Miniconfs/Business of Open Source/Accessibility Talk

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One of the major potential clients or adopters of FOSS are government departments or governmental organisations. Many FOSS projects want to expand in that area.

In many countries, including New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and most of Europe, legislation or regulation require access to information in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities.

In the same countries anti-discrimination legislation or regulation require employers not to discriminate on the basis of disability.

The impact of these two aspects of legislation on FOSS is often not considered, yet it is potentially a major barrier to FOSS acceptance both by government or by business. If their website, services, or both are not accessible and usable by people with disabilities, they run afoul of the law. If they routinely use software that someone with a disability is unable to use, they may be unable to hire an employee with a disability – opening themselves to discrimination complaints.

This presentation will give an overview of accessibility requirements for FOSS projects from a perspective of helping potential customers meet their legal requirements.