Re: Proposal: enable accessibility by default for GNOME

The way accessibility support works is that GTK+ loads accessibility modules (gail and atk-bridge) if it detects that accessibility support is enabled.

If accessibility support is not enabled when an application starts, I don't believe there is a way to indicate to a running GTK+ application to go ahead and load the accessibility modules retroactively. As such, one needs to quit running applications and restart them in order for changes to the accessibility setting to take effect.

The current user experience is very bad and kind of a Catch 22 situation: in order to enable accessibility, they often need to use assisitve technologies. In order to use assisitve technologies, they often need accessibility enabled. So, what we do now is tell users to find some way to enable accessibility for their session, then log out and log back in. It's really embarrassing as far as I'm concerned.

I'll see if we can dig up some metrics on the costs of enabling a11y. If anyone has good suggestions for how to do this and how to get numbers that people will trust, I'd like to hear them. :-) Even if the numbers are not favorable, however, I think I'd still argue to turn a11y on by default: it's far easier for someone without a disability to turn it off than it is for a person with a disability to turn it on.


Mathias Hasselmann wrote:
Am Mittwoch, den 30.07.2008, 13:11 -0400 schrieb Willie Walker:
Alexander Jones wrote:
 > Isn't this a distro decision?

Ultimately, I guess the value for any gconf setting in schemas/desktop_gnome_interface.schemas can be whatever a distro wants it to be. What I'm proposing, however, is that the default value that we choose for GNOME is that accessibility will be enabled by default. If distros want to revert this back to disabling accessibility, I guess it would be their choice.

What is the motivation for enabling accessibility by default?

For the regular user (not handicapped, not a testing engineer) the
accessibility bridge just consumes resources without providing any
benefit - AFAIKS.

Why can't accessibility be activated on demand? With D-Bus activation
we have the platform for enabling such features on demand.



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