Re: [to all candidates] Accessible software in Debian
On 2013-03-18 14:37, Mario Lang wrote:
While discussing this topic on IRC with other Debian people I was
of shocked to read that basically every feature can be dropped
and since accessibility is for a very small user group, that user
suffering from big rewrites is "normal" and acceptable.
I can appreciate the frustrations here. Within the DebConf
organisation we've tried hard to make sure that the conferences are as
accessible as possible, but individual small decisions by people who
don't pay attention to these issues can easily spoil a whole event. In
the same way, for an accessible desktop we need every upstream
maintainer to pay attention to these issues, and one change that doesn't
take account of accessibility can make a program useless to many people.
Sadly I don't think we have the resources to fix every upstream project
and send patches. Nor can we just throw out every piece of software
that is not accessible to everyone, which probably wouldn't leave us
with much at all.
But clearly accessibility should be part of our decisions about what
software is "default", and should inform, for example, decisions about
when we keep new and old versions of a package around in parallel rather
than only the latest release. (It's quite possible that a new version
will be more accessible to one group, but less accessible to another.)
Do you have any ideas what we could do to raise awareness of
accessibility issues, and maybe motivate developers who are currently
not into accessibiility work in any way, to start caring about
issues around accessibility for people with disabilities.
A couple of things I can see that we might be able to do better:
- provide a stronger Debian voice to call for good accessibility
support, e.g. at developer events for upstream projects
- make sure that accessibility is kept as a headline topic in Debian
discussions: there may be lessons here to learn from Christian Perrier's
methods of promoting the need for translation over the years
- track in a more public way packages' accessibility status, both to
help users filter software that will work for them, and to help
contributors find areas they can help improve.
As someone who knows a lot more about these topics than I do, do you
have concrete ideas of things you would like to see us doing as a