"First chartered in 2004 as the Linux Foundation Accessibility Workgroup (LFA), the Open A11y group functions today within the Linux Foundation to establish free and open standards that enable comprehensive universal access to various computing platforms, applications, and services. Open A11y makes it easier for developers, ISVs, and distributions to support assistive technologies (AT). Assistive technologies enable individuals to make full use of computer-based technology despite variability in physical or sensory abilities due to illness, aging or disability.
AT enable individuals who are blind or visually impaired to read online text, for example, and provide the means for individuals who do not have the use of their arms and hands to write and correspond. AT also enable individuals who cannot speak or hear to participate on the telephony interfaces of today -- and will support their participation on the multimodal computer interfaces of tomorrow."