Accessibility Grant Sparks Needed Development

Mozilla just donated $10k to GNOME... but where are the commercial efforts?


Learned a new term today: a11y.

A friend of mine sprung it on me last night when he was telling me about a cool story that was announced earlier today: the donation of $10,000 from the Mozilla Foundation to the GNOME Foundation to bolster GNOME's accessibility efforts.

I am no doubt reducing my geek cred in admitting this gap in my knowledge set, but apparently a11y is the l33t term for accessibility--all the more embarrassing because accessibility is something about which I feel strongly.

The $10k grant itself will be used, in part, to send some GNOME devs to the 25th Annual International CSUN Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference from March 22-27 in San Diego so they can run a GNOME a11y hackfest.

This isn't the first such grant from the Mozilla Foundation to the GNOME Project: a $10k grant was awarded in 2008 for the GNOME Accessibility Outreach Program.

Have no doubt, this is a really nice thing for the Mozilla Foundation to do. So where, I would ask, are the corporate donors for a11y? I can't remember the last time I heard about a big donation to any project's a11y efforts--oh, wait, that was 2008.

And the fact that it's Mozilla Foundation making the donation is particularly interesting. It's telling that despite tight financial times, a non-profit organization has to make the big investments. No slam on the Mozilla folks, but shouldn't a commercial entity be making these kinds of efforts?

Maybe they are, and it's all behind the scenes. It's high on my list to find out.

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