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Conference This Week on ODF, Disability Issues
Sunday, March 19 2006 @ 12:40 PM EST

Sun Microsystems' Accessibility Architect Peter Korn has some news of a conference March 20-25, the California State University, Northridge Center's 21st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in Los Angeles. Sun has sent representatives to this conference for a decade, Korn tells us. This year, Sun has some presentations that sound very interesting. I'll let Korn tell you about them:
We have a few special events/highlights for this year in addition to our usual "what's new" presentations on Java and GNOME accessibility:

1. Public introduction of Orca, the open source, scripting screen reader we are developing. In addition to showing Orca in our booth, we'll be giving both an introductory Orca talk, as well as a talk on writing scripts in Orca at the conference. ...

3. Product demonstrations of Fonix corporation's DECtalk software text-to-speech running on Solaris systems in our booth.

4. Demonstrations of the accessible features of Elluminate Live, a Java-based distance learning application.

By the way, DECtalk works on Linux and Windows, not just on Solaris. There will also be a panel discussion on ODF with Korn, StarOffice/OpenOffice.org accessibility architect Malte Timmermann, IBM Accessibility expert Rich Schwerdtfeger, Free Standards Group Accessibility Workgroup chair Janina Sajka, and the Director of the Massachusetts Office on Disability Myra Berloff. Korn:

In this extra-long session (nearly 2 hours) we hope to examine virtually every aspect of the Open Document Format accessibility issue, give demonstrations of the accessibility support that already exists (and note where it needs to be improved), and answer questions.

If you go, please be Groklaw's eyes and ears and send us a report, will you? Here's the page for how to find it and all the details you'll need.

So if you happen to read on Newsforge, and of course up on Slashdot, purporting to say that there is a lack of communication between FOSS and the disabled, all I can say is that the author, for whatever reason, seems to be out of the loop.


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