End to end accessibility in one platform

This discussion session is being logged in the #OSA IRC channel. This page is a summary of some key points.


Janina: Still to work on:

  • login
  • audio environment

Chris Hofstader: Why GNOME (and not Windows)?
A: Many countries standardizing on GNOME because they actively don't want to use Windows.

David Bolter: One gap to keep in mind is the Web space, which has some stuff that isn't present on the desktop.

Peter Korn: Android, and other similar platforms: The GNOME community provides for the infrastructure to extend the API to support Web platforms, that these other platforms don't have.

Conclusions: Entire group support Open Source/Free Software solutions.
Q: Should it be GNOME?
David B: GNOME is where we can provide end-to-end solutions, but it's not necessarily where users want access.
Jutta: We need to be less West-centric, consider areas where the motivations to go with Windows or Apple are not present. If we do go with GNOME, we can reach a threshold where it does become the solution of choice.
Pina: Western users don't want to compromise the quality they're used to.

Jutta: The list of gaps is overwhelming. We need critical mass of funtionality to attract users to the platform. We could address all of the gaps all at once. Or, we could find small pockets of functionality that are achievable and perceived as 'pain points' - as they become used, they attract other people.

Peter Korn: Possible ways to partition: Disability-based; Location-based; Type of user (e.g. school, work, home). These are orthogonal, e.g. blind students in India.

Jutta: Disability and geography produce too small a community. Need more developers, more investment. Maybe better to choose an area where there is a large community, in which GNOME could excel beyond Windows, etc.

Chris H: Economics provide motivation to go with Free/Open Source solution: It doesn't cost as much to improve.

Peter Korn:
Where is GNOME excelling?

  • ARIA (because if it's not done well, you can go in and fix it)

Users blame an AT if the AT doesn't work everywhere, even if the problem is that the application is the culprit, by not supporting the a11y APIs. This makes vendors reluctant to support the a11y APIs in Open Office, for example.

Jutta: What will attract new developers to donate time and energy to GNOME a11y would be a compelling app: Music, social networking, a whiteboard, a design or development environment - something sexy, something lots of people want.

Peter K: One thing OS is not good at is exploiting commercial opportunities. We need to improve that.

Peter K: Another possible niche: OS-on-a-stick.

Jutta: How to get funding? Link a11y to something else compelling. How to get developers? Create a community of interest and spark the passions of volunteer.


See Table of Gaps - Solutions for End-to-End accessibility

Roadmap, Resource Requirements

Draft Proposal for Inclusive Economies