Re: GNOME Accessibility Team Meeting @ Boston Summit?

Hi All:

> We need to choose a day for the meeting, and develop an agenda - please log
> in to the wiki and add your suggestions. If there's enough support for this
> idea, we can dedicate a room to it - it might be useful to nominate a chair
> person to maintain the wiki page and run the meeting.

I'm happy to volunteer to be chair for this meeting and have support
from my management to spend time on it.  I've been working on
accessibility to the X Window System since the early 1990's and have
most recently been leading the Orca screen reader effort.

Ultimately the meeting will be based upon what people decide they want
to discuss.  Looking at what is emerging from the community input on the
WIKI (, I propose
there might be at least three main themes for the summit: 

1) Improving the accessibility of the base platform.  This can include
topics such as the a11y component to the icon theme, magnification,
keyboard traversal, windows from multiple users on the same display, and
the thought of getting SpeechDispatcher into the platform.  Possibly
also a discussion on AT-SPI futures: CORBA, DBUS?

2) Improving and providing multiple assistive technology offerings and
how to manage their selection/configuration/setup.  A concrete goal here
could be to determine the appropriate user interface(s) that works
within the GNOME "highlander principle" (i.e., there can be only one of
any breed in the GNOME platform), yet easily supports distributions that
ship more than one solution for a given disability (e.g., GOK and
SOK/onBoard).  Various people are giving some thought to this space and
this summit could be a good way to reach a consensus and a plan of

3) Brainstorming how to get the whole of the GNOME community more
proactive in testing for accessibility.  Prior to the release of GNOME
2.14 and now prior to GNOME 2.16, Sun spent considerable time chasing
down and fixing a11y regressions in other people's modules.  We need a
better way for us (and ultimately the module owners themselves) to find
and prevent these regressions.  Related to this, we're working on an
automated regression test harness for Orca, which I hope is ready by the

Given #3, I'd also like to try expose plain old non-a11y developers from
the GNOME community to a11y.  My experiences from doing these types of
meetings many times in the past is that we tend to end up preaching to
the choir when we often want the rest of the congregation to attend.
Jeff has suggested that we can do a "accessibility summit report" to the
larger conference the day after the summit.

Finally, the Boston area is home to important and influential
accessibility organizations such as the Carroll Center for the Blind and
the Massachusetts Office on Disability.  Basing your work on input from
real live end users is always a good thing (I personally think it is
mandatory).  If the summit attendees find it appropriate, we can extend
an invitation to our close contacts in these organizations.

In any case, these are initial thoughts that can be twisted, contorted,
and expanded as need be.  :-)


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