Showing the Accessibility Way: IBM Contributes Project Missouri to the Free Standards Group

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Dec 14, 2006 3:51 PM EDT Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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Elizabeth Montalbano at ComputerWorld wrote a piece yesterday about a thus far little noticed project puckishly named "Project Missouri." How little noticed? I just tried a Google search of "'project Missouri' IBM ODF" and found…just Elizabeth's article.

What is Project Missouri, and why the odd name? The title of the article will give a first clue: IBM project aims to help blind use ODF applications. As you will recall, ODF accessibility has been a big issue in Massachusetts, with the community of the disabled, as well as ODF opponents, challenging the Commonwealth's decision to convert to ODF-compliant software products until such time as these products were as accessible as Microsoft Office.

At the time, a number of ODF proponents – including IBM – pledged to make ODF not only the equal of, but superior to, Microsoft Office with respect to accessibility. Opponents scoffed, and hence an accessibility project that puckishly borrows its name from the hard to convince midwestern state that refers to itself as the "Show Me State."

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