[Accessibility] Re: Statement of Intent

Bill Haneman Bill.Haneman at Sun.COM
Mon Aug 22 14:38:25 PDT 2005

Hi George:

Thanks for posting the statement.  It differs from the 
"statement_final.txt" which was circulated by Janina on the 19th of 
August: I quote this (what I understand to be the final version agreed 
to) below:

>Statement On Desktop Accessibility Development
>August 19, 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.

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