IBM scale back a11y contribution

IBM announced last week that they’re scaling back their efforts on open source accessibility projects. As one of the major contributors to this area over the past few years, they’ll certainly leave a bit of a hole if the community doesn’t rally round to help fill it. There’s often a perception that accessibility is “one of those things that Sun or IBM will take care of”, but this announcement (along with Bill Haneman, the “accessibility name” that GNOME folks may be most familiar with, recently moving on from Sun) should make it clear that it’s not the case, nor was it ever meant to be.

The Ubuntu accessibility team are doing a great job now too, but now would be a good time for anyone who writes GNOME software to re-acquaint themselves with the basic accessibility requirements and testing tools, to help spread the load somewhat.Check out this thread on gnome-accessibility-list for more reaction and thoughts on continuing to move open source accessibility forward.