[Accessibility] NSF Proposal: One last time

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Fri Jun 11 06:27:11 PDT 2004


We have heard from NSF. They have recommended only a few changes in our proposal before we submit it formally. If you approve, The FSG's Administrative Office will submit our proposal formally Monday.

The only substantive change to the proposal narrative is to the opening section. Since we will submit electronically, no cover letter is now expected. Therefore, I have rewritten the cover letter as the required one-page Project Summary. This summary serves to introduce our project and the FSG itself. It is also important that this summary:

1.)	Provide a title for the project.
2.)	Discuss separately and explicitly the "intellectual merit" and
the "broader impacts" of the proposal.

We have also been asked to refer to our meeting as a "Workshop" rather than a "Conference" in order to comply with NSF funding criteria.
 
I am hoping we don't need to hold our proposal back for yet another meeting. However, if this opening Project Summary isn't satisfactory, we should do exactly that this coming Wednesday.

The section previously identified as our "Executive Summary" is too long to introduce both FSG and our project. I have, however, left it in as the opening of the proposal. There are no substantive changes beyond what you see here.



Creating Comprehensive Accessibility on Open Source Computer Platforms

Project Summary

Over the past decade, the open source computing environment has become a favorite platform for researchers, academics, and ordinary users the world
over. The ability to share code has driven innovation and created a compelling computing environment for numerous projects. Increasingly, persons with
disabilities are turning to Linux and other open source environments to prototype and develop consumer driven solutions to common, and not so common,
computing challenges. Indeed, industry and business are increasingly adopting open environments for various computing tasks, and technology providers
are developing solutions to serve these growing needs through packaged distributions and technical service plans.

The Free Standards Group is an outgrowth of the success of Linux. We were formed to resolve classic and historical dissonances in common practice on
free and open platforms. FSG standards are widely regarded in the industry and address issues from file hierarchy to printing and support for
internationalization. In the past year FSG has asked leaders in the accessibility engineering and research community to form a Workgroup to develop
comprehensive support for accessibility on open platforms. This work has begun and is proceeding, but it has also become clear that it would proceed
more quickly and with greater precision if an invitational international workshop of experts could be convened to define a research and engineering road
map in support of this work. Convening this workshop is the proposal herewith attached.

Clearly, comprehensive accessibility support cannot be achieved without a comprehensive agreement among affected stakeholder groups. The diverse, ad-hoc
nature of development on open source platforms has today created an environment where excellent accessibility for some users exists in certain contexts,
while other contexts and other users' needs remain unaddressed and inaccessible. It has also resulted in very diverse technologies that themselves make
it difficult to achieve comprehensive and cohesive accessibility support. Moreover no effort has previously been undertaken to provide comprehensive
accessibility on open platforms. We propose precisely this effort because it is both achievable and imperative. Without a face to face meeting,
accessibility work on open platforms will remain a scattered enterprise without a cohesive vision that can be broadly adopted. Only a dedicated face to
face event bringing together an appropriate range of knowledgeable stakeholders can reach the needed consensus on standards and identify remaining
issues.

The open computing platform is an important and meritorious environment today for individual and institutional users alike, and especially for the
research community. We are proposing to bring today's best minds together to develop a Road Map that both identifies existing mature technology and
outlines such engineering research as must yet be performed. The benefits of this workshop will truly be long-lived and far reaching cutting across all
sectors engaged with either providing or using open technology.

Proposal

The Free Standards Group (FSG), Accessibility Workgroup, wishes to convene a face-to-face meeting in early 2005. At this meeting, invited ...
-- 
	
				Janina Sajka, Director
				Technology Research and Development
				Governmental Relations Group
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

		Chair, Accessibility Workgroup
	Free Standards Group (FSG)

Email: janina at afb.net		Phone: (202) 408-8175




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