I have worked in the field of accessibility for nearly 17 years, and on
open source accessibility almost a dozen of those years. In that time,
open source accessibility has become a deep and abiding passion.
I'm very proud that the techniques we have pioneered in the open source
community have since been adopted by Apple with the Macintosh &
VoiceOver, and are being adopted by Microsoft with UI Automation. These
same techniques are enshrined in the report a 42 member committee
delivered to the U.S. Access Board earlier this year (and which at this
very moment being reviewed by them as they work on their refresh of the
Section 508 accessibility standard). And these techniques are at the
core of the AEGIS project.
With AEGIS, over the next 3.5 years we will attempt to bring
programmatic accessibility more fully to the web, and to the mobile
world. With AEGIS we will also address a number of issues that still
remain in accessibility on the open desktop. And while we're at it, we
will bring a bunch of new and talented people into the open source
accessibility community (you should start seeing them showing up on our
mailing lists and wikis in the coming months). We will also fund a
number of the experts who have already made tremendous open source
accessibility contributions - to enable to them to continue and to do
even more. I'm sure they will shortly make their voices heard on these
lists and in the blogosphere. And we will explicitly fund a number of
European disability organizations. These organizations and many dozens
of their members will be providing their expert input on our work, and
thoughtfully evaluating our prototypes, and perhaps adopting the
solutions we come up with because they do a great job of meeting their
Oh, and we'll also write a bunch of open source accessibility code.
This Sunday the 19th of October marks the 8th anniversary of the GNOME
Accessibility Project. AEGIS helps bring a fantastic 8th year to a
close, and also serves to inaugurate the next 3.5 years!