Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Linux Accessibility Conference: REVISED

By jpsc in News
Tue Dec 19, 2000 at 08:21:05 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

I run a free software project named Project Ocularis that is working with Sun Microsystems' GNOME Accessibility Lab, KDE, and other groups to make Linux accessible to all. We are organizing a Linux Accessibility Conference (more information is included below) in March at CSUN. There is a tentative schedule, but what would you (K5 readers) like to see happen or be willing to contribue to (e.g., code, volunteer, etc.)? What can we do to interest businesses in making Linux and the free software world accessible to all? What can we do to make the topic of Linux accessibility exciting? In what ways could it be easier for you to develop accessible applications (e.g., what features could be integrated into your IDE)?


See this piece or this longer editorial if you want to know just exactly what I mean by Linux accessibility. We don't have any official sponsors right now, but VA Linux and Sun expressed some interest. If you want to make sure we are legitimate see this reference at Sun's web site, this one a Linux.com, this one on Linuxnews.com, or this interview on American Council of the Blind radio.

Summary:
The Linux Accessibility Conference
March 22-23, 2001
Los Angeles Airport
Hilton Hotel, Plaza D

- Taking place at CSUN's Sixteenth Annual International Conference, which averages 4000 attendees.
- Free admission to the Linux Accessibility Conference (not including the price of attending to CSUN, consult http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf2001/index.html for admission costs).

Join us for two days of:
- Speeches by prominent figures in the free software and accessibility community. Individuals who have tentatively agreed to speak include Judy Brewer (Director of WAI), Alan Black (Creator of Festival Speech Synthesizer), Peter Korn (Sun Microsystems' GNOME Accessibility Lab), and Aaron Leventhal (Mozilla accessibility). Other noteworthy people who have said they plan to attend include T.V. Raman (Creator of Emacspeak).
- Demonstrations of free software such as Emacspeak, Festival, BRLTTY, and Speechd.
- Workgroups on GNOME (run by Sun Microsystems' GNOME Accessibility Lab), KDE, X Windows, Console, Braille, Speech, Internationalization and Localization (i18n and l10n), Internet Applications (Mozilla), and a Universal Accessibility Standard.
- Planning and organizing for the future of Linux accessibility.


If you are interested in attending, join the ocularis-announce mailing list.

For more information see the full announcement.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o I
o Project Ocularis
o Sun Microsystems' GNOME Accessibility Lab
o KDE
o CSUN
o this piece
o this longer editorial
o VA Linux
o Sun
o this reference at Sun's web site
o this one a Linux.com
o this one on Linuxnews.com
o this interview on American Council of the Blind radio
o join the ocularis-announce mailing list
o full announcement
o Also by jpsc


Display: Sort:
Linux Accessibility Conference: REVISED | 20 comments (9 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
How about this? (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by jpsc on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 01:23:15 AM EST

Applications' accessibility, or their ability to be used by disabled users (e.g., visually impaired individuals) and users who speak something other than English, is something that we Linux users tend not to think about. In order to fully live up to the notion of "free as in speech software for everyone" we must include non-sighted and otherwise disabled users. Just in case you are wondering, making Linux accessible also has many other uses (e.g., making all X applications speech-friendly has great potential for use in embedded devices or monitor-less servers). In a few months I'm going to be organizing around a dozen different workgroups that will focus on topics such as GNOME, KDE, and X accessibility, Braile, etc. What would you (K5 readers) like to see happen in such workgroups? How do you think we can be most effective? If the workgroup decides a free software project needs to be started, what kinds of projects would you be willing to contribue to (e.g., code, document, or volunteer for)? What can we do to interest businesses in making Linux and the free software world accessible to all? What can we do to make the topic of Linux accessibility exciting? In what ways could it be easier for you to develop accessible applications (e.g., what features could be integrated into your IDE)?

If you are interested see Project Ocularis, the announcement of the Linux Accessibility Conference in March, this summary about Linux accessibility, or this longer editorial on the potential of free software for the visually impaired.

If you want to make sure my project (Project Ocularis) and I are legitimate see this reference at Sun's web site, this one a Linux.com, or this one on Linuxnews.com, or this interview on American Council of the Blind radio.

P.S. If you like this better, what topic and section should I post it to?

re: How about this? (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by bflame on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 09:28:20 AM EST

I think that this would work great in the MLP section.

[ Parent ]
Someone you might contact.... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by ramses0 on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 01:50:45 AM EST

Browsing around on Bruce Peren's & Ian Murdock's latest website, it seems that there might be some possible contacts you should make, in particular, from their about pages

Joseph Carter
Software Developer

Joseph is legally blind. This fact has given him a strong interest in interface and usability issues.

In addition, Joseph is the leader of the Quakeforge Project (http://quakeforge.net), an open source implementation of Quake. More recently, he has served as lead architect for the Thirdspace 3D gaming engine, a project that is currently in the design stage.

Just an FYI...

