The KDE Accessibility Project is proud to have accepted a trophy at the international Free Software competition Trophées Du Libre in France. The KDEAP received this trophy for a number of accessibility aids, including KMouth, KMag, KMouseTool and the upcoming KDE Text-To-Speech Service. Many thanks and congratulations to everyone who has contributed to these applications! Captioned photos are available on the KDEAP site.
The event took place in Soissons near Paris. It was organized by a local Free Software group and supported by FSF Europe, a number of companies and several regional goverment agencies. Free Software is a key element in a plan to fight Soissons's unemployment problem, as the mayor of Soissons explained when she announced that Soissons wishes to become "the Capital of Free Software".
Richard M. Stallman gave a long talk in French about Free Software, showing how liberté, egalité and fraternité relate to Free Software. Peter Korn from the Sun Accessibility Team later pointed out that all three of these are also closely linked to accessibility issues. The KDE Accessibility Project fully agrees with this. By writing programs that do not work with different means of using a computer (braille displays, screen readers, head point devices, one button navigation...) certain users are deprived of their freedom to choose the software they like -- they are made unequal. The Free Software community cannot tolerate this if it claims to act in fraternity.
As the GNOME Accessibility Project (GAP) also received two trophees, it was a great opportunity to get to know some of the GAP developers in person. The atmosphere between the two projects was excellent. We had a lot of good and interesting talks about possible interoperation between the two projects. Some of the topics discussed will be presented at the KDE Developer meeting in Nove Hrady.
The KDE Accessibility Team currently consists of a very small group of volunteers. Any help is welcome. If you have suggestions, observations, or if you are willing to contribute to the challenging effort of improving KDE Accessibility, please do not hesitate to send a mail to the KDE Accessibility mailing list.