Re: Forming an Accessibility Steering Committee


Okay, since so many people are interested, I have to play devil's advocate now.

Thanks, it's good to hash things through.  I'd say that since so many
people are interested, we need to decide if we want a huge committee or
whether it makes more sense to prune down the list (perhaps by voting?)
to a more manageable group of people.

What is the advantage of having a steering committee vs. just using the mailing list? If there's a committee then by its very nature it is more closed, and some people are left out. There will always be someone deserving that isn't included.

I don't think it is necessary that a committee be "closed".  As you
say, there is no reason this mailing list and IRC meetings couldn't
be used to work together in an open way.  One advantage of having an
official committee with meetings is that people will likely feel more
pressure to make progress on their assigned tasks before the next

Perhaps we should do something like preface "COMMITTEE" in the Subject
Line to emails to this list to indicate which emails require extra
attention by people who are a part of the committee?

In my opinion, the purpose of the committee is to provide a forum where
we can more effectively come up with lists of tasks important to a11y,
prioritize them, and find people willing to be responsible for leading
progress on these tasks.  We should, for example, make sure that this
list of prioritized tasks is clearly visible somewhere on the Wiki so
that people who want to get involved can see what areas need help.

Another idea is that I know that Sun has an internal bi-weekly a11y
meeting.  I would imagine other distros do as well?  Perhaps it would
make sense to have a single open meeting rather than having a separate
meeting for each distro, and better make use of GNOME's collective

The current "ad hoc" method of doing things has worked reasonably well
so far, but I think things would likely work better if we made better
use of the volunteer community which seems quite excited to get more

Just throwing out some ideas of how we could make a committee workable.

Open source processes like wikis, mailing list and bug data bases help guard against accidental "closedness". This is a meritocracy -- the best ideas come to the top regardless of who they came from.

We should definitely strive to be as open as possible.  The more people
who are willing to step up and volunteer to take responsibility for
tasks, the easier it is, I think, to keep things so open.  Updating
wikis, mailing lists, bug data bases, and such does take some effort.
That said, it does seem that there are many people interested in
volunteering to make a11y more successful.


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