Re: An Open Letter to Oracle on the Topic Of Accessibility

> The building blocks of all our code as simple as possible to use and add 
> accessibility so it isn't a chore for developers.  Let's face it the 
> majority of designers don't even consider accessibility even when they 
> have people who need it on the team.

A very cool thing about GNOME is that people do have open minds and are
willing to listen.  So, I'm now in London at the GNOME Usability
hackfest and spoke with designers about accessibility design
considerations this week so we can fix problems at the source before the
problems even make it out the door.  Based upon this blog entry, I
believe a very positive connection was made:

I also sat with Matthew Paul Thomas from Ubuntu -- he's now using Orca
and accerciser to examine the user interfaces he is working on.  How
cool is that?

> Ideally we should work on making accessibility a part of the college and 
> other training curiculums so that at least new folks come in to the 
> software world already indoctrinated with the need for making things 
> accessible.

Agreed.  My goal for the past year or so has been to shy away from
preaching to the choir and moving towards integrating tighter with the
mainstream.  If we can accomplish this, we will be able to deliver
solutions that work in a way that is efficient, effective and

We have shifted the GNOME Boston hackfests from one where "those
accessibility guys hide in a room for their own planning" to one where
we integrate with everyone else at GNOME Boston, with direct
conversations on raising awareness for a11y and how they can test for
a11y.  It took some people (both those in a11y and those in the
mainstream) out of their comfort zone for a bit, but I believe it is
pushing us closer to the tipping point where mainstream developers are
taking ownership of the problem space.

I recently gave a 2 hour talk on GNOME and GNOME accessibility to the
computer science department at RPI.  We also worked with the HFOSS folks
at Trinity College in Connecticut to bring GNOME and GNOME accessibility
into their open source program.

The Project:Possibility work is organizing students for a couple code
sprints on GNOME accessibility.

It's all good stuff, and the focus is on getting mainstream folks aware
of accessible design with a goal of spreading the wealth of knowledge
and growing our virtual community.  The more we can do this, the better.


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