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



M. Fioretti wrote:

Greetings,

the following letter has already been posted on Linux Today and
www.lxer.com. Please give to it the greatest diffusion you can, and
evaluate in your LUG (or any other FOSS association!) the possibility
to organize the kind of initiative described in the letter (*).

Excerpt:

"I recently wrote an article about the serious communication problems
between the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) community and disabled
users. The feedback on several forums, including Slashdot, prove that
I was right. Here is a practical proposals on how any group of FOSS
advocates may fill this gap in its own community..."

Full letter at:

http://www.hudlug.org.uk/wiki/Foss_And_Disabled_Users (wiki)
http://mailman.lug.org.uk/pipermail/hudlug/2006-April/001201.html (original static version)

Best Regards,
		Marco Fioretti

You are encouraged to translate this announce and the full letter in
any language you can!

(*) and of course, if you do it, please let me know!

I've had the chance to befriend deaf individuals from several countries and work with several blind individuals from the USA, and I agree that a lot more can be done to make open source software accessible to the disabled. In Europe, disabled users are generally not well treated and their accessibility needs not often considered. More accessible software would make it much easier for these individuals to work on a level playing field with their non-disabled peers. Disabled users in the USA have need of accessible software too. I sit right next to a blind person who has a lot of difficulty with GUI-based software.

I realize that if I do a little more homework and code a little differently, I can make my software usable to all people. Open software should be for everyone, not just those with eyes, ears, and limbs that work and well-developed motor skills.

Bob Cochran



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