During the past few weeks, large newspapers have stopped printing (most recently the Ann Arbor News). Most often, these print newspapers have said they still plan to provide news on their web sites. As this trend continues, as more of the information that used to be available in print or other forms becomes available only on the web, it becomes even more important that people have access to the tools they need to access computers wherever they have access to a computer.
Our WebAnywhere project is a start on this - providing free non-visual access to the web, but many of the people affected by events like newspapers stopping their print editions are those who could benefit from other interfaces. As just two examples, simpler interfaces could benefit all sorts of people who find current computers and browsers too complex, and magnification could benefit low-vision users. WebAnywhere is transitioning to a platform that can handle these diverse preferences and let anyone provide new interfaces that someone might find helpful.
Toward this end, WebAnywhere is associated with the RaisingtheFloor initiative, which is a broad coalition of folks who have the goal of raising the base level of access for everyone, regardless of disability.