Creating An Accessibility Specification for Lubuntu 11.10

Pia pmikeal at
Fri May 27 16:16:18 UTC 2011

On Fri, 27 May 2011, Alan Bell wrote:

> It is made up of people, all of whom are normal, some of whom have a specific 
> impairment. People are motivated to work on accessibility topics for a 
> variety of reasons.

My intent is not to start a flame war or argue about ideology.  I did not 
mean normal in the social sense but in the technical sense.  If using 
closed captioning, screen reading software, alternative input devices such 
as onscreen keyboard and sticky keys or dictation, braille, or other 
accessibility technology were the norm, they would be included by default 
and no distro would be released without them.  As is, monitor keyboard and 
mouse are the norm.  So, yes, all of us who are disabled do not represent 
the typical use case for software.  Forgive me, political correctness 
drives me nuts, but I certainly don't want to offend anyone or be 
insensitive.  Sometimes I have to admit, I think a lot of people have a 
difficult time not painting over reality that needs to be addressed if we 
are to make an effective solution to this problem.  The issue I think is 
that in open source, we are a largely social community, which is 
wonderful, but one advantage the corporation has is that they are 
logistical at least internally rather than political.  So, even if they 
don't come out and say it publicly, they will hire disabled beta testers 
and even coders if they can to work on this software.  In the cases where 
a user base has such specialized needs (disabled people is not the only 
situation that fits this, but any specialized user base that is 
sufficiently small) I find the best approach is an agile programming 
design approach rather than the more traditional system development 
models, because the users and coders really have to work closely together 
for the coders to understand what is actually functional.  You won't get 
the realistic road map you want, I wouldn't think, without understanding 
the problem better which requires a grass roots effort to try things 
 	So, John, this explains my rationale.  Maybe at a place like 
Microsoft or Freedom Scientific, they have the resources to employ a more 
traditional model (I do know that both of those companies hire some 
individuals who do need the technology at the developer and coder level 
though so that they are inherently implementing some of the agile 
programming model even without explicitly doing so.  Since they are the 
use case).

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