BOSTON, Mass—February 27, 2008 — The GNOME Foundation is running an accessibility outreach program, offering US$50,000 to be split among individuals. This program will promote software accessibility awareness among the GNOME and broader Free Software communities, as well as harden and improve the overall quality of the GNOME accessibility offering.

The program is sponsored by GNOME Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Google™’s Open Source Program Office, Canonical, and Novell. This is the second in a series of outreach programs coordinated and run by the GNOME Foundation.

“I’m excited about the GNOME accessibility outreach program because it continues the promotion of compelling accessible design as part of the mainstream developer culture. We believe the set of tangible and achievable tasks outlined will help improve the already good accessibility offering of the GNOME desktop,” said Willie Walker, Senior Staff Engineer of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

GNOME Outreach Program: Accessibility starts accepting applications on March 1st and will run towards the end of the year. There will be two tracks to the program: In the first track accepted individuals will work towards accomplishing one of the major projects nominated for the program, earning US$6,000 and can take up to six months to complete the task. The second track will reward contributors US$1,000 for fixing five bugs out of a pool of accessibility bugs nominated by the program judges.

“Novell is committed to both GNOME and to providing the best possible accessibility options to users of our SUSE Linux Enterprise offerings,” said Justin Steinman, director of Linux marketing for Novell. “Through working with the GNOME foundation and other partners, Novell is providing better computer access to all users as they work and interact in today’s increasingly digital world.”

Behdad Esfahbod, member of the GNOME Foundation board of directors and an administrator of the program explains: “Accessibility (or a11y as we write it) is one of the key features of GNOME, like internationalization and usability. GNOME technology works hard to make applications built on top of it be accessible without any extra effort on the application developer’s side. There are shortcomings, however, and this program will help people identify and fix them.”

Individuals interested in participating in the program should check More information about the program may be found at the same location.

About GNOME and the GNOME Foundation

GNOME is a free-software project whose goal is to develop a complete, accessible and easy to use desktop for Linux and Unix-based operating systems. GNOME also includes a complete development environment to create new applications. It is released twice a year on a regular schedule.

The GNOME desktop is used by millions of people around the world. GNOME is a standard part of all leading GNU/Linux and Unix distributions, and is popular with both large existing corporate deployments and millions of small business and home users worldwide.

Comprised of hundreds of volunteer developers and industry-leading companies, the GNOME Foundation is an organization committed to supporting the advancement of GNOME. The Foundation is a member directed, non-profit organization that provides financial, organizational and legal support to the GNOME project and helps determine its vision and roadmap.

More information about GNOME and the GNOME Foundation can be found at

About Mozilla Foundation

Established in July 2003, the Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote choice and innovation on the Internet through the Mozilla project. Mozilla is a global community dedicated to building free, open source products and technologies that improve the online experience for people everywhere. We work in the open with a highly disciplined, transparent and cooperative development process. The Mozilla Corporation organizes the development and marketing of Mozilla products as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation. The Mozilla Foundation is based in Mountain View, California. Learn more about the Mozilla Foundation

About Canonical Ltd and Ubuntu

Canonical Ltd, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, is a global organisation headquartered in Europe committed to the development, distribution and support of open source software products and communities. World-class 24×7 commercial support for Ubuntu is available through Canonical’s global support team and partners. Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users around the world. Ubuntu will always be free to download, free to use and free to distribute to others. With these goals in mind, Ubuntu aims to be the most widely used Linux system, and is the centre of a global open source software ecosystem. For more information visit or

Press Inquiries

Check People & Contact in the program page to contact the program administrators or judges.

Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Google is a trademark of Google, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.