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Re: Open Letter: How the FOSS Community May Help Disabled Users

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 03:34:15 AM -0400, Rickey Moore
(wayward4now gmail com) wrote:

> Playing Devil's advocate here, but if elements of FOSS are installed
> as a matter of course, within a Fedora installation, then specific
> problems would be discussed here...

> Yet, suppose Stephen Hawking were to recieve a wheelchair "requiring
> some assembly"? I'd gasp in horror at that lack of empathy

Thanks for the example. This is exactly what I'm talking about. This,
and the risk that (see the Slashdot comment quoted in the open letter,
which reflects an attitude much more frequent than I'd imagined) other
users *would* answer "hey, you can fix it yourself because it is an
open source wheelchair"...
> I learned some about the needs through his post. Shaking the tree a
> bit may drop some fruit. Not shaking the tree drops no fruit.

Right again. That's all I hoped to do. I'm glad to see that I *am*
also finding some good fruits, that is more awareness of the actual

> I appreciate Marco bringing this to my attention... I'm grateful as
> heck that he brought this to my attention as the issue would have
> bitten me unawares later on, as it will some of you.

and thanks again.

> Marco, it would be better to address the specific Fedora issues you
> have here, though.

I have no technical issues of this kind with Fedora, nor does the
disabled user I know in person. I installed and made SUSE work on his
PC (see the newsforge article) simply because he had *already* found,
downloaded and burned that particular distro by himself, and we had
not time to burn another when I went to his place. 

As you also stated above, the problem I'm denouncing is not technical:
I didn't write an "Open Letter: why Fedora (or any other distro) sucks
for disabled users". This is about community and wider adoption, or
dismissal, of all FOSS (including, of course, Fedora) in a critical
market segment, if I may say so. This is why I posted the announcement
on all the FOSS lists I follow whose subscribers may make the bigger

Of course, it is also highly likely that Fedora, given its rapid
release cycles, will to experiment also on the desktop and so on, may
be in a very good position to get ahead of its competitors to become
the preferred distro for disabled users. But this requires interest
for the background problem, and as many users as possible
collaborating in the field, at the same desk, with just as many
disabled users, each one with a probably different hw setup.  This
simply isn't a case you can handle by email "run this command and post
the output".

Said this, thanks for all the info you provided on emacs speech and
other tools. I will forward it.

Thanks again for your support.

	Marco Fioretti

Marco Fioretti                    mfioretti, at the server mclink.it
Fedora Core 3 for low memory      http://www.rule-project.org/

We shall serve God, family and country, in that order, because without
the one before it, each would perish.

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