Christian Heilmann

AEGIS – Sun sponsors open source solutions tailored for accessibility

Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 4:31 am

Just got this via the webaim mailing list:

I am very pleased to share with you news about the AEGIS project, a 12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused on open source solutions.
Rather than repeat here all that I have written about AEGIS already, I will instead invite you to read about it in my blog: http://blogs.sun.com/korn/ or check out the AEGIS website at: http://www.aegis-project.eu/. 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 inaccessibility 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 needs. 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!
Regards,
Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect & Principal Engineer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

How cool is this! It is great to see that the open source world is going full steam with accessibility and now we need to make sure that what they do reaches the people that need what they built and doesn’t get lost in IT department red tape.

I’ll get in contact with Peter and see how we can collaborate

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