cdh: How can we say that a11y is working "reasonably" if we haven't a set of requirements that define what is "reasonable" first?
cdh: The Gnome a11y issues for people with vision impairment in the 2.xx releases are many, especially when compared to what users enjoy with JAWS or VoiceOver. These issues, though, are not all based in Gnome itself, rather, across the ecosystem of OS, UI, app, etc. The Gnome Accessibility API has most of the power necessary but too few programs fully implement it.
cdh: Spend a day with a JAWS power user and then spend one with an Orca user. The latter can do a lot of really good stuff but the former can do so much more and do so more efficiently.
cdh: What are the dates these bugs were reported as critical or blocker? How long have they sat unattended?
cdh: Sure, there will always be room for improvement but, again, compared to a Windows user with JAWS, WE, SA, NVDA, etc. a Gnome user has far fewer options and, in some really important application categories, they have nothing even remotely fully featured (compare using MS Excel with JAWS to Orca with the LibreOffice spreadsheet as a quick example of what one can and cannot do).
cdh: Lastly, I cannot tell a purchasing agent that they need to hire a contractor to hack a system for a11y when they can already get what they want from Windows or Macintosh without pricey consultants involved. Budgets are being cut and such purchasing professionals have no special interest in free software.
cdh: I don't mean to sound so negative but as government requirements for a11y increase globally, we need to ensure that free operating environments can compete on a11y with our proprietary cousins. In terms of price/performance, Macintosh currently offers the most comprehensive solution; if price is no object, Windows can be made terrific but a user who needs real power tools in office apps and a number of other areas are left behind in gnome.
cdh: I realize these are not the fault of the Gnome Foundation but they are really big problems for my constituency and can be summarized as the Gnome ecosystem.