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BlogDiversity & Inclusion

Community Support Needed for New Accessibility Initiative

We’re excited to share a new community-led initiative to improve accessibility across our Foundation projects to better support people with disabilities. 

“As an open source community it’s crucial for us to work together to ensure that our projects, tools, workflows, and data are truly accessible to all,” said Alexander Schwank, who is spearheading the initial effort as co-chair of the Academy Software Foundation’s USD Working Group. “Coming from a 3D background, we know that many 3D tools make a range of assumptions – for instance, that whoever is accessing a file can use a mouse or can see in color. There are many ways to address accessibility in our industry and we can make greater progress through collaboration.”

The accessibility initiative is still in the very early formation stages, and we’d like to enlist support and input from the broader community as we build it out. 

Initial ideas and goals include:

  • Gather existing research, case studies and anecdotal evidence related to building accessible tools and creating accessible data 
  • Compile a list of existing solutions across domains (closed captioning, braille, flashing light mitigation, etc.)
  • Identify opportunities within Academy Software Foundation projects (i.e. CC/subtitling in OpenTimelineIO) as well as cross-project efforts, such as using the same metadata to store accessibility information
  • Standardize approaches to accessibility

If you’re interested in contributing to this effort, please join the conversation on the #accessibility channel on the Academy Software Foundation Slack. No previous experience is necessary. We look forward to hearing your ideas and experiences!