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Digital ramps and handrails: Accessibility in GNOME

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Speaker(s) :Dave Neary
Nature :Meeting
Level :Newbie
Date :Thursday 3 July 2008
Schedule :09h00
Duration :45 minutes
Language :English
Place :16 - IUFM

Accessibility is a vital part of the GNOME project. This presentation will present some of the ways that the GNOME Desktop has been made accessible to people with physical and visual handicaps, and some of the surprising applications which accessibility technology has found.

Since its inception, the GNOME project has been known for a commitment to the principle of Universal Access: our software should be useful to everyone, regardless of their technical level, language or physical ability.

This principle explains why so much effort has been invested into internationalisation, ensuring that the desktop is translated into many languages, works well with right-to-left scripts, and renders fonts beautifully for non-European scripts.

It explains why we have spent so much time making our user interfaces intuitive and consistent, guaranteeing that new GNOME users can discover the features they are looking for and learn to use the desktop quickly, while allowing advanced users to take advantage of the power that is provided by advanced features.

And above all, it explains why accessibility is a crucial part of GNOME’s identity.

This conference will demonstrate some of the accessibility capabilities of GNOME, showing how GNOME can be used by people with visual disabilities and physical handicaps, using a variety of input and output devices.


  • Handicap, Accessibilité, TIC
  • Administration & politiques publiques

DUREE : 40mn (conférence suivie d’un débat)



Dave Neary is an active member of the GNOME Foundation, contributing to things like marketing, press relations and event organisation. A former board member and chairman of the board of the GNOME Foundation, he was also the release manager of the GIMP, and community development manager of the OpenWengo project. This year, he helped organise the third edition of the Libre Graphics Meeting in Wroclaw, a conference which brings together developers from many different free software graphics projects.

Dave recently founded Neary Consulting, a free software consultancy specialising in free software strategy and community management. If you or your software development teams are having trouble learning how to work efficiently with free software communities, or build vibrant volunteer communities around your free software products, he can help.