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[News] Open Accessibility Framework Launched, Sun Promotes ODF

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Sun gets grant for AEGIS Project

,----[ Quote ]
| AEGIS will address these questions through the Open Accessibility Framework. 
| You may pronouce it “oaf” but for Microsoft the correct pronounciation may 
| be “oof.”  
| By providing an open method for accessing third-generation Web pages and 
| applications, AEGIS could leapfrog Microsoft’s work in this area and not just 
| take back an important sub-market, but enormous amounts of goodwill.  


Sun Rolls Out Regional Telecoverage Model for Emerging Markets

,----[ Quote ]
| The company's Emerging Markets sales region was created to drive accelerated 
| expansion and sales coverage across growing markets in India, Greater China, 
| Latin America, South and Eastern Europe. Created in July 2008, this sales 
| region encompasses rapidly developing economies that have embraced Sun's 
| approach to sustainable network computing, open source software and open 
| document formats. The Emerging Markets sales region enables Sun to focus 
| resources and attention to open more opportunities with governments, 
| businesses and developers in these fast growth economies.       



Announcing the AEGIS project - a €12.6m investment in open source accessibility

,----[ Quote ]
| Today I am more than pleased to share with you news of the AEGIS project, a
| €12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused on
| open source solutions.

| What is AEGIS?
| AEGIS stands for "open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure,
| Standards". It is a major research and development investment in building
| accessibility into future mainstream Information & Communication
| Technologies.


An Open Source Seeing Eye Dog for Web Surfers

,----[ Quote ]
| WebAnywhere is an open source, Web-based application that acts as a screen
| reader of sorts for blind people. Its developer, a student at the University
| of Washington, designed it so that blind people can access public computers
| for important information.


IBM Open Sources Web Accessibility

,----[ Quote ]
| Too often, graphically rich Web sites are designed without sufficient text
| cues that would allow visually impaired users to navigate them. Now help is
| on the way, thanks to a new project from IBM's AlphaWorks that aims to
| improve Web accessibility through collaborative techniques borrowed from the
| world of open source software.


Free, open source-based online service opens Web to the blind

,----[ Quote ]
| Like other screen readers, WebAnywhere converts written text to an
| electronically generated voice. So far the system works only in English. But
| the source code was released a few weeks ago and a Web developer in China has
| expressed interest in developing a Chinese version, researchers said.



Lead, kindly light: Debian shows the way

,----[ Quote ]
| White, who is blind, presented a paper on using Linux with speech and Braille
| output interfaces.
| A GNU/Linux user since 1998, when he switched over from DOS, White's paper
| provided a comprehensive overview of how much support the blind and
| sight-impaired people are afforded by free software projects.  


Free Operating System For Blind: Adriane Knoppix

,----[ Quote ]
| Klaus and Adriane Knopper are working on an operating system for the
| blind, and as compared to other solutions available, this one is
| absolutely free!


IBM helps blind 'see' web video

,----[ Quote ]
| Technology giant, IBM, is soon to launch a multimedia browser to make
| audio and video content accessible to people with vision impairments.
| [...]
| The company plans to "open source" its new accessibility software in
| order to make it available to the largest possible number of people.


IBM tool 'reads' Web video for blind

,----[ Quote ]
| IBM has made a tool for Web browsers that will help the blind and
| visually impaired access streaming multimedia on the Web.


IBM to Help Colleges Make Software More Accessible for Disabled and Aged

,----[ Quote ]
| The students wrote computer code that checks word processing documents
| that adhere to the OpenDocument Format (ODF), to determine whether they
| are accessible. To propagate the technology, the students contributed
| their code to the open source community (sourceforge.org).


The Free Standards Group to Standardize New Accessibility Software Interfaces
Donated by IBM

,----[ Quote ]
| The Free Standards Group has said that it will be developing and
| maintaining software interfaces donated by IBM as an open standard,
| available for all to use. The standardized interfaces, IAccessible2,
| make it far easier for application developers to provide accessible
| applications to computer users with disabilities, regardless of their
| OS platform. IAccessible2 will become a crucial part of the FSG
| Accessibility Workgroup and is available immediately.


