[Accessibility] Announcing AEGIS - a €12.6m investment in open source accessibility

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Thu Oct 16 20:30:33 PDT 2008

I am *very* pleased to share with you news about the AEGIS project, a 
€12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused 
on open source solutions.

Rather than repeat here all that I have written about AEGIS already, I 
will instead invite you to read about it in my blog:  
http://blogs.sun.com/korn/ or check out the AEGIS website at: 

I have worked in the field of accessibility for nearly 17 years, and on 
open source accessibility almost a dozen of those years.  In that time, 
open source accessibility has become a deep and abiding passion. 

I'm very proud that the techniques we have pioneered in the open source 
community have since been adopted by Apple with the Macintosh & 
VoiceOver, and are being adopted by Microsoft with UI Automation.  These 
same techniques are enshrined in the report a 42 member committee 
delivered to the U.S. Access Board earlier this year (and which at this 
very moment being reviewed by them as they work on their refresh of the 
Section 508 accessibility standard).  And these techniques are at the 
core of the AEGIS project.

With AEGIS, over the next 3.5 years we will attempt to bring 
programmatic accessibility more fully to the web, and to the mobile 
world.  With AEGIS we will also address a number of issues that still 
remain in accessibility on the open desktop.  And while we're at it, we 
will bring a bunch of new and talented people into the open source 
accessibility community (you should start seeing them showing up on our 
mailing lists and wikis in the coming months).  We will also fund a 
number of the experts who have already made tremendous open source 
accessibility contributions - to enable to them to continue and to do 
even more.  I'm sure they will shortly make their voices heard on these 
lists and in the blogosphere.  And we will explicitly fund a number of 
European disability organizations.  These organizations and many dozens 
of their members will be providing their expert input on our work, and 
thoughtfully evaluating our prototypes, and perhaps adopting the 
solutions we come up with because they do a great job of meeting their 

Oh, and we'll also write a bunch of open source accessibility code.

This Sunday the 19th of October marks the 8th anniversary of the GNOME 
Accessibility Project.  AEGIS helps bring a fantastic 8th year to a 
close, and also serves to inaugurate the next 3.5 years!


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect & Principal Engineer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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