Thanks to the discussions and work done during the first forum in Vancouver, we will have 5 focused discussions (in addition to advancing discussions regarding critical gaps and shared resources). These encompass the major priorities we identified and synthesized during the Vancouver meeting. The 5 areas are:
On this Page
1.Accessible collaboration tools
The communication systems, bug-tracking systems, planning wikis, text chats, teleconference systems, and other means whereby open source communities plan, design, develop, evaluate, refine and distribute open source systems must be accessible. This will enable participation by community members with disabilities. It will mean that the needs of people with disabilities are represented in the community and it will enable the participation of individuals knowledgeable and personally interested in accessibility requirements. These systems must also address multiple languages.
2.End to end accessibility in one platform
No one platform has the necessary critical mass of accessible applications to enable full adoption as an accessible open source platform. This impedes institutions or jurisdictions from adopting an open source operating system. GNOME was identified as a possible candidate for this and meetings are planned to determine how this can be accomplished. How much work can be done in a cross-platform compatible way? How do we address underserved areas like cognitive accessibility? Can we incorporate personalization strategies such as AccessForAll?
3.National Public Inclusive Infrastructure
A compelling case was made that an inclusive open source infrastructure was needed. It was argued that this is just as important as other forms of infrastructure given the digital age. There was agreement that partners would launch proposals in their respective countries and that these efforts would be linked. Gregg Vanderheiden and Raising the Floor will continue the discussions begun in our first forum. How can we leverage and share work done in our respective jurisdictions to achieve a coordinated international infrastructure?
Promoting the principle of designing accessibly from the start and recognizing the prevalence of mobile systems in lower income countries, we need to develop a strategy and plan for ensuring that there are accessible, open and affordable systems for mobile platforms.
5.Beyond the Code
Adoption of accessible open source systems cannot happen without a penumbra of supporting activities including education, user support, documentation, translation, setup and maintenance support, quality assurance and evaluation to name just a few.
These focused discussions will take place over 2 days and we hope to produce a number of proposals to take to funding bodies and partners. We will also present the outcomes at the FSOSS conference http://fsoss.senecac.on.ca/2009/.
Please share this invitation broadly with individuals and organizations that you feel could contribute to the discussion and RSVP to email@example.com by September 30th so we know how many people to expect. I had hoped to have news about travel support last week but due to staffing changes at sponsoring organizations these have not yet been confirmed. Please tell me if you will need travel support. Also please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Background and Goals of Meeting
On August 11, 2009 a number of open source accessibility experts met in Vancouver to talk about how to make the most of what is being invested in accessibility in open source communities and projects. This is to address the following issues and challenges:
we want to make sure that open source applications, systems and assistive technologies are a viable, affordable and sustainable means for people with disabilities around the word to participate in all that information and communication technologies make possible
there are limited resources available to address accessibility
we don't want to do work redundantly
we want to share work wherever possible, keep each other informed about what is being done and find a way to address the less attractive but important tasks
we want to make sure that our approaches provide people with disabilities with relatively consistent or compatible options across domains
we want to leverage the unique advantages of open source development and communities to provide innovative accessibility.
Also, through a number of grants and awards, we have the opportunity to address gaps not addressed through existing or planned efforts.
A short planning meeting was held with a smaller group of people to be followed by a larger working meeting to collectively build an open source road map for the next few years. These meetings will bring together decision makers and people interested in open source accessibility across a number of domains including operating systems, desktop applications, Web applications, mobile systems, laptops, and development toolkits.
The planning meeting took place on August 11, 2009 in Vancouver and immediately preceded the OpenEd Meetings (http://openedconference.org/ ). The reason for choosing this location and time was to encourage communication and coordination between the open source and open content communities.
The larger working meeting is planned for the Toronto Open Source Week on the 28th and 29th of October directly preceding the FSOSS conference and following the Ontario Linux Fest and other events taking place during Toronto Open Source Week.
During the planning meeting we hope to create a gap analysis, an overview of the state of open source accessibility initiatives and a draft roadmap. This will be used as the basis for collectively creating a roadmap with the larger group in October.
The meeting will be held during Toronto Open Source Week at Seneca College, Seneca@York campus. This is located in the north end of Toronto, about 20 minutes the Toronto international airport. Location information is available here: http://fsoss.senecac.on.ca/2009/location.
Stephen E. Quinlan (SEQ) building on the York University campus. The street address is 70 The Pond Road (Rm 2168), Toronto, Ontario, M3J 3M6. The main meeting room is on the second floor, #2168, it is also called the Kaleidoscope Classroom.
Public transit :
From the airport you will take the Malton 58A bus south to Keele St. Ask for a transfer when entering the Malton bus. You will have to switch to the Keele 41 or 41B bus. This will take you right into the University grounds.
Cost is $2.75 correct change.
GO Transit from the Airport to York University
Go bus from the airport to Bramalea Go station. Switch to York University Bus. Cost $4.45. all buses are wheelchair accessible. This service is available Monday to Friday.
Airport Taxi Limo:
The approximate cost from the airport is $45.00
Wheelchair accessible transportation is also available.
Off the top of my head: Mandarin just E of here on Finch; Thai at Hwy 7
& Jane in Interchange; several options at Weston & Hwy 7 (including
Kelsey's, Casey's, Ice Cream Patio (which despite its name is Italian –
gourmet pizza)); Swiss Chalet at Bathurst & Centre (near Promenade).