[Accessibility] Re: Interoperability Statement -- Current Draft (resent)

Janina Sajka janina at freestandards.org
Wed Aug 17 06:27:01 PDT 2005

Thanks, Olaf. We'll work from this draft today.

Sorry about my sloppy posting yesterday.

Olaf Jan Schmidt writes:
> Hi!
> The resent draft still did not include my change, so here is the latest 
> version. My computer also advised me to change the spelling of one word to 
> "consciously".
> Draft Draft Draft Draft
> As of August 17 morning
> Statement On Desktop Accessibility Development
> August 2005
> We are members of the Gnome and KDE Accessibility Projects, and also of the
> Free Standards Group's Accessibility Workgroup.  We have prepared this
> statement in order to clarify the plans and intentions of our projects with
> respect to interoperability and standardization. We believe this statement
> accurately reflects the consensus viewpoint of the individual members of
> our groups.
> We wish to clarify our approach to the development of accessibility for the
> GUI desktop environment. Most particularly we want to allay any concern
> that our standardization efforts might be focused on any one particular
> toolkit or desktop technology to the exclusion of other toolkits and
> desktops. This is not so. On the contrary, we believe it is imperative to
> preserve choice and to maximize available options for users.  To this end
> we are consciously and intentionally developing an accessibility standard
> based on functional performance criteria implemented in messaging protocols
> fully independent of any particular toolkit or desktop technology.  We
> recognize that the assistive technologies now in development for GNOME and
> KDE serve  different user needs. We believe users who are persons with
> disabilities should be empowered to choose technologies from any and all
> environments which provide accessibility just as most other desktop users
> today routinely use a mix of technologies from different desktop
> environments. Our goal is seamless interoperability rather than
> duplication--which would be unnecessary and wasteful at best.
> While some of the accessibility interfaces being discussed as candidates
> for standardization within the FSG Workgroup, primarily AT-SPI,
> originated in Gnome, we as a group are committed to toolkit-neutral
> accessibility interface standards.  A key goal of our ongoing
> standardization effort, which is inclusive rather than exclusive, is the
> long-term interoperability of accessibility solutions for the free
> desktop environment. The current KDE4 roadmap, for example, calls for
> interoperability with existing Gnome assistive technologies, and vice
> versa, using the AT-SPI bridge that is part of Qt4.  The Gnome team is
> excited about this commitment and the willingness of the KDE developers
> to integrate Gnome technologies in cases where they offer immediate
> tangible benefits to users.
> At the same time, we are actively working together to develop and implement
> a strategy which will eliminate dependencies on any particular desktop,
> library, or toolkit, including KDE accessibility on Gnome libraries, or
> vice versa. The current plan of action, which was agreed to at a
> face-to-face meeting of the Free Standards Group Accessibility Workgroup
> earlier this year, is to standardize on a set of interfaces (most likely
> specified in IDL), and allow for multiple conformant implementations as
> long as basic interoperability requirements are met.  This will allow for
> increased technology sharing and help "future-proof" our standardization
> efforts.
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Janina Sajka				Phone: +1.202.494.7040
Partner, Capital Accessibility LLC	http://www.CapitalAccessibility.Com
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Chair, Accessibility Workgroup		Free Standards Group (FSG)
janina at freestandards.org		http://a11y.org

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