Thoughts on Open Accessibility
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Thoughts on Open Accessibility

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Reflections on the relationship between open source licensing and accessibility. Guest lecture for Ryerson University School of Disability Studies' DST 614: Community Access and Technology course.

Reflections on the relationship between open source licensing and accessibility. Guest lecture for Ryerson University School of Disability Studies' DST 614: Community Access and Technology course.
October 2, 2010

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    Thoughts on Open Accessibility Thoughts on Open Accessibility Presentation Transcript

    • Thoughts on Open Accessibility Colin Clark, Lead Software Architect, Inclusive Design Research Centre
    • Stuff we’ll talk about • What is Open Source and Open Access? • How do communities work? • How does open source impact accessibility? • What does the Fluid community do?
    • What Makes Technology Accessible? 1. Understandable 2. Adaptable 3. Can be separated or added to 4. Users can make derivatives
    • Proprietary Software
    • What is Open Source? • A Philosophy? • A methodology for creating software? • A licensing strategy?
    • Types of Licenses Copyleft vs. Attribution-only
    • What is Open Access? • Nerds aren’t the only ones giving things away • An extension of the scholarly mandate • Free and open licensing of content, journals, and media • Driven by the Creative Commons License
    • Creative Commons
    • Open Source Communities • How do they start up? • Who pays for it? • How do they work? • Who’s the boss? • What are the limitations?
    • Design in Open Source • Design doesn’t happen as often as it should • Systemic problem of poor and inconsistent user interface and experience • Often left to programmers • Tackled at the end • Inadequately tested and refined
    • Design in Open Source • Why isn’t there more open design? • Design apathy: OSS often utilitarian • Lack of resources • Tricky for designers to get involved
    • Design in the Fluid community • Amalgamation of user/human- centred, participatory, and inclusive design • Humans at the centre of design decisions (U/HCD) • Democratization of design (PD) • Design for diversity (ID)
    • Assertions 1. Assistive technology is hopelessly stagnant 2. DRM and “full stack” control like iTunes/iPod limit flexibility and innovation 3. Paying for assistive technology is absurd
    • Assistive Technologies See the World Like This
    • ... but the Web is driving whole new UIs
    • ... but the Web is driving whole new UIs
    • ... even on the desktop
    • ... even on the desktop
    • The Problem with Proprietary • Let’s go back to our four accessibility values • Digital Rights Managements • Controlled stack such as iTunes limits adaptability, alternative access and interfaces
    • Values for Accessible Technology 1. Understandable 2. Adaptable 3. Can be separated or added to 4. Can make derivatives
    • Commercial AT • Assistive technology is a hack • Working around the failures of operating system vendors and application developers • We’re seeing a new shift—AT built right in • Beyond that? • AT on the Web • Applications that can adapt to you
    • Open Source Responsibility • We’re uniquely positioned to focus on the stuff no one else does due to “business factors” • Open provides alternative economics • Closer link between users and developers • Value system driven by reuse and derivation
    • Questions? cclark@ocad.ca fluidproject.org