[Accessibility] draft minutes of the accessibility wg, apr. 28

Randall S Horwitz rhorwitz at us.ibm.com
Mon May 3 23:50:01 PDT 2004

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Accessibility Working Group Meeting April 28, 2004

Doug Beattie
Harald Fernengel
Sandy Gabrielli
Bill Haneman
Earl Harison
Randy Horwitz
Peter Korn
Janina Sajka
Sharon Snider
Kris Van Hees
Matthew Wilcox
Allen Wilson


The group has a new member! Welcome to Harald.

Janina-Harald, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself, and then the rest of us will introduce ourselves.

Harald-Works for Troltech in Norway. In terms of accessibility, contributed a lot to QT to ATK bridge. 

Janina-Glad to have you If you want to add more about accessibility...

Harald-Doesn't have that much of an accessibility background. Looks at the APIs. Tries to expose as much as possible and hopes it is useful.

Janina-Again, delighted you are here.

Sharon joins

Janina-Randy will you still take minutes?


Janina-Next, Gunnar?

Gunnar-I member of the KDE Accessibility Project.

Bill-Delighted to speak to Harald. Exchanged a lot of mail with him about GAP. Takes credit for a lot of ATK and AT-SPI. If there are technical questions on that, Bill is the person to call probably.



Willy-Works for HP. Mostly a kernel hacker looking to see what the kernel can do to make life easier for accessibility.


Kris-He is not connected with any current accessibility project. Currently doing a doctorate on accessibility of UIs. His direct interest is more in the area of what is happening in the future, and ensuring there is a nice continuation toward true accessibility development.

Janina-Member of AFB. Originally the IS director, but then asked to pay plenty of attention to standards, particularly where related to new and emerging technologies. Focusing on this group is one of the things she likes the best. She is a user, Blind, and interested in this standard helping to better her life and that of other Blind people. Wants bennifits extended and enhanced.

Sharon-Works for IBM's Linux Technology Center, mostly on testing accessibility.

Janina-Sharon is our exper technical writer.

Randy-Works for the IBM Accessibility center. He has many jobs where related to accessibility, and one of them is to be a member of this group.

Allen-A colleague of Randy's at the Accessibility Center. Monitors accessibility on linux platform.

Doug-Not really an accessibility person. He is here to be an FSG rep. Helps in coordination with other FSG groups if necessary.

Peter-Sun accessibility team. Doing this for 12-13 years. Started with work on Outspoken for Mac and Windows. Then to Sun for Java accessibility, and now GNOME accessibility.

Earl-Team mate of Peter's. Been doing this for 15 years or so.

Janina-Earl, were you not once accessibility at sun?

Earl-Yes, I did found the team, and bring Peter Korn on.

Sandy-Works for Archimedes Project at U of Hawaii.  It is a project working on user interface issues in ares like education and for the elderly. She is here to see if she can help with linux issues. Hoping this group gets funded for a conf in Hawaii.

Janina-Yes, NSF proposal involves that.

Janina-Thanks everyone. Helps to have a reminder of where we all come from.

NSF draft.

Janina-Draft went out in email not long ago. Considers it fairly comprehensive. Does think things fit well, and is what NSF wants addressed. Bill, thanks for suggestions. Wants to go through this draft one more time on this call. One thing not included were John's statistical contributions.  There are still some things that are not fully baked in though. Probably the whole thing needs another week to finish. Has any one not gotten it?

No response.

Janina-Can I ask folks to look at this?

Earl-In "achieving standards that support accessibility" paragraph... First bullet says, "accessibility in the near term". What does that mean?

Janina-Idea that we have a few issues infront of us that can be standardized on quickly. Examples:
1. XKB
2. Shared I/O
Concern we are a standards group, but we want to push research to NSF. We know if we can do Engineering work, turn other things into standars, and we can identify future research through this work. Last item is to build a relationship with NSF.

Earl-Thinks it makes it seem that we have more than three things to work on for now.

Janina-Hopes that this gets accepted in time to do work in January. It is possible we may have more to work on by then.

Earl-Ok. That suggests this bullet does not need tightening up.

Peter- Research topic: Is it work noting that already we have new functionality in assistive technologies? Something like GOK?

Janina-Could you add some sentences?

Peter-Where shall I put it?

Janina-Does it belong in the bullets or the paragraphs?

Peter-Maybe in the introductory?

Janina-Maybe in the bennificiaries.

Peter-Outcomes and bennifits?

Bill-Other thing is in statement of need. Might strenthen argument by saying hoping to leverage and extend other ATs. Agrees put things under bennificiaries.

Peter-Quick knit, Sun Microsystesm is two words not three.


Peter-May also observe that the Dasher project has done a fair amount of work to be portable. Will have to do different things on different platforms to have more advanced features. Their burdens could be eased by some of our work.