Ground swell in favour of open source

,----[ Quote ]
| Krishnakant Mane, a fellow from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research,
| Mumbai (himself a visually challenged person), spoke on ubuntu and Orca -the
| accessible screen reader that works with Linux.  
| "There are certainly more to using open source OS (Linux) and screen reader
| besides cost," Mane said.
| "For once, Orca can comfortably read Hindi without support from any other TTS
| (Text-To-Speech) engines, something proprietary screen readers have not
| achieved so far.  
| It is also possible to invest a fraction of the money paid for licences to
| tweak it and make it work better."


Student exposes NZ govt Web site shortcomings

,----[ Quote ]
| Bradshaw concentrated on sight disabilities in his project, using a panel of
| testers who are blind, color-blind or have partial sight. He also used a pair
| of open-source automatic testing programs, Validator and OpenWolf. The match
| between the sets of trials was used as a check on the functioning of OpenWolf
| in particular.    


Low cost software for and by visually impaired

,----[ Quote ]
| Chennai (PTI): A city-based visually impaired software professional has come
| out with an 'open source voice-enabled software' based on LINUX system, for
| the benefit of visually handicapped.  


Device Profile: Levelstar Icon PDA for visually-impaired users

,----[ Quote ]
| Levelstar used embedded Linux to create a PDA (personal digital assistant)
| for visually impaired users. The "Icon" has a custom hardware design with
| built-in 30GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB, and comes with a full
| complement of "life managing software," much of it written from scratch for
| blind users.    


Barric: SBC with open-source Linux OS

,----[ Quote ]
| The "Balloon" project is an open source, Xscale based, single
| board embedded computer using an open-source Linux operating
| system and a collection of open source tools to enable
| engineers to develop on the platform.


IBM beats Microsoft over the head with its own code

,----[ Quote ]
| Accessibility technology now headed for open-source applications was derived
| from work done by Microsoft.


Accessibility building momentum

,----[ Quote ]
| Recently, I've seen encouraging signs that the ICDL will be fully
| supportive of people who want to be "computer literate" with free
| software. Wouldn't it be something if that privilege were extended
| to EVERY user, regardless of financial circumstance, language, or
| disability?


IBM to Help Colleges Make Software More Accessible for Disabled and Aged

,----[ Quote ]
| The students wrote computer code that checks word processing documents
| that adhere to the OpenDocument Format (ODF), to determine whether they
| are accessible. To propagate the technology, the students contributed
| their code to the open source community (sourceforge.org).


Reviewing the "Accessibility of Ecma Office Open XML File Formats"

,----[ Quote ]
| When and how will the accessibility failings cited in the paper be fixed? ...
| For example, the white paper notes that MSOXML fails to support WCAG 1.0
| checkpoints 4.2, 5.2, 9.4, 10.2, 12.1, 12.2, and 12.4. The white paper
| further notes that MSOXML only partially supports checkpoints WCAG 1.0
| checkpoints 6.4, 8.1, 9.1, and 11.1. Some of these are particularly important
| for blind users needing to understand the context of table cells and for good
| Braille and DAISY transcription of tables - issues we found in ODF v1.0 and
| fixed in ODF v1.1. Will these things get fixed in the future? If so, when? By
| whom? With what outside review (if any)? To appear in what update of the
| specification?        


Talking with Microsoft's Gray Knowlton about MSOXML accessibility

,----[ Quote ]
| Gray, at the start of your blog comment you say "I’m not sure that the “who
| did this?” question matters as much as your post seems to indicate", and you
| spend several paragraphs describing your (non-accessibility) background at
| Microsoft and Adobe.  


Happy (belated) birthday: GNOME accessibility turns 6 years old

,----[ Quote ]
| Ubuntu version 6.10 is shipping, with Orca available and optionally
| talking at boot up from the LiveCD, and talking and Brailling through
| the install (making this the first evern graphical desktop that you
| can install using Braille, and the second one that you can install
| using speech)


Firefox: An open source accessibility success story

,----[ Quote ]
| Mozilla and Firefox are gradually becoming a core part of the future
| of web accessibility, where the open source license is a huge
| advantage. The Firefox accessibility effort has now truly achieved
| ignition, not only with base accessibility support in Firefox, but
| also by leading the future of accessibility for dynamic web applications.

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