Ang: Re: [g-a-devel] GNOME Launches Campaign for Accessibility

I'd just want to express my opinion about this being a very important discussion, and to reinforce what Christian says about the problem with promoting free systems with major a11y shortcomings for public use. Here we hear about the remaining difficulties for VI screenreader users, though this is probably the best supported area of user needs.
I who have worked with a11y in the Swedish educational sector can just add what I've written before: The main show-stopper for suggesting free systems in general, including Gnome based systems, is the lack of easily available and well functioning TTS reading support for seing users with a reading imparment - the by far largest area of a11y needs. Add to that the lack of reliable and reasonably supported on-screen-keyboard alternatives for the full range of user needs of physically challenged users, and you just cannot easily recommend a community or school to base their ICT policy on a GNU/Linux - Gnome or whatever - ecosystem from an a11y perspective and in the short to medium term. It's indeed an unfortunate and frustrating dilemma (for a supporter of free software - though not a hacker).
This is not to diminish the great engagement and work performed in the community, but still harsh facts to be aware of.

-----gnome-accessibility-list-bounces gnome org skrev: -----

> cox: In my opinion, the separation of responsibilities is the main reason
> for lack of a11y progress in GTK.  If any of the wonderful people
> working on a11y  that we are both fans of were able to commit patches
> to GTK, the issues would have been resolved years ago.
cdh: Can Brian or someone related to Gnome Foundation explain the process for getting a11y fixes upstream? As Bill says and I agree that a bunch of a11y volunteers would be interested in making changes to GTK+ if they had confidence that their remedies would make it into the main branch.

cdh: Is there a document describing the process for volunteer hackers to ensure that their fixes, once approved, make it upstream?

> cox: Because several e-mails on this topic have attacked my emotional
> response to my patch to pixmap objects being rejected, I want to
> explain my philosophy about GUI objects and a11y.  If an object is
> going to be displayed on the screen, I feel extremely strongly that
> the programmer using that object should have the opportunity to attach
> a text description to that object.  Not only does pixmap not allow
> this, but GTK uses pixmap objects in all lists, tables, and tree
> displays, which is why no icon in any list, table, or tree in any
> single GTK program says anything other than "icon".  Any programmer
> who takes the time to examine how GTK programs are typically written
> can come to any conclusion other than pixmap objects are a fundamental
> core object, used just about everywhere, and that the programmers
> using them are not to blame for not making accessible descriptions.
> GTK doesn't allow it.
cdh: I would take this a step further and say that GTK+ should not just support but require text descriptions for all UI objects. Sure, a programmer can put nonsense in the text description field but, as users get nothing better than nonsense now, any programmers who added any text descriptions whatsoever would be a win.

Happy Hacking,

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