[Accessibility] Draft Minutes Accessibility Working Group Meeting March 31, 2004

John Goldthwaite john.goldthwaite at catea.org
Wed Mar 31 12:41:20 PST 2004

Accessibility Working Group Meeting March 31, 2004

Doug Beattie
John Goldthwaite
Bill Haneman
Randy Horowitz
Earl Johnson
Janina Sajka
Gunnar Schmidt
Sharon Snider
Kris Van Hees
Matthew Wilcox
Allen Wilson

Minutes for March 24 approved as corrected.
Nothing new on action items, need to ping Trace on their Intellectual
property agreement.

NSF Proposal-
Janina and Earl Johnson spent a couple of hours refining the proposal.
Janina distributed an updated version with the meeting announcement.

Much of the language is the same as the informal proposal.
The two paragraphs about consensus could be combined.

Bill- the first paragraph could be tightened up a bit; it’s too long a
sentence.  First sentence should say who we are, what our purpose is. We don
’t have to state their name.  Do we need to put the amount in the first
sentence?  We are A11Y or FSG and we request funding to convene a
face-to-face meeting inviting experts to work on accessibility standards.
Janina- why not but the amount in rather than have a separate sentence?
Allen- How about- The FSG plans to call a meeting on accessibility in the
fall of 2004 and requests 35,900 from NSF.

Janina- what about the goals statements?
Bill –  do we need roadmap and consensus in the same statement?
Allen-  You’re updating the roadmap for 2005.   We have a roadmap, its needs
Bill- do we have a complete roadmap?
Janina- I don’t think we thought we had finished the roadmap when we were
writing the charter document.  The meeting is a sufficient gathering so that
we can get the understanding of what needs to be done, how to do it and who
will do it.
Allen – if you engage the stakeholders you should be able to get the roadmap
and milestones for 2005.
Janina- anything else in first item?  Okay, Statement of Needs   I added
some things that were not in the original NSF proposal.  We put those in an
appendix.  I don’t know if it all needs to stay, for example the guideline
things.  This maybe too much for a two-day meeting.
Earl- the meeting only has four things, AT-SPI, Keyboard, Shared I/O and
Magnification.     Maybe those are the only things that should be covered
Janina- maybe we should cut back as Earl is saying.  I thought it was
important to create
Allen- I thought the first three in the summary was all that would be
discussed.  You’d have the technical discussion of the workgroups plus the
planning session.
Janina- sort of a two tier organization-  the workgroups and the planning
Allen- we’re meeting to do the technical work and to do some planning, and
to introduce ourselves to the public.
Earl- these are the things we want to spend the bulk of our time on, we’re
going to plan.
Allen- The topics include an overview of the FSG, the work of the A11Y
workgroup, each of the workgroups and the planning.
Earl- turn the description of the technical issues in to a one or two lines.
Does it make sense to have more detail?
Allen-  we’re going to be working until then so we don’t know exactly what
we’ll be doing in six months.
Earl- should we say the three main items
Janina- NSF needs to see that there is scientific merit in what we’re doing.
They need to see what we’re going to talk about.  They need to see that
there are multiple possible methods that need to be discussed.  If
everything were clear-cut, we wouldn’t need a meeting.
Bill- we should let them know that there are some candidate standards but
that accessibility isn’t going to happen without the standards effort, the
market is doing to do it by itself.
Janina- NSF doesn’t normally fund standards so we need to show them the
Matthew- can we make the argument that focusing on the standards 
Bill- I missed the intent of the sentence regarding research.  We should be
sure that it’s in there.
Janina- if we can take all the platforms and show that these are important
in academia and research.  This needs to show the impact of accessibility on
the research community.
Bill- can we get some statistics on the amount of research that done on
Linux platforms.  That’s a hard stat to come by but it would be worth it.
John – we could get info on emerging Linux research platforms such at the
Janina- can someone work on that?
John- I’ll see what I can find.

Janina- the next part is new,  we’re being asked about prior art.  The
answer is not exactly.
Janina- There is the LARS meetings that JP Schnapper-Casteras organized at
Earl- all the stakeholders really are not involved at our weekly meeting or
at CSUN.  There has never been a meeting where all the stakeholder
Bill- there were meetings of Free Desktop group but they didn’t try to
systematically get all the stakeholders together.  So they weren’t meetings
where decisions could be made.
Janina- anything else on prior art?  Now the specific mechanics – it doesn’t
necessarily follow that I chair the meeting but I’m happy to do that.  Do we
want an organizing committee?  If we want people to show it’s going to take
some emails, phone calls and other follow up.  It’s a balancing act; you don
’t want too many people
John-  If we want to ensure we get representation for all stakeholder
groups, we could reserve 6-8 slots and do a call for papers.  We could
distribute it to disability organizations, academics and other companies.
We might also get some good ideas.   I've got mailing lists for RESNA, AAATE
and many of the other usual suspects if we want to do it.  It might be worth
it just for the exposure.
Janina- we’ll budget for logistics of the meeting such as AV, food service,
etc.  I worked with our AFB staff to get an estimate on those.  What I’m
hearing that I will chair the conference and there will be an organizing
committee.  This will let people know who’s putting it together.  We’ll want
to ask some people from academia, industry, GNOME foundation, KDE.
Something along those lines.  Next is location and probable date.
ATIA would also be appropriate in January.
Allen- there are logistics that are handled by the conference committee such
as arrangements with hotel.
Bill- NSF is used to dealing with that sort of personnel time for organizing
Janina- we did budget for those expenses

Alex- would it make sense to choose somewhere that central for everyone?
The West coast may be a long way for the European folks.
Janina- sometimes the geographically central location is not a cheap as
others.  For example it’s harder to get to Kansas City than Chicago or
Atlanta where there are many more flights.
Allen- would it make sense to pick a date and then we can work on selecting
a location.  IBM won’t tell me if locations are available unless I give them
a date.
John- why don’t we say we’ll meet the week before ATIA.  If we get the
funding we may look at Hawaii, if not we can pick a cheaper location.
Janina- who will be attending ATIA anyway?
Allen- I could be, I was asked to go this year.

Janina- I’d like some feedback on the next section
Allen- you should consider a breakout session for the Roadmap
Janina- there’s a hole on how it advances science.  We need to file that in
for NSF.
Allen- at the university level, if you have accessible systems to do your
research, you’re promoting diversity.
Bill- we should push the educational impact of the effort.
Earl- some of the infrastructure for research uses Linux
Bill- it advances the cause the education for students with disabilities. We
’re making sure that students with disabilities can access Linux that widely
used in education and research.
Allen- It enables people with disabilities to use computers in research.
Bill- the penetration of free desktop and Linux are more widely used in
Allen- it’s the basis for the Grid and visualization research
Janina- via the ATK don’t we also have ways of mapping the output that’s not
just visual.
Bill- I’m not sure we want to sell the pie-in-the-sky; we should stick to
the educational aspect.
Janina- the inclusion of students with disabilities in math and science is a
major concern of NSF so that good.  Anything else for this round of
re-writes?  Lets work towards pinning down the where and when.  Also for all
of you with institutional affiliations, please see if your organization will
be able to pay for your travel.  See you all next week.

John Goldthwaite
Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, Georgia Tech
john.goldthwaite at catea.org

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