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EU policies in e-inclusion
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EU policies in e-inclusion


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Miguel Gonzales Sancho …

Miguel Gonzales Sancho
European Commission, ICT for Inclusion, Information Society & Media Directorate General

Published in: Technology
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  • 1. The ÆGIS concept, with updates from the Pan-European Workshop and User Forum Peter Korn, Accessibility Principal & ÆGIS Technical Manager
  • 2. Presentation Overview • What is ÆGIS • Brief history of ICT Accessibility • Steps to build an accessible... ...physical world ...ICT environment • The Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) • Updates from the Pan-European workshop
  • 3. What is ÆGIS? • EC-funded FP7 project to “ accessibility into future mainstream ICT...” • Focus on... – future: look at where accessibility is going – mainstream: do research as close to products as practical – ICT: desktop, web, mobile; communication
  • 4. What is “ÆGIS”? • Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards • Inspiration from Greek myth – ÆGIS is the shield of Zeus – Now means a shield, protection, or sponsorship – For us: building accessibility into ICT is a way to protect people at risk of exclusion
  • 5. What is “ÆGIS”... in Letters & Words? • open: collaborate with existing communities • Accessibility: focus of the project • Everywhere: desktop, web, mobile • Groundwork: start from users, user needs • Infrastructure: build it in to ICT • Standards: define, then build to standards
  • 6. Key Goals of the ÆGIS Project • Develop a complete framework to building accessibility into ICT – Prove it with users in desktop, web, and mobile • Help developers & authors as well as users • Address accessibility cost issues – Leverage popular open source apps, platforms – Use commodity hardware where possible
  • 7. More Key Goals of the ÆGIS Project • Seek to advance the state of the art – Framework for magnification – Concept Coding Framework for authoring – Face tracking, eye tracking, gesture switches – Aid to developers, authors – “Platform on a platform” challenges
  • 8. A Brief History of ICT Accessibility • Late 1960s – early 1980s 1st generation access – Character based screens – Blind access via Optacon, screen readers from text buffers – Low vision access via custom video card – Input device replacements (special keyboards, etc.)
  • 9. More Brief History of ICT Accessibility • Late 1980s – early 2000s 2nd generation access – Graphical desktop – Blind access via off-screen model: reverse engineered hack – Low vision access via software magnification: also a hack – Evolution of voice recognition systems – Switch access software – Specialized apps for cognitive impairments
  • 10. rd Emergence of 3 Generation Access • Starts in 1997 – Java Accessibility API & Pluggable Look & Feel of Swing – W3C Web Accessibility Initiative – MSAA – Roots in two earlier attempts: • RAP & AccessAware
  • 11. rd Focus of 3 Generation Access • Provide everything needed by AT via APIs – Address “platform-on-a-platform” issues – Accessibility standards start to appear – WCAG, UAAG, ATAG, ISO 13066 – Similar shift for accessibility as with printing • Direct app-to-printer interfaces became mediated by the operating system – OS-defined printer driver APIs
  • 12. Steps to Physical Accessibility – creation Step 1: Define “Accessible” • How wide must a door be for a wheelchair to fit through it? • How much force must you need to open a window? • How do we make an elevator accessible - tones, Braille...
  • 13. Steps to Physical Accessibility – creation Step 2: Stock building materials • Sets of standard doors - all wide enough for a wheelchair • Sets of standard windows - with little force needed to open • Standard elevators - with tones, Braille, tactile symbols
  • 14. Steps to Physical Accessibility – creation Step 3: Tools for accessible building • Manuals & standards for installing windows, doors, elevators • Specs. for wheelchair ramps; testing ramp elevation • Special tools for installing windows, doors, elevators, etc.
  • 15. Steps to Physical Accessibility – use Step 4: Locate the building where it will work • Is the building near public transit? • Is there a wheelchair ramp leading up to the building? • Can people find the crosswalk buttons
  • 16. Steps to Physical Accessibility – use Step 5: Make the accessible buildings • Follow the plans, use the stock building materials, locate the building where it should go • And then build it
  • 17. Steps to Physical Accessibility – use Step 6: Disseminate access devices people need • Distribute wheelchairs (that work with the ramps) • Provide canes for the blind, train seeing eye dogs • Diagnose hearing problems, prescribe hearing aids
  • 18. Steps to ICT Accessibility – creation Step 1: Define “Accessible” • Define keyboard navigation scheme • Define theme mechanisms for high contrast, large print • Define an accessibility API for communication with AT
  • 19. Steps to ICT Accessibility – creation Step 2: Stock UI elements, toolkits • Build sets of desktop UI elements – Menus, windows, etc. • Build sets of web UI elements – Charts, drag & drop, etc. • Build sets of mobile UI elements – Text fields, radio buttons, etc.
  • 20. Steps to ICT Accessibility – creation Step 3: Tools for developing accessible ICT • Manuals & standards for how to make accessible applications • Developer tools that provide stock accessible UI elements • Developer tools that flag programmatically determinable inaccessible app designs
  • 21. Steps to ICT Accessibility – use Step 4: Make platform accessible, able to run AT • Does the platform expose accessibility APIs from the applications? • Can the user select a high contrast, large print theme? • Does the platform have text-to-speech, Braille, for AT to use?
  • 22. Steps to ICT Accessibility – use Step 5: Make the accessible ICT applications • Follow the plans, use the stock UI elements & toolkits, deploy on an accessible platform • And then build the apps
  • 23. Steps to ICT Accessibility – use Step 6: Disseminate access devices people need • Ensure blind have access to screen readers for the platform • Ensure low vision have access to screen magnification • Ensure access to augmentative/alternative communication systems, etc.
  • 24. Open Accessibility Framework • Core idea of the ÆGIS project • ÆGIS OAF deliverables: 1.Document describing the framework of 3rd generation accessibility, validated by ÆGIS prototypes and feedback 2.Prototypes implement OAF, proven in ÆGIS • Many prototypes contributed back in open source
  • 25. Open Accessibility Framework cont. • Addresses all facets of building accessibility into ICT • Completely analogous to physical accessibility – Looks at “creation” and “use” sides • It is essentially the “Steps to ICT Accessibility” of previous slides
  • 26. ÆGIS Technology Focus Areas • Desktop – Build on 3rd gen. accessibility already in GNOME – Focus on authoring assistance in – DAISY, Braille, Concept Coding Framework – Blind, low-vision, physical impairment, cognitive impairment, developers / testers
  • 27. ÆGIS Technology Focus Areas, cont. • Web – Work in all facets of OAF (except AT) – UI element sets used in developer tools to create apps that run in user agents on desktop platforms (with AT) • Mobile – Work in all facets of OAF (including AT)
  • 28. Creation Use
  • 29. Updates from Pan-European Workshop • <updates to go here, added the night before, at the conclusion of the workshop>