Making GNOME Accessible - Opening New Doors at the Workplace for Users With Disabilities

Aug 28, 2001, 01:00 ET from GNOME Foundation

    CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The 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 users with disabilities to
 easily access the GNOME desktop.
     Major contributions to the GNOME Accessibility Framework within the GNOME
 open source project have been made by Sun Microsystems, Inc., underscoring
 Sun's own 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:
 
     -- An Accessibility Toolkit Application Programming Interface (ATK API)
        and associated implementation library integrated with the GTK+ 2.0 user
        interface toolkit that provides built-in accessibility support
        -- enabling developers using GTK+ widgets to automatically build
        accessible applications
     -- An agnostic Assistive Technologies Service Provider Interface (AT SPI)
        toolkit for developers to interface technologies such as voice command,
        text-to-speech, screen readers, and screen magnifiers with GNOME
        accessible applications on any UNIX platform.
 
     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 of the 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 today builds a sidewalk without adding curb cuts for wheelchairs
 we're taking the same accommodating 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.  "Sun's leadership and efforts to help ensure that GNOME is
 accessible is great news to all users of the Solaris(TM) Operating Environment
 software and Linux who have disabilities."
 
     Availability:
     The early access version of the GNOME Accessibility Framework is available
 now, please visit:  http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gap .
     This site contains more information on accessibility, assistive
 technologies, download links, and technical information for the GNOME
 Accessiblity Project.
      Gnome is a unified, open and rich desktop that employs an intuitive and
 appealing user interface, includes a wealth of productivity applications,
 supports the latest industry standards, and provides an innovative
 component-based architecture, all built on a powerful network-centric
 architecture.
     GNOME is a free software project (also referred to as open source
 software) that is developing a complete, easy to use desktop for Linux
 (GNU/Linux), Solaris(TM) Operating Environment software, BSD and a variety of
 other UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems. The GNOME desktop is used by
 millions of people around the world. More than 500 computer developers,
 including over 100 full-time, paid developers, contribute their time and
 effort to the project.
 
     About the GNOME Foundation
     Comprised of hundreds of volunteer developers and industry-leading
 companies, the GNOME Foundation is an organization committed to supporting the
 advancement of GNOME. GNOME is an entirely free user environment for desktops,
 networked servers and portable Internet devices. The modern architecture and
 design of GNOME includes a technically advanced application development
 platform and a powerful end-user desktop environment. Major leading software
 industry and computer manufacturers support the GNOME development effort,
 which is led by a world-wide community of volunteers. More information on
 GNOME is available at www.gnome.org.
 
     NOTE:  Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Red Hat is a registered
 trademark of Red Hat, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of
 their respective owners.
     Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris are trademarks or registered
 trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
 
     For More Information:
      Leslie Proctor
      818-364-8061
      proctors@pacbell.net
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14866724
 
 

SOURCE GNOME Foundation
    CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The 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 users with disabilities to
 easily access the GNOME desktop.
     Major contributions to the GNOME Accessibility Framework within the GNOME
 open source project have been made by Sun Microsystems, Inc., underscoring
 Sun's own 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:
 
     -- An Accessibility Toolkit Application Programming Interface (ATK API)
        and associated implementation library integrated with the GTK+ 2.0 user
        interface toolkit that provides built-in accessibility support
        -- enabling developers using GTK+ widgets to automatically build
        accessible applications
     -- An agnostic Assistive Technologies Service Provider Interface (AT SPI)
        toolkit for developers to interface technologies such as voice command,
        text-to-speech, screen readers, and screen magnifiers with GNOME
        accessible applications on any UNIX platform.
 
     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 of the 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 today builds a sidewalk without adding curb cuts for wheelchairs
 we're taking the same accommodating 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.  "Sun's leadership and efforts to help ensure that GNOME is
 accessible is great news to all users of the Solaris(TM) Operating Environment
 software and Linux who have disabilities."
 
     Availability:
     The early access version of the GNOME Accessibility Framework is available
 now, please visit:  http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gap .
     This site contains more information on accessibility, assistive
 technologies, download links, and technical information for the GNOME
 Accessiblity Project.
      Gnome is a unified, open and rich desktop that employs an intuitive and
 appealing user interface, includes a wealth of productivity applications,
 supports the latest industry standards, and provides an innovative
 component-based architecture, all built on a powerful network-centric
 architecture.
     GNOME is a free software project (also referred to as open source
 software) that is developing a complete, easy to use desktop for Linux
 (GNU/Linux), Solaris(TM) Operating Environment software, BSD and a variety of
 other UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems. The GNOME desktop is used by
 millions of people around the world. More than 500 computer developers,
 including over 100 full-time, paid developers, contribute their time and
 effort to the project.
 
     About the GNOME Foundation
     Comprised of hundreds of volunteer developers and industry-leading
 companies, the GNOME Foundation is an organization committed to supporting the
 advancement of GNOME. GNOME is an entirely free user environment for desktops,
 networked servers and portable Internet devices. The modern architecture and
 design of GNOME includes a technically advanced application development
 platform and a powerful end-user desktop environment. Major leading software
 industry and computer manufacturers support the GNOME development effort,
 which is led by a world-wide community of volunteers. More information on
 GNOME is available at www.gnome.org.
 
     NOTE:  Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Red Hat is a registered
 trademark of Red Hat, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of
 their respective owners.
     Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris are trademarks or registered
 trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
 
     For More Information:
      Leslie Proctor
      818-364-8061
      proctors@pacbell.net
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14866724
 
 SOURCE  GNOME Foundation