Creating An Accessibility Specification for Lubuntu 11.10

Pia pmikeal at
Fri May 27 16:26:44 UTC 2011

Oh sorry, didn't finish that last thought.  At Microsoft they have the 
resources to handle the long documentation phases and come up with a good 
product, but in open source, if you have a very small group represented, 
you have to get your hands dirty first in order to sufficiently understand 
the situation well enough to come up with good system specifications and a 
reasonable roadmap in a reasonable time frame.  So, what we were doing in 
discussing details and wanting to actually test a few things was just 
that and what you originally were complaining about.  Assessing the 
situation would allow us to know what we can take from Ubuntu's road map 
and what has to be adjusted.

On Fri, 27 May 2011, Pia wrote:

> 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 first.
> 	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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