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

Accessibility (2.66 / 3) (#12)
by Delirium on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 05:31:08 AM EST

While computer accessibility is a fine topic to discuss, I think Linux accessibility is far too narrow of a topic for k5, just as Windows accessibility or FreeBSD accessibility or Mac OS accessibility would be. One conference on accessibility features of one particular OS is most certaintly too narrow.

Full disclosure: I use Windows 98 primarily, and toy around with Mac OS and occasionally Slackware and Red Hat Linux.

Sorry, -1, but I have a question. (2.00 / 1) (#15)
by Captain_Tenille on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 01:32:36 PM EST

Will color blind issues be addressed at all in this conference? Admittedly, it's a bigger issue with Windows or the MacOS, but I still have to deal with it in Linux occasionally, especially when I'm using X.
----
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!

Re: Color Blind (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by jpsc on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 11:33:09 PM EST

Yes and no. We are discussing low vision solutions and speech solutions could be used in combination with a traditional GUI to make things clearer for low visions users. We are not specifically discussing color blindness. Good suggestion for us to keep in mind.

--JP

[ Parent ]
How about this #2 (4.33 / 3) (#16)
by jpsc on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 03:07:50 PM EST

Applications' accessibility, or their ability to be used by disabled users (e.g., visually impaired individuals) and users who speak something other than English, is something that we Linux users tend not to think about. In order to fully live up to the notion of "free as in speech software for everyone" we must include non-sighted and otherwise disabled users. Just in case you are wondering, making Linux accessible also has many other uses (e.g., making all X applications speech-friendly has great potential for use in embedded devices or monitor-less servers). In a few months I'm going to be organizing around a dozen different workgroups that will focus on topics such as GNOME, KDE, and X accessibility, Braille, etc.
  • What would you (K5 readers) like to see happen in such workgroups?
  • How do you think we can be most effective?
  • If the workgroup decides a free software project needs to be started, what kinds of projects would you be willing to contribue to (e.g., code, document, or volunteer for)?
  • What can we do to interest businesses in making Linux and the free software world accessible to all?
  • What can we do to make the topic of Linux accessibility exciting?
  • In what ways could it be easier for you to develop accessible applications (e.g., what features could be integrated into your IDE)?


If you are interested see Project Ocularis, the announcement of the Linux Accessibility Conference in March, this summary about Linux accessibility, or this longer editorial on the potential of free software for the visually impaired.

If you want to make sure my project (Project Ocularis) and I are legitimate see this reference at Sun's web site, this one a Linux.com, or this one on Linuxnews.com, or this interview on American Council of the Blind radio.

P.S. If you like this better, what topic and section should I post it to?

Personal experiences with Linux and Accessibility (5.00 / 6) (#17)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 04:02:36 PM EST

My wife has a form of Muscular Dystrophy (Type II SMA for those that care). She only has good use of one arm. There is only one issue holding her back from the desire to really use Linux. This issue is sticky keys. While sticky key support in Linux is much better this year than last year (Check out the Accesible Linux Homepage), such support is well below the support in Windows. Huzzah to the newly updated (September) sources!

For a person with use of only one arm, sticky key is imperative for X applications. One of my wife's hobbies is graphics editing. The Gimp is almost unusable with only one hand to hold down Ctrl while moving the mouse.

What Gnome is currently missing that Windows has in terms of sticky key support:

  • GUI configuration program that saves the state.
  • Panel applet that visually displays whether or not any keys are currently "sticky"
  • Distincive on/off noises

On another front, Linux could really use better voice synthesis. I have been watching the progress of voice synthesis on Linux and I have to admit that I am astonished at the rate of progress it has been making. However, there is still a good way to go.

I have a friend who can not speak and has only limited ability of movement. He was given many years ago a dedicated box that talks. Many years and many beatings, droppings, and dousings later the voice box broke. Price to get a new one: $10k. Price to get a Mac laptop with voice synthesis built in: $2k. The biggest drawback the Mac has is the fear of dropping a $2000 piece of equipment. For not that much more than the price of the Mac laptop, a somewhat ruggedized PC laptop could be bought. But then one also has to buy hardware or software that talks. A $400 laptop from ebay and decent, easy to use for the novice voice synthesis would be a God-send for many, many people. AFAICT, currently emacspeak only supports emacs and voice-synthesis hardware. Folks are working on getting the MBROLA software libraries working with emacspeak. To be honest, I think the biggest obstacles are (like with the sticky keys) ease of use issues.

Judging from the PR for this conference, Sun is as serious as a heart attack about putting resources together to get Linux up to speed in different areas. This is a good thing and I commend the powers-that-be at Sun for being forward looking in this area. I would like to be able to attend the conference, but I can't afford to travel or take time off from work. I'm hoping that as my programming skills and knowledge of X increase that I will be able to contribute to some of these projects. Linux is great for programming geeks like myself. I would like to see Linux easy and welcoming for not only the Grandmas and Grandpas of the world, but for also for those with special needs.

Re: Personal experiences (none / 0) (#19)
by jpsc on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 11:31:05 PM EST

Thank you for your detailed feedback. It is exactly the type I am looking for. Best Regards, --JP

[ Parent ]
Linux Accessibility Conference: REVISED | 20 comments (9 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!