GNOME 2.30 released - with excellent accessibility support

Ever since GNOME version 2.4, the GNOME platform and desktop have included an accessibility framework, a flexible themeing engine with a set of themes for folks with a variety of vision impairments, a powerful (and industry-leading) accessibility framework and accessibility API, and also a set of assistive technologies. Thanks to the hard work of the GNOME Accessibility team, this support has continued to improve with each successive release.

Over the years since version 2.4 came out - on a 6 month release cycle that you can practically set your watch to - the GNOME platform has added things like grade 2 braille support and accessible login, application-specific scripting for screen reader users and full-screen color mapping for low vision users, mouse dwell-click support and a rapid text entry system for folks who can't use a keyboard. And thanks to this tremendous free and open source accessibility support, users with disabilities can do a tremendous number of things with this desktop. They can browse the web and read e-mail, create and read documents and spreadsheets, keep track of their calendars and and listen to music, and do these things at the very same time that that they are participating in several simultaneous IM chats (that are interoperability with virtually every IM protocol on the planet).

And now today - like clockwork - the GNOME community has released GNOME 2.30. And that release is made in over 50 different languages. Further, thanks to the commonly included eSpeak text-to-speech engine, it will speak to screen reader users in 27 of those languages!

So, congratulations GNOME. You have once again demonstrated to the world just much the open source community can do for (and with!) people with disabilities, wherever in the world they reside.

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Peter Korn

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