Opening Talk Accessibility Forum: "Desktop Accessibility for Hackers"

KDE Contributor and Developer Conference

2004 KDE Community World Summit

Speaker: Aaron Leventhal of IBM

Language: English

Talk is scheduled for: Sunday 22nd of August 2004, 13:00 - 14:00


Check the Schedule for an overview of all talks during this conference.


Open source developers are in a quandary when asked to develop accessible software. Where are all the users with disabilities? End users with disabilities currently have few choices, and most are bound exclusively to Windows, MS Office, IE and other Microsoft software. The extreme lack of presence of these users in open source communities leads to the false conclusion that the market is extremely small, and that work on accessiiblity has relatively little impact.

We will counter this perception with facts:

  1. ) users with disabilities exist in all walks of life,
  2. ) accessible UI's are more usable for everyone, and
  3. ) accessibility is key to gaining industry/government acceptance.

In our talk we will discuss a broad array of end user types and design considerations, and illustrate the concepts using practical examples. We will walk through problems that need to be solved from project leadership and architectural perspectives. We will demonstrate today's state of the art in assistive technologies. Finally, we will talk about the big picture in open source desktop accessibility and what needs to happen for ultimate success.

About Aaron Leventhal
Aaron Leventhal is a web accessibility architect for IBM, where he focuses on Mozilla support of accessibility API's, focus management and keyboard navigation including "Find as You Type". From 1990 - 2000, Aaron worked on software for blind and visually impaired users. One such application was MegaDots, a talking Braille and print word processor / publishing system that handled a variety of formats.


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