Agenda for Accessibility (This doesn't reflect the views of anyone else...)

Spent the whole day at the conference today. Met Liddie, who apparently works in the original school in Cambodia (and on the Spark project, and on other interesting things). Lots of other contacts, but on to the nitty-gritty stuff, an Agenda for Accessibility. I should note here this is *not* the consensus view, and has nothing to do with anyone who employs me, it's just what I walked away from the conference thinking...


* push for a universal copyright license/levy system such that all copyright is automatically licensed for educational uses, let rights holders and the like push back if they want, but stand up for the needs of education rather than trying to be reasonable and letting other people dictate the final result by dint of being willing to be unreasonable (a CC-like cumpulsory license, that is, one with specific requirements and fine-grained restrictions is envisioned)
* require that all content, educational and accessibility standards be made freely available without patent or similar encumbrances
* require and fund at least one Open Source implementation of each major accessibility technology class (e.g. screen reader, screen magnifier, braille output API) to allow individuals to afford the technology, developers to test against the technology, and institutions/governments to extend it
* require all publicly funded content to be made available for educational use (at minimum, see the first point for where we want to go)
* consider class notes, recordings of lectures/lessons, and all of the material required to reproduce a course to be work-for-hire of the government which funds the work, as such, move it into the public domain
* integrate (Open Source) accessibility technology into authoring tools, in such a way that the developer can see what it is like to interact with their content/application using just that technology
* create standard mechanism for tagging alternate representations in all Open formats, provide backwards-compatibility layers to support alternate streams for legacy formats

Implementation issues:

* authoring tools need to be able to collect metadata so that they can note alternates such as source documents for translated versions and the like
* allow for easy decomposition of documents into component resources (disallows certain "baked" formats), will upset many control-freak designers
* allow for query across related documents based on accessibility metadata. Think of a query that can search for "access:" attributes throughout all documents in a sub-set of your journal. That would allow for automaticaly finding screen-readable sub-elements, for instance, substituting streams that are stream-readable in where available etc.
* when losing information during the authoring process, offer (by default) to retain the information via meta-data recording for accessibility, e.g. reducing a graphic to a bitmap, or rendering text down to a bitmap should automatically record the URI of the source resource
* allow for closed-captioning multimedia resources directly from script documents (e.g. closed-captioning a play being read)
* allow for multiple channels of closed captioning, allow for direct recording of SMIL "notes" over media streams (with captioning, translations, etceteras)

Anyway, will look over my notes again and see if I've missed anything, but for now those are my walking-away thoughts.


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