Making GNOME Accessible -- Opening New Doors At the Workplace for Users with DisabilitiesAug 29, 2001, 06:01 (1 Talkback[s])
Cupertino, California -- August 28, 2001 -- GNOME Foundation today announced the early access release of the Gnome 2.0 Accessibility Framework. This framework paves the way for a new generation of applications that integrate with assistive technologies -- enabling all users to access the GNOME desktop.
Sun's contributions to the GNOME Accessibility Framework within the GNOME open source project further underscores Sun's commitment to the delivery of an accessible desktop for the benefit of all users in the workplace. The GNOME Accessibility Framework includes a comprehensive toolkit and APIs that is comprised of the following two key components:
This built-in extensible accessibility framework provides the
foundation for developers to write accessible applications from the
ground up, provides built-in accessibility support for existing
GNOME applications, and enables assistive technologies developers
to adapt their enabling technologies to run on any UNIX platform.
"GNOME 2.0 will break down accessibility barriers" said Havoc
Pennington, Chairman of the Board of Directors GNOME Foundation.
Integrating the Accessibility Framework into the fabric of GTK+,
will enable developers to easily write accessible applications".
"Because of the object- oriented structure of GTK+, it is easy for
application developers to incorporate accessibility capabilities
without having to change the architecture of their software" said
Owen Taylor, Engineering Lead for GTK+ at Red Hat. "This will lead
to more accessible applications being developed quickly for the
benefit of the entire GNOME user community". "Our goal was to build
accessibility into the initial design, giving the GNOME application
developers uniformity across components by implementing one
standard API, while at the same time providing extensibility" -
said Robert O'Dea, Director of GNOME engineering at Sun Ireland.
"Also, our design philosophy took into consideration the many
graphical toolkits that could take advantage of the agnostic
approach of the AT SPI toolkit -- this strategy saves time by
eliminating the need to reinvent accessibility for each platform.
Developers can get started with the Accessibility Framework now. We
have documentation and engineering support in place to help make
the upcoming release of GNOME 2.0 Accessible by first customer
ship. In addition, our Accessibility Lab is in place to help
assistive technology developers to write to the AT SPI while
leveraging available Sun hardware and software solutions". "Nobody
builds a sidewalk without curb cuts we're taking the same approach
with software - making GNOME 2.0 accessible will open new doors for
users with disabilities", said Mike Rogers, Vice President of
Webtop and Applications Software at Sun. "With the growing
worldwide popularity of the GNOME desktop, it's important that all
users have the freedom to interact with this powerful user
environment, using various assistive technologies to gain easy
access to information and applications, as well as collaborate with
team members". "As use of GNOME spreads to more work environments,
accessibility for employees with disabilities becomes increasingly
important said Gregg C. Vanderheiden Ph.D. Director Trace R&D
Center at the University of Wisconsin". "SUNs leadership and
efforts to ensure that GNOME is accessible is great news to both
Solaris and Linux users who have disabilities".
GNOME Accessibility project status and documentation, please
Keyboard navigation documentation:
More information on GNOME is available at www.gnome.org