<!--#include virtual="/server/header.html" -->
<!-- Parent-Version: 1.77 -->
<title>GNU Accessibility Statement</title>
<style type="text/css">

#conversation { width: 300px; background-color: #bdf; border: 1px solid #999; float: right; padding: 12px; margin: 12px;  }

#conversation h5 { font-size: 24px !important; text-align: center;}

#conversation li { margin-bottom: 0.5em; }

</style> Statement
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>

<!--#include virtual="/accessibility/po/accessibility.translist" -->
<!--#include virtual="/server/banner.html" -->

<h2>GNU Accessibility Statement</h2>

<p><a href="/gnu/">Project GNU</a> urges people working on free
software to follow standards and guidelines for universal
accessibility on GNU/Linux and other free operating systems.
Multi-platform projects should use the cross platform accessibility
interfaces available that include GNU/Linux distributions and the
GNOME desktop.  Project GNU also advises developers of web sites to
follow the guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web
Accessibility Initiative.</p>

<div id="conversation">
  <h5>Join

<blockquote class="note">
  <p><strong>Join the conversation</h5>

  <ul>
    <li><a conversation</strong></p>
  <p><a href="http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/accessibility">GNU accessibility mailing list</a></li>
    <li><a list</a>
  <br /><a href="http://groups.fsf.org/wiki/Group:Accessibility">LibrePlanet accessibility group</a></li>
  </ul>
  
</div> group</a></p>
</blockquote>

<p>According to the United Nations in 2005, there were 600 million
people with disabilities in the world.  To use computers, many of them
need special software known as “access technology”.  Like
other programs, these can be free software or proprietary.  Those
which are free software <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html"> respect
the freedom of their users; users</a>; the rest, proprietary programs,
subject those users to the power of the program's owner.</p> owner.  Programs for
accessibility ethically must be free software, like other
programs.</p>

<p>In order for access technology to work, the other software in use
must interoperate with it.  The majority of computer programs and web
sites (85% in one estimate) do not comply with accessibility standards
and guidelines, so they do not work with access technology.  They
provide a frustrating experience, and can bar users from job or school
activities.</p>

<p>Proprietary file formats that require proprietary reading programs
are poison to both accessibility and to the freedoms that we as free
software activists hope to establish.  The biggest offender is Flash
format; it usually requires proprietary software that doesn't
cooperate with accessibility.  Microsoft Silverlight is similar.
<acronym title="Portable Document Format">PDF</acronym> is also
difficult; though there is free software to view it, it does not
support free access technology software.  GNU PDF aims to do
better.</p>  Improving this is an
important project.</p>

<p>People with disabilities deserve to have control of their own
technological destinies.  When they use proprietary access technology,
they have little or no way to correct whatever is wrong with it.
Virtually all major decisions of the proprietary developers are made
by people who do not have the disability; 20 years' experience shows
that people with unusual combinations of disabilities, who require
relatively unusual software, or who encounter a bug that keeps them
from
vfrom doing their job have no way to obtain the changes they need.
These products are only changed or improved when the vendors see a
business reason for doing the work; this leaves many users behind.  As
a secondary problem, proprietary access software is far more expensive
than a PC.  Many users cannot afford to give up their freedom in this
way.</p>

<p>For users with disabilities, as for all other users, free software
is the <a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">the
only way the users can control their own computing, computing</a>, their only
chance to make software fit their needs rather than passively
accepting whatever developers choose to offer them.</p>

<p>Nations with large populations also have large numbers of people
with disabilities.  Countries including Brazil and Russia are
discussing whether to standardize government purchases on GNU/Linux
platforms.  These nations are all signatories to the UN Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and include technology in
their agenda for providing such rights.  This will require them to
hire programmers to work on accessibility software for their
populations.  If it is free software, the rest of the world will be
able to use it too.  The hackers who work on free access technology
will provide tools that people with disabilities can use to expand
their horizons enormously.</p>

<p>Ensuring that your application or web site is

<p>Making a program accessible is the
right thing to do.  And no substitute for making it fits respect
users' freedom — these are separate issues — but the two
fit naturally with free software.</p> together.</p>

<h3>Recommendations</h3>

<p>Application

<ul>
<li>Application software developers should learn how to use the
accessibility features of the <acronym title="Integrated Development 
Environment">IDE</acronym> or toolkit they employ to build their user
interface.  Programmers
interface.</li>

