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Session Title

Sustainable Accessibility Ecosystem

Session Leader

Aaron Leventhal


Firefox is heading toward becoming the most accessible web browser. In real terms this means being the easiest to use for people with disabilities. That requires features such as full keyboard navigation and compatibility with 3rd party screen readers, screen magnifiers, voice input software and on screen keyboards. Accessibility be a reason for governments to stay on or move off of proprietary platforms.

One difficulty is that the assistive technologies are different on each platform, and while only Windows currently has a complete accessibility platform, most of the 3rd party software is proprietary, and tend to rely on hacks.

Therefore, tremendous effort and coordination are required to move from no accessibility to supporting a rich array of operating systems and types of users. One person can't do it all. The Firefox accessibility effort has grown from 1 person to a community, complete with grants and its own communication forums. he success of the growth of this community may have implications for other sub-communities within the larger Firefox effort.

The good news is that Firefox accessibility is becoming a nexus for accessibility in open source, and helping pave the way for open source and open standards to get a real foothold. We are creating a positive environment for new contributors to make a real difference in the lives of many people.

The session will cover the evolution of Firefox accessibility from pure potential into a growing ecosystem, and how we plan to grow into a sustainable ecosystem with implications beyond Firefox.


  1. Diagram high level view of the accessibility problem
  2. Show and discuss where we are now
  3. Demonstration (ZoomText or Window-Eyes)
  4. Discuss solutions to the potential mess (such as API harmonization)
  5. Diagram the growth of a community and how we can help optimize it
  6. Discussion

Interested Attendees