Re: Fwd: The Excalibur System

On Tue, 2010-05-11 at 19:59 -0400, Ryan Oram wrote:
> I'm going to be looking at forming a team in the next few weeks to
> address the accessibility issues. I will also be looking at getting
> investor funding to sponsor this. Linux needs to become accessible to
> succeed in academics.
> Thanks,
> Ryan Oram
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
> gnome-accessibility-list gnome org

Frankly, coming right out and saying that accessibility sucks in Linux
and that Linux needs to become accessible is a slap in the face to all
the hard working contributors to a11y in the Linux community, and a
misnomer.  We have seen a number of a11y users happily convert to Linux
from another operating system.

While we are not perfect yet, there are easily debatable reasons why
accessibility isn't perfect in Windows or OSX.  And the turn-around time
in responding to issues is much faster in open source than it is in
Windows, in my opinion.  There are some things we do better and some
things others do better.

As for investments, we welcome more investments, most definitely.  But
please don't assume that there isn't any investment currently.  There
are investment initiatives happening all over the world.  Examples that
immediately come to mind are AEGIS, a project funded by the European
Union to address accessibility issues, that provides
internships for people wishing to develop apps that support
accessibility, GNOME Foundation making a11y a major core value of its
desktop environment, FSF's hiring just today of a director of a11y
technology for GNU, and so on.

There are ways we, the GNOME-A11y team can help, and we're more than
happy to help.  Maybe there are some things you are unaware of, and
maybe there are some things that legitimately aren't resolvable in the
very immediate future.  

But coming right out and saying it sucks isn't a great way to get the
community excited to rally behind your efforts, especially the many who
have contributed voluntarily of their own free time, in addition to the
many paid a11y developers we have in our community.

I commend you and your university for your initiative and making a11y a
forefront issue in ensuring accessibility for all.  But the commendation
does go both ways.

Now, let's get to work and see how we can work together to make this
initiative happen for Trent!  ;-)

Thank you,
Bryen M Yunashko
GNOME-A11y Outreach

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