Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great Introduction to Accessibility

Having recently joined an accessibility team (focusing on Mono the Linux desktop), I have been scouring the internets learning more about accessibility in general. My main focus has been: 1) what accessibility resources are currently available for developers 2) what are the accessibility needs of persons who are disabled and what resources are currently available to them.

I just finished reading a very enlightening article written by Steven Lee entitled "Python Powered Accessibility." The article was published recently in Python Magazine; however, the article isn't really about Python at all (although it does contain a brief tutorial on the python application Accerciser). Steve does a great job explaining, at a high level, what resources are available to developers. He also explains different types of disabilities, and what individuals with those disabilities might need from their accessibility applications. Additionally, he provides several examples of accessibility tools for the Linux desktop. He also talks about how to get involved in accessibility, and suggests that it is a good introduction to contributing to Open Source projects.

Apropos, I will make a shameless plug for the accessibility team I am a part of, and encourage people to get involved.

One of the neatest applications (in my opinion) mentioned in the article is Dasher. There's a neat Google Tech Talk on Dasher that can be found on YouTube ( It's long, but worth the time.

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