[Accessibility] Text as discussed at the phone conference

Janina Sajka janina at freestandards.org
Wed Aug 17 18:20:04 PDT 2005

Here's yet a few more small tweaks to the statement language.

1.)	I agree with Peter and have removed the word "most" from the
sentence about most users using a mix of desktop technologies. Makes
that sentence much stronger. Great catch, Peter.

2.)	I have followed Olaf's suggestion (mostly) and deleted most of
the last sentence of the second para. I kept the first few words because
I think it helps to summarize that para.

3.)	In the final para I have replaced "earlier this year" with
"during January 2005" in order that this statement still read well in
2006 and beyond.

So, herewith the latest rewrite ...

Draft Draft Draft Draft
As of August 18, 01:18 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  other desktop users 
today routinely use a mix of technologies from different desktop 
environments. Our goal is seamless interoperability.

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 during January 2005, 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.


Janina Sajka				Phone: +1.202.494.7040
Partner, Capital Accessibility LLC	http://www.CapitalAccessibility.Com
Bringing the Owasys 22C screenless cell phone to the U.S. and Canada. Go to http://www.ScreenlessPhone.Com to learn more.

Chair, Accessibility Workgroup		Free Standards Group (FSG)
janina at freestandards.org		http://a11y.org

More information about the Accessibility mailing list