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Thu Jul 12 12:37:13 PDT 2007

Though they may also rely on technology to assist their interface to
others and to their environment, persons with disabilities will
generally seek to perform the same tasks as all other users of
technology, it seems to us most prudent, expedient and economical to
support the accomodations they require through standards that technology
developers can adopt and implement across their product portfolios. In
proposing an Accessibility Working Group to the Free Standards Group, we
are, therefore, proposing to develop and codify such standards to the
extent that they are identifiable and implementable through Application
Binary Interfaces (and as a set of best practices) through a consensus
process among all stakeholders. In particular, we will provide:

*	A well defined standard for user features that support a
consistant experience across applications. Assistive technologies will
be required to support these features and applications must not defeat
their functionality. For instance, if we say that "Sticky Keys" is a
standard desktop feature, onscreen keyboards can rely on its presence
and be designed accordingly to take advantage of it, and can avoid
conflicting with it.  Likewise applications will then know explicitly
that they must not conflict with or defeat Sticky Keys (or any other
standard accessibility feature). Similarly, if our standards omit
certain features (for instance
if we remain silent regarding self-voicing
applications) then assistive technologies can infer
that the task of formatting an appropriate speech presentation for
applications is their responsibility.

*	A comprehensive standard for application program interfaces to
support the development of robust assistive technologies across the
heterogeneous free standards environment. It is imperative to provide
for a dynamic nexus between applications and assistive technologies so
that characteristics such as time-out or keystroke event injection can
be adjusted appropriately.


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