[Accessibility] Invitation (Draft)

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Tue Oct 26 09:22:28 PDT 2004

Dear %[Name]:

The Accessibility Workgroup of the Free Standards Group (FSG) is inviting your
participation at our face to face meeting beginning Tuesday, January 25, 2005,
in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Our meeting is hosted by the University of Hawaii
with additional financial support from the U.S. National Science Foundation
(NSF). As an individual whose direct contributions to open source technologies
directly impact how users of Linux (and other F/OSS) can, and cannot use this
environment, we particularly need your help in achieving the three goals of this
meeting on behalf of persons with disabilities worldwide:

 o To achieve consensus on those standards which can be adopted to
   support accessibility in the near term. The FSG's Accessibility
   Workgroup is currently preparing specific proposals;

 o Agree on engineering research which must yet be performed in order to
   support all persons with disabilities;

 o Identify areas where further targeted research is required before
   engineering solutions can be put forward;

As you are no doubt aware, far too often people with disabilities are excluded
from participation in the benefits that technology provides in society today.
Though it may be unintentional, this exclusion remains far too common because
the needs of users with disabilities are rarely considered appropriately (if at
all) in the design process. Consequently, many of today's technology products
and services remain inaccessible to, or only marginally usable by persons with
disabilities. However, it has also been widely demonstrated that technology can
profoundly enhance the lives of persons with disabilities. A properly designed
technology tool is often a disabled person's best choice for active
participation in society--whether at home, at work or at play. The economic
success of  distributions  based on free standards also requires comprehensive
support for accessibility in order for them to meet legal requirements in
various markets worldwide (such as in sales to U.S. Government entities).

You can learn more about our meeting on our web page at http://a11y.org/nsf_f2f.html. This page also includes links to additional information regarding the FSG, our Accessibility Workgroup, and the issues inherent in supporting accessibility.

%[Optional Paragraph RE Why this particular invitation to this particular

We hope you can join us in Hawaii. If you require it, we do have limited funds
to support travel and lodging expenses. Please respond to this invitation by
November 15 so that we can plan accordingly.


				Janina Sajka, Chair
				Accessibility Workgroup
				Free Standards Group (FSG)

janina at freestandards.org	Phone: +1 202.494.7040

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