<li>Programmers who need to implement access technology, or
work on a desktop or OS-level accessibility problem, will need to
understand the appropriate accessibility <acronym title="Application
Programming Interface">API</acronym>, and should choose the one that is
compatible with free OS/desktops.  These include the <a
href="http://library.gnome.org/devel/accessibility-devel-guide/stable/index.html.en">GNOME
accessibility API</a> (GNU/Linux platforms only), the <a href="http://java.sun.com/javase/technologies/accessibility/docs/jaccess-1.3/doc/core-api.html">Java
href="http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/access/jaapi.html">Java
accessibility API</a> (GNU/Linux and Windows) and <a
href="http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/accessibility/iaccessible2">iAccessible2</a>
(GNU/Linux and Windows).</p>

<ul> Windows).</li>

<li>Web developers should follow the <a
href="http://www.w3c.org/wai">W3C web accessibility guidelines</a>
and, for complex web applications, the developers should follow the <a
href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria" title="Accessible Rich
Internet Applications">ARIA standard</a>.</li>
<li><a standard</a>.  Furthermore,
<a
href="http://www.standards-schmandards.com/projects/fangs/">FANGS</a>
enables web developers to see how a <a
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader">screen reader</a>
will handle the web pages they are developing.</li>

<li><a href="/philosophy/javascript-trap.html">Nontrivial Javascript
code distributed to the user</a> should be free software.</li>

<li>Please don't invite users to <a 
href="/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html">do something
on a server that they could conceivably do on their own
computers</a>.</li>
</ul>

</div>

</div><!-- for id="content", starts in the include above -->
<!--#include virtual="/server/footer.html" -->
<div id="footer">

<p>
Please
<div class="unprintable">

<p>Please send general FSF & GNU inquiries to
<a href="mailto:gnu@gnu.org"><gnu@gnu.org></a>.
There are also <a href="/contact/">other ways to contact</a>
the FSF.
<br />
Please send broken  Broken links and other corrections or suggestions can be sent
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>.
</p>

<p> href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>.</p>

<p><!-- TRANSLATORS: Ignore the original text in this paragraph,
        replace it with the translation of these two:

        We work hard and do our best to provide accurate, good quality
        translations.  However, we are not exempt from imperfection.
        Please send your comments and general suggestions in this regard
        to <a href="mailto:web-translators@gnu.org">
        <web-translators@gnu.org></a>.</p>

        <p>For information on coordinating and submitting translations of
        our web pages, see <a
        href="/server/standards/README.translations.html">Translations
        README</a>. -->
Please see the <a
href="/server/standards/README.translations.html">Translations
README</a> for information on coordinating and submitting translations
of this article.  </p> article.</p>
</div>

<!-- Regarding copyright, in general, standalone pages (as opposed to
     files generated as part of manuals) on the GNU web server should
     be under CC BY-ND 3.0 US.  Please do NOT change or remove this
     without talking with the webmasters or licensing team first.
     Please make sure the copyright date is consistent with the
     document.  For web pages, it is ok to list just the latest year the
     document was modified, or published.
     
     If you wish to list earlier years, that is ok too.
     Either "2001, 2002, 2003" or "2001-2003" are ok for specifying
     years, as long as each year in the range is in fact a copyrightable
     year, i.e., a year in which the document was published (including
     being publicly visible on the web or in a revision control system).
     
     There is more detail about copyright years in the GNU Maintainers
     Information document, www.gnu.org/prep/maintain. -->

<p>Copyright © 2010 2010, 2013, 2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.</p>

<p>This work page is licensed under the Creative a <a rel="license"
href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/">Creative
Commons Attribution-No
Derivative Works Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this
license, visit <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/">
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/</a>
or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300,
San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.</p> License</a>.</p>

<p>The Recommendations section may also be used under the Creative
Commons Attribution license, and may be relicensed to the GNU Free
Documentation License version 1.3 or later.</p>

<!--#include virtual="/server/bottom-notes.html" -->

<p>Updated:

<p class="unprintable">Updated:
<!-- timestamp start -->
$Date: 2014/05/06 11:57:50 $
<!-- timestamp end -->
</p>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>