[Accessibility] minutes: Open A11y Workgroup Conference Call (20 April 2010)

Gregory J. Rosmaita oedipus at hicom.net
Wed Apr 21 11:35:26 PDT 2010


apologies for not getting these out sooner; please log any errors, 
omissions, or mis-attributions by replying-to this announcement 
on-list; thanks, gregory.

Open A11y Workgroup Conference Call (20 April 2010)

Retrieved from


        1 Open A11y Workgroup Conference Call (20 April 2010)

             1.1 Preliminary Items
                  1.1.1 Participants
                  1.1.2 For Reference
                  1.1.3 Open Action Items
                  1.1.4 Announcements & News

             1.2 Meeting Minutes
                  1.2.1 Topic 1: U.S. Section 508 Updates
                  1.2.2 Topic 2: Future of Open Standards & Open
                        Source Software

Preliminary Items


     * Janina Sajka (JS/chair)
          + Pete Brunet (PB)
          + Brian Cragun (BC)
          + Mike Gorse {MG)
          + Chris Hofstader (CH)
          + Gregory J. Rosmaita (GJR/scribe)
          + Brad Taylor {BT}
          + Peter Korn (PK)
               o regrets: Will Walker, Mark Doffman

For Reference

     * [1]Agenda for the 20 April 2010 Open A11y Call
     * [2]Minutes from the 30 March 2010 Open A11y Call

Open Action Items

     * ACTION - GJR: work with Linux Foundation IT team to fix problems
       with new content management system
          + status: in progress; all links off of http://a11y.org/
            should now lead to the correct destination, and the
            information should be current; systemic problems still being
            addressed with Linux Foundation staff

Announcements & News

   CH: in GNU we are trying to approach accessibility comprehensively,
   rather than piecemeal; sorted things into tasks (anyone can do at any
   time), challanges (no prerequisites, harder and bigger projects
   probably need more than 1 person), grand challanges (feature wish list

   CH: coordinating accessibility.gnu.org -- anyone who wants to be on
   GNU Accessibility advisors' list, please email me to let me know (c d
   h at hofstader dot com)


Meeting Minutes

   Note: These minutes have not yet been finalized.

Topic 1: U.S. Section 508 Updates

   NOTE: The updated standards and guidelines [3] Advance Notice of
   Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) is on the Access Board's web site at:

   JS: have only read portions of new draft of ANPRM, but don't think
   have a lot of time left. need to organize in LF is going to do
   anything; now is time to discuss; my main question is "are the next
   several Tuesdays good for that and whom should we invite in addition
   to [4] Jim Zemlin and [5] Andy Updegrove?"

   PK: would be highly appropriate for Open A11y explicitly invite
   Novell, RedHat and Ubuntu; in invite should note that 508 had profound
   impact on a11y rules worldwide -- expect same with new version -- EU
   commission is following 508 devs, as are Canada, Australia, Japan --
   all have formal reps monitoring 508 Refresh

   PK: important that everyone who is putting together a linux desktop be
   invited to participate on this process

   BT: don't know if Novell following -- will circulate internal email to
   find out

   JS: who at ubuntu?

   PK: start at top -- have JaninaS and JimZ email Ubuntu to let know
   this is the chance to ensure our desktop remains competitive; others
   are monitoring, you should do same

   JS: [6] GNU going to submit 508 comments?

   PK: i strongly encourage ChrisH to do so

   CH: under a mountain right now

   PK: 2 roles any group can play: 1) a full, detailed review of what
   amounts to a 100 page doc; 2) lending their voice to specific issues
   that have surfaced in others' reviews

   CH: pointers?

   GJR: will put as many as possible in minutes; if there are more, let
   me know

   JS: will contact Jonathan Gladford {sp?} of RedHat

   PK: only challenge to Tuesday meetings is standing 10 A.M. meeting in
   Oracle headquarters; have to participate while driving to work

   JS: would very much like to accommodate, but took a lot of work to
   agree on this time and date;

   PK: so convene a summit meeting on Tuesday 27 April 2010 or 4 May 2010 
   -- think that 4 May 2010 best to shoot for for summit
   meeting; actual comment deadline is June so not a red-hot burning
   issue, but something we need to start coordinating and acting upon now

   PK: attended info session with many members of AccessBoard last week;
   really struck by comment that looking at public feedback to see how
   things are "trending", so one thing that is being done is a counting
   of noses -- for that specific reason, it is in our interest to drum up
   as many voices -- unique voices -- as we can to give feedback;
   encourage individual Open A11y members to file comment -- the more
   comments, the better

   PK: need comments not just from organizations, but also comments from
   Joe Q. Public -- if have disability or work with those who do, mention
   it in comment -- AccessBoard will accord comment more weight; need
   both comments and review of comments

   PB: if individual participants in Open A11y and/or other similar
   organization, can that individual file comments individually?

