RESOLUTION 2011-11

Software Development Environments

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-11

SUMMARY:

1. ACB strongly encourages IDE developers to ensure programmers who are blind or visually impaired can access all portions of the development environment with the same rapidity and fluidity as their sighted peers.

2. The officers, directors, and staff are hereby directed to develop a list of resources which could be used to provide information on making IDEs fully accessible.

3. ACB’s officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to consult with organizations or individuals involved in creating development environments to ensure that the final product is fully accessible to programmers who are blind or visually impaired at the same time as it is made available to the general market.

WHEREAS, including accessibility features into software products has allowed people who are blind or visually impaired to engage in a variety of activities which enable them to be more productive members of society; and

WHEREAS, employment is an integral part of participating in society; and

WHEREAS, some people, in preparing for employment in the field of computer programming, use free tools such as "express" versions of full-fledged Microsoft products; and

WHEREAS, programmers who are blind or visually impaired have a long-standing history of being employed in computer programming; and

WHEREAS, companies including but not limited to Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle have created Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for rapidly creating computer software; and

WHEREAS, many of these IDEs contain entire feature sets which are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to use independently by programmers who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, these challenges in accessibility lead to an increase in the amount of time needed for programmers who are blind or visually impaired to develop applications; and

WHEREAS, both small and large enterprises make quick turn-around an important metric when creating computer programs; and

WHEREAS, we can infer that, being unable to develop software at the same speed as their sighted counterparts causes programmers who are blind or visually impaired to face unnecessary challenges;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that ACB strongly encourage IDE developers to ensure programmers who are blind or visually impaired can access all portions of the development environment with the same rapidity and fluidity as their sighted peers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to develop a list of resources which could be used to provide information on making IDEs fully accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to consult with organizations or individuals involved in creating development environments to ensure that the final product is fully accessible to programmers who are blind or visually impaired at the same time as it is made available to the general market.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary