LibrePlanet: Conference/2010/Schedule/Saturday/GNU Accessibility with Chris Hofstader

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Please remember that this event is focused on free software, not open source. We have a set of guidelines for speakers, but we ask everyone to be mindful of the power of words and the importance of framing the issues being discussed and worked on in the best possible terms.

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Everyone who attends gets a free t-shirt too


Chris Hofstader (, the newly appointed Director of Access technology, will address the many issues facing people with disabilities who use computers. He will also include benefits of accessibility beyond people with disabilities and talk a bit about how, in most cases, compliance with accessibility guidelines and standards is really quite simple. Chris, profoundly blind himself, will demonstrate some tools used by people with vision impairment to access free software. He will close with a Q&A session where he will be prepared to discuss other disabilities and anything else of interest to attendees.


Chris Hofstader has been a software engineer for about 30 years. Along with Richard Stallman, he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom ( and supported himself making mostly proprietary software. Chris had a moderate to severe vision impairment until he was about 35 when he slid into profound blindness. He then took a job at the company that makes the most popular proprietary software used by people with vision impairment, believing incorrectly that a well funded, profit oriented company would be able to make the best software for people with disabilities. Chris left that job about six years ago and has been working in the research and some development areas of access technology since. He officially joined Project GNU in February of this year.

Chris Hofstader