[Debtags-devel] Updating tags on svn

Enrico Zini enrico at enricozini.org
Mon Aug 8 15:36:23 UTC 2005

On Mon, Aug 08, 2005 at 02:33:46PM +0000, Thaddeus H. Black wrote:

> Respectfully, no.  Accessibility is a tag, not a ghetto.  Non-disabled
> people do not need accessibility packages; they need to be able to
> filter them out.  This need cuts more or less orthogonally across the
> need to filter input-method packages out.  There are many non-disabled
> Chinese.  Consider libatk and scim, for example.  What do these packages
> and their users have in common?  Not much.

It depends on how you define accessibility.  My definition is "software
that allows to access a computer in unusual ways".  This *also* includes
people with different degrees of disablity (physical or mental), but not
only.  Other examples of accessibility problems are:

 * 60-years old world-class business managers whose eyesight suffers a
   bit from age (try calling them "disabled", if you dare :)
 * Software on a GPRS, intended to be used by someone who is driving and
   can't look at the screen nor type in a keyboard
 * Software on a very small device (such as a palm, or even a wrist
   watch), with limited display and input capabilities
 * Software running on wearable computers
 * Input methods for non-latin languages
 * Software used in hostile environments (factories?) by people working
   with thick gloves, or needing to operate a computer with only one
   hand because the other one is busy

 (if these are not accessibility problems, how do you call them?)

Most times the technology for one field overlaps with others: speech
synthesis for blind people can be used on the GPRS.  If you go to the
dasher website, you'll see how it can be adapted as a great input method
for palm devices with tilt or bend sensors.  Sticky keys and other
special keyboard behaviours can help the people in a factory.

I like this definition of accessibility because it's IMO more complete,
and it eliminates the component of discrimination that we have when we
(again, IMO artificially) limit it to disabled people.

In this respect, adding input methods tags in the accessibility facet is
just going with this definition.

There is to be seen if this definition is commonly agreed upon by who is
using Debtags.  Wikipedia[en] has different interpretations for
"Computer accessibility" and "Web accessibility", for example.



GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico at enricozini.org>
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