42 AM
>    To: LALassek at accesspr.com
>    Cc: janina at rednote.net; mcneil at freestandards.org; dbb at freestandards.org
>    Subject: Re: Accessibility Q&As
>    LaurieAnne:
>    Re:
>    On Thu, Jan 15, 2004 at 04:24:58PM -0700, Doug Beattie wrote:
>    > LaurieAnne:
>    >
>    > See attached text file with eight (8) general questions and even more
>    > answers.
>    >
>    ...
>    >
>    > Q2. How many developers are currently using Linux to make AT available
>    > to the broader community today?
>    >
>    > A. See the Linux Accessibility Resource Site (LARS) website
>    > http://www.tracecenter.org/linux/ for a collection of AT projects, each
>    > of which has probably 1 to 5 key developers (and many others making
>    > smaller contributions).
>    >
>    > Also see "Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at
>    > the Numbers!" at http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html
>    ...
>    >
>    I really don't like this question or the answer. I don't believe it
>    helps us either way to know/guess how many developers are working in
>    the open source community on AT at this time. If we have a lot then
>    why would we need more? If we don't have many is it because it is
>    not a priority? One could make as much negative of such a question
>    as positive from it and as we don't have _good_ statistics with
>    reasons to back them up I'd prefer we eliminate/avoid this area for
>    now.
>    What do the rest of you think?
>    Doug
>    --
>    Doug Beattie
>    dbb at freestandards.org

Janina Sajka
Email: janina at rednote.net		
Phone: (202) 408-8175

Director, Technology Research and Development
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Chair, Accessibility Work Group
Free Standards Group

More information about the Accessibility mailing list