Re: Ubuntu accessibility (mini) summit Nov. 5-10

Hi Henrik,

Having just been at the GNOME Summit (and GNOME Accessibility Summit Day) last week, I very much appreciate the flexibility of being able to pull together a discussion any day of the conference, as ideas gel (and as running into others spark ideas). We held a couple of very useful accessibility conversations because of that.

That said, it was tremendously useful to have a formal day focused on accessibility. Doing that ensured that all interested stakeholders were in attendance - and we got an awful lot done that way (and have had similar success doing this with a KDE accessibility within the larger aKademy conferences). Also, by advertising it in advance, other groups who had some interest in accessibility as well as their primary focus knew when they could met with all of the accessibility folks and where to find them. Finally, for those who care about accessibility but who are otherwise not deeply involved in Ubuntu, having a focused day makes it easier to "get away from our day jobs" to participate in the discussions.

So, I would like to propose that we designate one day during the Ubuntu summit as an accessibility focus day. For purely selfish reasons, I'd like to suggest that day be Monday November 6th (since I'll be on a plane on the 7th). This isn't to prevent accessibility discussions from happening other days, but to encourage that many of them happen that day.


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Invitation to participate:

Ubuntu is organising it's 6-monthly development summit on Nov. 5-10 at the Google headquarters in Mountain View California. As part of that we are putting together a mini accessibility summit to discuss steps we can take in the next 6-12 months to take access on the Free desktop forward.

In addition to the Ubuntu developers there will be some participants from the Sun, IBM and Google accessibility teams and many other community members. It's an open event so anyone with a desire to contribute to the accessibility effort is encouraged to participate, either in person or via IRC, or by contributing to the specifications on the wiki. Unfortunately the application deadline for Canonical-sponsored travel and accommodation has long since passed, but if you are able to make your own way there you are very welcome!

The main page for the summit is here: It will be located at the Google complex at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California. (You'll see the event referred to as 'UDS-MTV' -- Ubuntu Development Summit - Mountain View)

A partial list of guests is here: (feel free to add yourself to it if you want to participate and drop me an email so I can coordinate topics).

On this page I've started a list of possible topics for discussion in the accessibility field: Feel free to expand on any of those topics or to to add your own (but please do so using the spec format:

I should explain a bit about the structure of the event because it's rather different from most conferences. At the summit there will generally not be any talks to large audiences but mostly work in small groups. It's directly development-focused, as the name suggest, looking mainly an the next 6-month cycle, planning features and writing detailed specifications. After the meeting there is a 1-2 week period where the remaining specs are completed and approved and we decide which ones will go forward as targets for the next edition of Ubuntu. From then on it's all about feature implementation.

I hope this summit can compliment the Boston Gnome accessibility summit held recently in that we take a few points from there and develop them in more detail, looking toward an implementation in the next cycle or two (of Gnome/Ubuntu). See this page for the agenda and minutes for that meeting:

The agenda for the Ubuntu meeting will be comprised of proposed specifications. The (very preliminary) list of topics to be discussed at UDS-MTV is shown here: The schedule will change as we approach the summit, and new specifications are added. Once more specs are approved for the meeting the list will likely grow to about 150 entries. These will each be discussed in one or more hour-long sessions, of which 6-8 may run in parallel at any one time.

The schedule for each day of the summit will be decided that same morning based on what topics need further discussion, who is involved and what their schedule is like. It's scheduled semi-automatically (using launchpad but with human tweaks). If you are attending and have particular interests you should (a) register an account in launchpad (an account used in the Ubuntu wiki will work), (b) subscribe yourself to the topics you are interested in and (c) let the organisers (claire.newman AT in this case) know of any time constraints you have.

It may seem confusing that times for the discussions are not settled before the meeting. It is done in this way to make the meeting more flexible and allow extra time for those meetings that need it. The meetings are also very informal, with typically 5-10 people sitting around a table. Some may just be listening in or working on their laptops :)

Each topic will typically have one or more free discussion sessions followed by a drafting session where a detailed specification is written, all in the Ubuntu wiki. The drafting session may be held with just one or two people, possibly including someone off-site just writing on the wiki.

Participants will of course gather outside of these meeting times to discuss topics that interest them as at any conference, and many developers simply spend most of the time hacking, coding up prototypes of new features and working together.

To prepare for the physical meeting we will hold one or more virtual ones as needed, starting with an IRC meeting next Monday: Please join us if you want to contribute to the initial planning of the Ubuntu Edgy+1 accessibility features.

Henrik Nilsen Omma
Ubuntu Accessibility Coordinator

gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
gnome-accessibility-list gnome org

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