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Re: [Accessibility] AT wizard

From: Bryen M. Yunashko
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] AT wizard
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 19:27:21 -0500

On Fri, 2010-08-20 at 16:48 -0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> Hi,
> Just found out about this list. I am working with 64 Studio to create a
> custom built AT distro for a client in Australia. We are receiving a very
> modest amount of funding to achieve this goal and have now been working on
> the project for 9 months. During this period I have written a wizard for
> AT users to enable setting up the gnome desktop prior to logging in to the
> first session. The logic in the wizard is flexible so with time or funding
> it would not be difficult to make it work for any desktop environment.

While I am not attempting to sound critical and do laud your efforts to
improve accessibility for the end user, I am curious as to how this
differs from some of the other accessibility-oriented distros or
re-spins that exist out there.

Off the top of my head, there is Vinux and Accessivel (sp?), the latter
being a Portuguese-language based distro in Brazil.  I had initial
reservations about the existence of even those distros, but am now
supportive of it because of its goal of being a distro focused on
quickly identifying general a11y issues and reporting bugs upstream.
Their work then becomes beneficial to all distros on the whole.

But in general, I would rather see more work being done on existing
mainstream distros.  There are a number of distros out there that want
to do more to be accessible, but don't have enough bodies to do the work
of implementation and testing.  Diverting the general population that
could be working on accessibility to multiple smaller
accessibility-oriented makes the goal of a11y much more difficult to

Remember that the term "a11y" means more than just the word
accessibility.  It's a philosophy that states that every person should
have the right to access a computer regardless of his or her physical or
mental abilities.  If we're continuing to thin out the herd instead of
coming together centrally to make accessibility work across the board, I
fear we'll never achieve true a11y and lead to further confusion for
accessibility end-users who can't just simply try out the first Linux
distro they hear of and instead have to poke around until they find a
much-lesser known accessibility-oriented distro.

Again, I'm not trying to be critical of what you're doing.  But isn't
there some way we can begin to unify these efforts?

Bryen M Yunashko
GNOME-A11y Outreach

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