Open Document Format - OASIS accessibility subcommittee formed

As I noted earlier one of the questions to answer about the accessibility of the Open Document Format is whether the ODF XML file format itself provides a way to store all of the information needed to support full access to document contents. These are things like ALT tags to describe images and the like. Yesterday the OASIS Open Document Technical Committee created an Accessibility Subcomittee to study this. From the "News" section of the Open Document Format Technical Committee page:

2 December 2005: OpenDocument Accessibility Subcomittee founded.

The OpenDocument TC has founded an accessibility sub committee. The purpose of the sub committee is:

  1. To liaise with the disability community to gather accessibility related feedback on the OpenDocument v1.0 specification.
  2. To gather accessibility related feedback from implementors of accessible applications that implement OpenDocument v1.0.
  3. To produce a formal accessibility evaluation of the OpenDocument v1.0 file format.
More information, including information how to join the sub committee, will be provided soon.

Like all good open standards, the ODF standard process is a transparent and open process that grows and changes to address the needs and requirements of those involved. Specifically now it is growing to explicitly address the issues of accessibility by people with disabilities. Stay tuned to that website for information on how to join the subcommittee if you want to be involved in the accessibility evaluation of OpenDocument.

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Peter Korn

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