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Hi Quentin,

Over the last 20 years I have spent quite a bit of energy on the matter of
accessibility in so let's consider your request in that


Accessibility is undeniably important, and LibreOffice already includes the
results of large amounts of work by a variety of people to make it
accessible to people with a variety of different needs. This work has been
done by different people with different affiliations over the years. It has
required skills, equipment and experience that are all specialised. It
would not be correct to assert that LibreOffice has neglected the needs of
those requiring specific accessibility accommodations. However, the need is
huge and there are always more needs that could be addressed, especially
maintaining the work that has already been done.

LibreOffice is not written or maintained by TDF, despite all the materials
that might give you that impression. It is written by diverse individuals
with diverse motivations, many of them associated with employment. Almost
all of the significant additions to LibreOffice are made by developers
working for companies with a commercial interest in LibreOffice-derived
service, support and products. TDF's Board cannot give any of them
instructions to address any particular development need. The most they can
do is make a budget allocation to have work done, and when that happens it
needs to be openly tendered. Those tenders remain a controversial topic for
the Board as you will see from the minutes.

*Your Request*

To the matter of NVAccess. To have the accessibility capabilities your
organisation maintains integrated into LibreOffice is not within the direct
power of TDF's Board. They could however approve a detailed, costed work
proposal and then open a tender to have it satisfied by developers with the
appropriate skills. From looking at it seems the
people most likely to be able to create that proposal are actually staff
and volunteers for the charity you represent.

May I thus suggest that your energy would be better spent trying to create
that costed and detailed proposal for the Board to approve? If you need
help with the format or structure needed, it is likely a member of the
Engineering Steering Committee (which is actually the council of core
developers) would assist you, or failing that I am sure Florian would
direct you to resources if you asked him. I am no longer a Board member,
but I would expect your proposal to be received positively. This approach
will lead to an outcome; asking the Board to discuss accessibility in
general terms will not :-)

I hope that helps.

Best regards,


On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 7:30 AM Quentin Christensen <>

Thanks Florian,

Given the increasing use of open source software such as Libre Office in
government and corporate use, it is disappointing it isn't more of a
priority.  Not being accessible does explicitly exclude LIbre Office from
most government use for instance.  I understand the difficulties with not
having any paid developers you can direct to do particular work, but it
does make the product specifically impossible to use for large segments of
potential users.

I wonder how other FLOSS projects handle this?

Kind regards


On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 5:59 PM Florian Effenberger <> wrote:

Hi Quentin,

Quentin Christensen wrote:
Was there any discussion about accessibility and if so, did anything
come out of it?

there was no separate discussion about accessibility. It is one of the
topics the board has in their ranking, to determine the
importance/priority of the topic - but we didn't discuss it in detail.


Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager

User group:
Twitter: @NVAccess <>

*Simon Phipps*
*Office:* +1 (415) 683-7660 *or* +44 (238) 098 7027


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