[Accessibility] Text as discussed at the phone conference

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Wed Aug 17 13:45:43 PDT 2005

Hi Olaf,

I think this draft is great.  One minor nit/suggestion: change "...just as 
most other desktop users..." to "...just as other desktop users...".  I think 
the qualifier "most" offers up a point of argument (to people who might 
disagree), and adds no substance.  The point is that just as desktop users in 
general have choice and use technologies that meet their needs separate from 
what libraries those technologies use, people with disabilities should have 
the same choice.  It doesn't matter if 30% of desktop users avail themselves 
of this choice, or 70%.  Choice is important, and users with disabilities 
should have that choice.


Peter Korn
Sun Accessibility team

Olaf Jan Schmidt wrote:
> Hi!
> This is the latest draft with all changes discussed at the phone conference.
> If we want to shorten it a bit further, then we can consider removing the last 
> sentence of the second paragraph.
> In the question of the AT-SPI bridge I changed it to simply say "the AT-SPI 
> bridge of Qt4", which has a wide enough meaning to be correct in any case.
> I also realized that I made the exact same mistake as Janina and send the old 
> version without the change of "Gnome technologies" to "technologies that 
> originated within Gnome" to this list earlier. I know that this was kind of 
> pathetic.
> Olaf
> Draft Draft Draft Draft
> As of August 17 19:30 UTC
> 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 (FSG Accessibility). 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 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. We believe it is imperative to 
> preserve choice and to maximize available options for users. Therefore we are 
> developing an accessibility standard based on functional performance criteria 
> implemented in messaging protocols fully independent of any particular 
> toolkit or desktop technology. 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 FSG Accessibility, 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, using the AT-SPI bridge of Qt4. The KDE Accessibility 
> Project also plans to port its own assistive technologies to AT-SPI so that 
> Gnome users can benefit from them. The Gnome team is excited about this 
> commitment and the willingness of the KDE developers to integrate 
> technologies that originated within Gnome in those 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 FSG Accessibility 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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