Fwd: [orca-list] Making Ubuntu Software Center accessible
phillw at phillw.net
Thu Feb 18 21:19:06 GMT 2010
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Phill Whiteside <phillw at phillw.net>
Date: Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: [orca-list] Making Ubuntu Software Center accessible
To: Hugh Sasse <hgs at dmu.ac.uk>
The raft of sometimes contradictory standards proposals are a nightmare.
I've been recently looking into providing fuller support for web-site
readers - one set of standards for CSS has been demoted, a new set is
kicking around from Web Accessibility Initiative and yet more proposals for
the next CSS - I'm not sure what to code to, just for a web-site. Imagine
being the author of software, you could spend a lot of time meeting a set of
standards, to find they have been supplanted.
My views on the matter are over here -->
But, heck, I am trying !!
On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 6:50 PM, Hugh Sasse <hgs at dmu.ac.uk> wrote:
> I think there's a more fundamental question here. That is:
> "Why are people still developing inaccessible software?"
> The Americans With Disabilities Act dates back nearly two decades,
> the UK legislation is about 15 years old, and that's just the legal
> side of things, ignoring culture. So why aren't people catching up
> with this?
> I think there are a number of answers to this, but they include
> * Much of the information out there is about available applications
> and configuring them by/for the disabled user
> * There would seem to be nothing in the acceptance process which means
> that inaccessible applications are rejected for inclusion in
> GNU/Linux. [I don't know enough about that to be certain...]
> * A quick search shows little for the programmer along the lines of
> how to make your application accessible. I found Accerciser through
> but good though that is, it is rather "after the event", as opposed
> to how to write in accessibility from the start.
> * Much of the material is pretty intimidating for someone starting out
> in terms of the number of things you have to cover. Just taking
> vision: speech access, braille access, large print access, the needs
> of colour blind people, be that red/green, blue/yellow, or total
> colour blindness. [Then there's deafblindness...]
> * The wider case for accessibility doesn't seem to be put forward
> enough. Much is said about full participation of the whole of
> society, but that won't get most people to jump at the chance to
> add accessibility. What seems to be left out is that something
> accessible is usually easier to script with another technology,
> because there are more hooks into it. Textual interfaces can be
> screen scraped easily, etc.
> A search for Accessibility Howto (a particularly blunt instrument for
> this sort of thing) only turns up this on the second page:
> and it is dated 2002, which is probably rather old now.
> I'd suggest that there is a need for people who know more about
> GNU/Linux accessibility than I do  to write about it for a wider
> audience to get the techniques out there. "As a programmer this
> will benefit you, because you can do [...] as a result of the
> accessibility hooks being there." Etc.
> I don't think the problems will start to go away until more people
> are aware of how easy the easy things are. The difficult things
> will come later.
>  I don't know much about the programming of accessibility yet.
> I'm hoping this will change when (if?) I get more time.
> Ubuntu-accessibility mailing list
> Ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com
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