Peter-Gok does a lot of things because of existence of the AT-SPI. Also because of XKB work, it is able to have it's composed kb be accurate reflection of user's locale. These are examples of things that provide a bennifit to the AT, and thus the user.

Peter-My next task is to boil all of this down to text.

Janina-Can you put this into text?


Randy-The word "Our" is repeated twice consecutively in the first paragraph. Knit.

Bill-Research of folks with disabilities Summary, lower barriers to studetns and scientists with disabilities.

Peter-Another research bennifit: Technology transfer. Organizations like Trace, GA Tech, who do a lot of interesting research, but this almost never makes it out to users. By having open source architecture  on top of which all of this can be done, and available a lot of places, makes it easier to focus on the pieces they are adding value to. Since architecture  is open, greater ability for researchers to join community, and for the things they find to be adopted in the platform. Dasher started as research.

Bill-Agrees. Mentioned this last week and it fell through the cracks.

Janina-Yes it did.

Bill-Same things could be said of GOK. 

Peter-Nice feedback loops between research and advanced user interfaces. Some things would not have made into AT-SPI were it not for research.

Randy-Wich sections would all of this go in again?

Peter-Outcomes and bennifits. Maybe some deserve their own section. New top level section "Vendors and Developers of AT".

Janina-Comments on names? Most of the names are ours. But their are relatively few of us who names start with "Dr". So she thinks it would be a good idea to find other folks to go on there. Greg V good name to make it on there, which is why he did.

Peter-Committee of all of us very large committee. Need to include Earl and I.

Janina-Sorry to Peter and Earl. Want to see Sun on that list. Lists shows support as well as attendees.

Peter-Is this truly a committee? Or is this all of us?

Janina-Happy to have it be all of us.

Kris-If this is all of us. I can help with the "Dr." part. I can do "Drf." as a legal prefix.

Kris-Someone who is working on a doctorate is what this stands for. He things this could help.

Janina-Kris send brief to me of how you should be listed there.

Randy-Also shows Kris is a student. NSF likes this.


Earl-Is John G a doctor?

Janina-Will check.

Janina-Took all of this from our charter.

Doug-Means that this is missing some folks from our current calls. But this can be harvested from the website.

Janina-Some folks who are on the list are missing too, but I didn't want to have every one on there without their permission. Could say that the accessibility working group as a whole is here and just leave it at that, but thinks naming is useful, and what NSf is looking for. they want names, titles, and organizational affiliations.

Kris-Thinking about affiliations, should I mention who I am doing the doctorate for? 


Kris-Will add it.

Janina-This is where we can leverage our connections.

Janina-One more imortant topic. Minutes from  last week.

Earl-Any other issues you think we need work on?

Janina-No. Agenda items have been moved down, but they have been in place for some time.

Earl-Happy to move on.

Janina-Does it seem to tell the story in a good flow? Is this a good read?

Kris-In general for those who don't want to read the entire thing, things that the various sections make their case without too much trouble.

Kris- In one section, some times loose use of the words standards, are these established or a proposal? Can't find the section for now he is thinking about though..

Janina-If you find it can you bring it up either on this call or list?


Janina-Minutes. Randy had suggested edits. Have these things made it to the website?

Sharon-No. Need wording from Randy.

Janina-Can we aprove something that isn't final? Shall we postpone?

We shall.

Janina-Scott McNeil dropped a bomb shell on us. Conf line we use is about to vanish.  Need to find an alternate on that. How do we do that?

Bill-If I have a weeks lead time I can probably get a number.

Janina-We have 1, maybe 2.

Bill-Will see what he can do about re-activating his own conference on demand.

Doug-Does it have constant passcode?

Bill-Not sure I can guarantee that.

Bill-Advantage of being in the time zone I'm in, I can email a little while before the meeting. Can maybe get a static passcode, but not sure.

Doug-Anything better than nothing. Thank you.

Janina-Happy to take Bill up on this, just concerned this will turn out being a personal expense. 

Bill-Thinks  he can make it non-personal.

Janina-Next week we will have more time to look at the proposal. In between, changes will need to be made on the list. Need to look at the budget one last time. Wants to be on track to submit Thursday right after the next meeting.

Janina-Back to engineering work next week, or do we finish this up next week?

Doug-Thinks doing a status check on projects and developing plan to move ahead would be good. Those who oversee areas be prepared with status next week.

Janina-Thinks that would be useful.

Janina-Thanks for being here Harald, and this was a good meeting everybody.

Peter-Harald what is the current status of current QT work?

Harald-ATK will be in QT4, final release planned end of this year.

Bill-ATK actions. Will they be supported?

Harald-Wants to make sure that GOK will work with their framework.

Bill-Wants to be sure actions will be used.

Peter-Will vendors bundle this with QT distro?

Harald-Thinks so. As soon as you install ATK, makes sense to install QT's ATK bridge. Also knows SuSe is going to ship this bridge.

Peter-Is yast based on QT?


And there's your ball-game.

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