   PK: yes; for example, Phil Jenkins (member of AccessBoard and IBM a11y
   engineer) made personal comment ("removing hat as AccessBoard member
   and member of IBM accessibility team") -- verify that management is ok
   with your filing individual comments

   CH: good -- i will comment both with GNU A11y hat on and as individual

   PK: do NOT put name on both -- one from you personally, one from
   organization to which you belong, signed in that organization's name

   CH: some things i have to comment upon are outside ken of GNU

   PK: brief overview of 508 Refresh -- open source variant of what i'm
   doing internally in Oracle

   PK: many changes: key changes: 1) greatly expanded scope of
   telecommunications under FCC regulation -- 2 laws covered Section 508
   (procurement and a11y of IT in federal agencies) and Section 255 (of
   the Telecommunications Act) covers design and sale of
   telecommunications under FCC jurisdiction anywhere in U.S. -- this
   means any communication device is subject to new rules as defined by
   FCC; software telecommunications are now subject to same provisions as
   every other telecomm device

   PK: started analysis of how 508 impacts GNOME desktop -- definitely on
   my ToDo list

   PK: Television and video display comes under FCC jurisdiction for
   a11y; parallel to HR3101 ([7] H.R. 3101: Twenty-first Century
   Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009); what HR3101 seeks
   are in rule

   PK: new standards for software and applications, for example
   OpenOffice, Numeric -- anything that generates documents (although it
   is not 100% clear what the term "document" means in this context) --
   anything that generates code or a web page is now under new set of
   rules -- authoring tool has to prompt for accessibility and have
   accessibility templates

   JS: so arguably even PHP is covered

   PK: arguably -- the output of PHP, definitely

   PK: another great development is the thurough adaption of WCAG 2.0
   with a few exceptions -- if you are a web based app and meet WCAG 2.0
   you are largely done -- don't have to pass 2 sets of hurdles;

   PK: dramatic increase in number and scope of rules -- new version
   includes advisory notes and examples; much stronger doc

   PK: specific things that caught attention: 1) bug in GNOME 2.x
   (digestibility of key repeat rate; relates to xkbd - needs to allow
   full range of repeat rate)

   PK: more significant things: "no trapping of keyboard focus cursor"
   (identified problem at Sun over decade ago) -- [link to IFrame A11y 
   Inquiry on PF wiki]

   PK: need changes to FireFox, and to plug-in in order to be in
   compliance with new rules

   PK: broadly adopted argument "utilize a11y APIs" -- some language
   concerns me about whether IA2 is "valid" (don't want to go into now,
   but point where LF should comment upon)

   PK: media -- need to be able to process closed-captions and video
   description -- not all media players do this or can do this; OGG
   Theora no video description channel in video -- needed to turn on
   video description to add stream to audio

   PK: real-time communication: devices for deaf to promote real-time

   GJR: Drupal participation at this point?

   PK: sure

Topic 2: Future of Open Standards & Open Source Software

   CH: [8] GNU Accessibility statement is available for anyone to reuse;

   JS: finally had conversation with [9] RNIB -- offered resources

   PK: quantify, please?

   JS: asked me to give a figure; recognize need to for them to get
   involved in this space more; concerned about cost of ITC in developing

   JS: will be discussing funding with Jim Zemlin with specific aim of
   obtaining funding on continued work on D-Bus port

   JS: will make direct contact with WIll Walker and Mark Doffman to find
   out status of work; notify of potential funding sources; need to talk
   technology side of things

   CH: [10] MIT's OpenSource software initiative recently pledged to
   accessify projects; will be looking to contract engineering positions
   for 2 to 3 years;

   MG: what is specifically on their work list?

   CH: huge laundry list

   MG: please post a pointer to the list if/when their work list is

     * meeting adjourned h UTC
     * [11] next Open A11y conference call: 2010-04-27


 1. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Accessibility/Minutes/Agenda20100420
 3. http://access-board.gov/508.htm
 4. http://linux-foundation.org/weblogs/jzemlin/
 6. http://www.gnu.org/
 7. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-3101
 8. http://www.gnu.org/accessibility/accessibility.html
 9. http://www.rnib.org.uk/
10. http://freesoftware.mit.edu/
11. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Accessibility/Minutes/Agenda20100427

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