[Accessibility] Minutes for April 6

john goldthwaite jgoldthwaite at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 6 12:59:28 PDT 2005

4/6/2005   Accessibility Workgroup Meeting
Gunnar Schmidt
Bill Haneman		
Matthew Wilcox
Janina Sajka	
John Goldthwaite
George Kraft
Larry Weiss
Peter Korn
Peter Brunet
Randy Horwitz
Andreas Gonzales
Earl Johnson

Minutes from 3/31/05 approved as posted.

Brief items- Voter registration form is up and the
period for registration has started.  Bill motioned
that we should cull our list of group members.  Should
that be a formal motion and do we need to discuss it? 
Anyone have any problems?  No objections.  I have a
questions- if someone has not participated enough
should we allow people who don’t quite make the
normative standards can we have a process to allow
them to qualify.
Doug - we said that those people could contact you and
election committee could make a decision in those
Janina- George and I made a lot of edits to the web
page about the conference.  John, please send your
notes to George so that he can post them.  If anyone
has other notes send them to George.
The freedesktop people have posted a list of
requirements for the audio requirements.  Would other
people like copies of that?  How closely should we
track this?  If they are going to set out a set of
requirements ...  
The question has come up about a next meeting.  I
don’t have any news about funding. George has
recommended that we go to Freedesktop.  We wouldn’t
have funding for everyone to the meeting so we need to
decide who would be best to attend.  
George- from this workgroup we could talk about the
finalization of the Keyboard specs.  These are the
specs’ and these are the tests were are thinking
about.  The GAP group could talk about what they are
Bill- I don’t believe I would have company sponsorship
for that trip.  
Janina- so we would need to find some funding.
Bill- well, partial funding. Dates?
Willy-	July 17 and 18th for desktop developers

Janina- so there is utility for the community to see
what we have ready and about ready for approval.  We
can explain to developers how you do accessibility. 
That will help me as I’m talk to the funders.  We’ll
try too get some resolution on it this month so we can
make some decisions.  We have a spec coming on
Keyboard and perhaps one on AT-SPI later this year. 
How do we explain that complying with the Keyboard
spec is not the same as accessibility.  We will
actually have tests and be able to perform validation
against the test.

Peter- we can say that this is a minimum.  If your
system doesn’t have this, then don’t even try to make
AccessX work.  
Janina- this reminds me of the W3C WAI content
guidelines- various levels of check points.  You need
to do these for single A which are essential.  You can
do things for triple A that are helpful but it doesn’t
help with the essential single A’s.  
Bill- rather than talk about levels of conformance, we
should explain what we do cover and avoid saying
things about making the desktop accessible.  Keyboard
requirements for accessibility readiness.  We’re not
saying that the desktop is accessibility.
Peter- it’s a statement of a level of minimal
Bill-   if somebody has kdb and access library and was
running with software that doesn’t use them, the user
will not get any benefit in access.  We should
distance ourselves from accessibility claims.
Janina- I kind of agree but we are the Accessibility
work group.  We need to list the kind of users that
will benefit.  If the package is included, we have to
add the cavet that application must make use of the
features before end users will benefit.
Bill- we need to put a disclaimer that says we do not
certify applications for platforms.
Peter- what if we say it is a minimum infrastructure
for accessibility but it doesn’t mean applications
will be accessible.  Have something at the top of the
page that is is about infrastructure, these are
minimum foundation building blocks required for
Bill- if someone references our spec., if that’s all
they say, the reader needs to know that this is not
the whole story.  

George- set up a meeting with Jim Zemlin and Andrew
Josey, director of certification for the Open group. 
Let them know that this is the timeline for things to
be handed up to the FSG board of directors.  Let them
have time to think about it and get back to us with a
counter proposal.

Janina- we need to make some statement.  It will be
about Keyboard now.  It will be something we say about
all our standards.  We need to put up some suggested
wording as a strawman and we can tweak it until we get
it right.  At some point someone will sell based on
our specification, which should be a good thing.  It
is a useful opportunity, we have this toolkit and we
have made sure that we support these spec’s.  There
are aspects for the customer that we need to think
through.  It needs to be a well crafted statement and
carry a message about what it does and does not do for
the consumer. Hadn’t thought about a discussion with
the FSG board.
George- when they take a standard, they develop a
product standard.  That is what the FSG’s product is. 
It costs them money to set them up since they have to
get the lawyers to check it and package it.
Janina- we’ve got our spec, but who can claim
conformance.  Just because xkb, it doesn’t mean that —
is compliant

Bill- the standard is based on the presence of a
feature set.  If you are looking for a particular
library and it’s there, that doesn’t tell you if other
packages on the system use the library or use it
correctly.  We haven’t pushed out to the end user.  It
has been targeted at whether the application will run
on the platform, program links with library and will
run.  Now we’re getting to whether the user experience
is correct.  The AT-SPI and I/O are about services but
there are ways the user can access the services.
Janina- we’re not the first to introduce the user
aspects, Internationalization also relates to user
George- I17n makes sure that the libraries work
correctly and that things like grep can handle a
multi-byte character.  It doesn’t guarantee that an
application will perform correctly.  It will take a
while between having certified accessible systems and
having certified applications.
Peter- we don’t get to a end goal until we have ..
What works in the process.
Bill- here are the N steps required for an accessible
Bill- it puts into context of what is required
Peter- it makes it clear that we’re not walking away
from the final outcome.  We’re making it clear that
there are multiple steps and this is step 1.
Andreas- It is an alternative interface.  If someone
could do a standard for gui development, I’d be
surprised.  This is going to be a moving target.
Peter- accessibility is different depending on the
user.  It make no sense to say that X is accessible. 
It will be accessible to a user with a given set of

It is a negative test, if you don’t have it, don’t bid
on it.
Bill- it’s necessary but not sufficient
Peter- necessary but far from sufficient

Bill- have we exhausted this?

Peter- there is an NCITS study group on accessibility
that has started meeting and they are currently
gathering the international standards.  They are
having a meeting next month in Sheffield, England.	
Janina- It’s actually next week.  I’m trying to get a
flight to attend.  I’ve got to be in Stockholm
Tuesday.  I’m getting quoted about $1600 to get to
Willy- try Manchester
Peter- try RyanAir, they service a small airport
outside of Stockholm and Manchester.

Others on the NCITS committee- Greg Vanderheiden, Judy
Brewer, Gottfried Zimmerman, Leddie Neville, plus
industry types.											
Janina- I think we can have a meeting next week but
I’m not sure what my hosts in Denmark have planned. 
Would you want to meet without me?				
Peter- there is nothing burning but we’d like to hear
about your two meetings.			
Janina- expect a email Tuesday about whether we’ll
have a meeting.  Thanks everyone, great meeting!


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