20 November 2007

Dealing with Disabilities

One of the problems raised with the use of ODF in Massachusetts was its lack of support for people with disabilities. That has now been sorted out, but it's probably generally true that open source has not addressed this issue as well as it could, not least because hackers tend to be young and hale, and therefore less aware of the problems faced by those who are not, for example.

So it's good to hear that some work is being done on precisely this area:

IBM and the researchers at the University of Dundee School of Computing (UK) and the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine are collaborating to develop open source software technology tools to accommodate the needs of older workers to help them adapt to and remain productive in the changing workplace of the 21st century.

...

One way to support maturing workers who have age-related disabilities is to find new ways to increase their comfort level and ability to use technology.

(Via Daniweb.)

2 comments:

Leslie P. Polzer said...

I can't really agree with you saying that open source has not adressed disabilities well so far. This seems to imply that proprietary software does have, which is not true.

Leslie

glyn moody said...

Well, as I wrote, what I had in mind was the problems raised in Massachusetts, where the lack of good support for disabilities was a major stumbling block until IBM stepped in (I think) with some code and help. Maybe other areas are better: what did you have in mind?