"Helen Keller Achievement Award" credits GNOME Accessibility


I am delighted to relay the news that the "GNOME Accessibility
Architecture" has been singled out in this year's "Helen Keller
Achievement Award in Technology", one of the annual "Helen Keller
Awards" presented by the American Foundation for the Blind. 

These awards recognize the "notable accomplishments of individuals who
are role models or improve the quality of life for people who are blind
or visually impaired."  According to a pre-press release, the GNOME
Accessibility architecture demonstrates a committment to accessible
technology which "raises the bar for the computing industry" and
"dramatically expands the options available" for technology consumers
who are blind or visually impaired.

Although the award is officially being awarded to Sun Microsystems for
its "leadership in universal design", it is the work of GNOME
Accessibility that is specifically called out by the award presenters.  

Pat Sueltz, Executive Vice President of Sun Services, will be on hand to
accept the award, and I know that like all of us at Sun, she
acknowledges that credit for this project lies not only with the
executives who have remained committed to 'equal access', but with a
distributed engineering effort including many organizations and
individuals.  I am sure that Pat will accept the award on behalf of all
the people, many of them volunteers, who are working to make GNOME
Accessibility a reality.

Though the current AFB press release does not highlight the community
aspects of the GNOME accessibility effort, we will endeavor to make this
point in upcoming public announcements, drawing attention to the many
individuals and organizations who share credit for making GNOME
Accessibility what it is today, and who are striving to bring it from
"framework" to "desktop reality" over the coming months.

In particular we would like to thank the engineers in Ximian,  RedHat,
CodeFactory, BAUM, the University of Toronto, the Mozilla project, and
the many individuals on the Release Team and Foundation who have
supported our work; the intrepid individuals who have put both time and
system-stability on the line to test and develop on an evolving
platform; the members of kde-accessibility, Free Desktop Accessibility
Working Group (fdawg), and mozilla-accessibility mailing lists, and many
individuals and organizations involved in assistive technology

Best regards, and congratulations and thanks to all.


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