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Re: Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA)

From: Michael A Squillace <masquill@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 14:58:34 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA26CE82F.B1E552B9-ON852573B6.00708A0E-862573B6.007312DD@us.ibm.com>
I am a little skeptical of this effort, starting with its rather limited 
board composition - three members: Microsoft, Adobe, and a rep from a 
company with which few are familiar. Second, from the "Working Groups and 
Current Projects" section on:


we have, among the four projects mentioned:

1. Internet Explorer Support of Web ARIA via UIA Express
-- Work to enhance Microsoft's IE browser to support these additional 

Why is a group that is, "encouraging the enhancement of current 
technologies, the creation of new technology, and promoting the 
implementation of these APIs and specifications cross-platform and across 
the industry," focusing on one browser and one proprietary accessibility 

2. Interoperability of Accessibility APIs: UIA and IAccessible2
-- Work to extend UIA and IAccessible2 so that accessibility 
functionalities of products built to these specifications can be 

While there is no doubt that there is always room for improvement, why do 
we need to call out the "extension" of IAccessible2 specifically? It's 
already an accepted, open standard that was deliberately designed to be 
consistent with AT-SPI, thus helping to mitigate precisely the 
inconsistency that the AIA wants to remedy. It seems to me that UIA 
Express ought to be morphing to IAccessible2 and, in turn, to ARIA, not 
vice versa.

Finally, the AIA, "may also pursue formal standardization of the resulting 
technologies and/or specifications, recognizing the value of adoption by 
standards bodies (such as ANSI and ISO) in driving mainstream use." As 
Gregory asks, is the AIA going to be working with the W3C or the Open A11y 
Working Group of the Linux Foundation to insure that any resulting 
standards proposals are harmonious with ARIA and IA2? Should we invite one 
of the three board members to PF or should PF attempt via the W3C to 
become a board member of the AIA?

--> Mike Squillace
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
Austin, TX



"Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net> 
Sent by: wai-xtech-request@w3.org
12/19/2007 01:57 PM

wai-xtech@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org

Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA)


does anyone have any information they can share with the W3C community 
about the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA)


to quote from the AIA press release dated 2007/12/10:

Industry Alliance Aims to Increase Accessibility, Interoperability and 

so i was wondering how the AIA plans to work with other related fora,
such as the W3C/WAI, the Open Accessibility Workgroup at the Linux 
Foundation (http://a11y.org/), and the many other entities with which 
communication and harmonization of efforts is essential?

for example, how does the AIA view the work on IAccessible2 that is being
conducted at:


will it sync with work on the Accessible Tool Kit/Assistive Technology 
Special Programming Interface (ATK/AT-SPI) framework, which has a mapping
to IAccessible2, as well as other platform-agnostic accessibility 
applications, APIs, or architectures?


all i know about the AIA, i've gleaned from their web site...  there is
a steering committee comprised of of 3: an Information Technology Member, 
an Assistive Technology member, and an at-large member...  the current 
composition of the AIA steering committee (through january 2010) is:

* IT Member: Andrew Kirkpatrick, Corporate Accessibility Engineering 
  Lead - Adobe;

* AT Member: Claudio Giugliemma, CEO - QualiLife;

* At-Large Member: Rob Sinclair, Director of Accessibility - Microsoft

QualiLife is an entity with which i am not familiar, but on their web 
site, they state:

<q cite="http://qualilife.com/home/index.cfm">
Our software technologies (Assistive Technologies) have been conceived 
and developed to fulfill the real needs of all people with physical 
disabilities, of any age, degree and type of disability. We provide full 
accessibility to all existing technologies in all fields, like: 
Telephony, Environmental control, Verbal and Written communication, 
Internet, fax, e-mail, SMS, DVD, Audio & Video, Virtual Reality, Business 
Solutions, Web, Games, etc.

and they do offer a very impressive array and scope of products, but they
do not seem to be a W3C member organization, or at least i could not find
them when i queried the member-confidential search facility using the 
option "All W3C" -- in fact, the only hit i obtained was a link to the 
minutes of a meeting (archived in member-confidential space, since it was 
at a member-confidential meeting) at which i asked if anyone was familiar 
with QualiLife...

can anyone shed any light on this initiative?  is anyone liaising with

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
focus.                                           -- Mark Twain
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
          Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
Received on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 20:59:05 UTC

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