[Accessibility] Press Release Issued Today

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Wed Jan 21 11:08:16 PST 2004


Hi Janina,

Nice to see this out!  What about the quote sheet - with the quotes from 
BAUM and UToronto and a bunch of other folks?


Peter

Janina Sajka wrote:
> FREE STANDARDS GROUP TO DRIVE ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR LINUX
> 
> Workgroup Chartered to Make Linux more Accessible to People with Disabilities
> 
> OAKLAND, California. -- Jan. 21, 2004 - Today, the Free Standards Group
> announced a new workgroup dedicated to establishing standards that
> will make Linux and Linux-based applications accessible to persons
> with disabilities. The Accessibility Workgroup of the Free Standards
> Group will make it easier for developers to support assistive
> technologies (AT). Assistive technologies enable individuals who are
> blind or visually impaired to read online text, and provide the means
> for individuals who do not have the use of their arms and hands to
> write and correspond. AT also enable individuals who cannot speak or
> hear to participate on the telephony interfaces of today -- and will
> support their participation on the multimodal computer interfaces of
> tomorrow.
> 
> "Standards are the key to making technology accessible to everyone,
> and coordinated industry support is essential to making standards
> truly universal" said Carl Augusto, President of the American
> Foundation for the Blind. "We plan to work with developers and vendors
> throughout the Linux community to make the Linux desktop accessible to
> all users and bring it into compliance with laws like Section 508. As
> a result, usability will improve for all end users and we expect
> businesses to benefit significantly as well."
> 
> The Free Standards Group Accessibility Workgroup includes experts on
> accessibility issues -- representatives of major organizations such as
> the American Foundation for the Blind, Georgia Institute of Technology
> Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, the Computer
> Braille Facility of University of Western Ontario and the Archimedes
> Project at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and
> Information. In addition, the Accessibility Workgroup includes
> developers of graphical user interface (GUI) desktop environments for
> Linux such as GNOME and KDE, and Linux developers from Red Hat,
> Debian, SuSE, IBM, Sun, HP and TrollTech.
> 
> "It is essential to make greater accessibility for all users a high
> priority," stated Patricia C. Sueltz, executive vice president of Sun
> Microsystems' services group, and recipient of the Helen Keller
> Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind. "We are
> delighted that the Free Standards Group has organized an
> international, industry-wide effort to provide standards based on the
> open-source accessibility technology effort led by Sun to promote this
> goal."
> 
> First-year goals for the Free Standards Group Accessibility Workgroup
> include the adoption of the Assistive Technology Service Provider
> Interface (AT-SPI), which enables AT tools such as screen readers and
> magnifiers to query and interact with GUI controls consistently; the
> development of shared input/output (I/O) for AT devices, to make it
> possible for devices such as Braille readers and speech synthesizers
> to operate smoothly with several client applications simultaneously;
> and the standardization of keyboard accessibility for persons unable
> to use a keyboard or mouse, incorporating features such as "Sticky
> Keys" which enable users to press key combinations in sequence rather
> than requiring users to hold them down simultaneously.
> 
> Further information on the Accessibility Workgroup of the Free
> Standards Group is available at http://www.a11y.org/
> 
> About the Free Standards Group
> 
> The Free Standards Group is an independent nonprofit organization
> dedicated to accelerating the use and acceptance of free and open
> source software by developing and promoting standards. Key Free
> Standards Group projects include the Linux Standard Base (LSB),
> OpenI18N, LANANA and the new Accessibility Workgroup. Supported by
> leaders in the IT industry as well as the open source development
> community, the Free Standards Group fulfills a critical need to have
> common behavioral specifications, tools and ABIs across Linux
> platforms. More information on the Free Standards Group is available
> at www.freestandards.org.
> 






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