Thread Subject: Re: 1194.3 (e)
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From: Randy Marsden
Date: Mon, May 07 2007 11:00 AM
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We spent considerable time several months back in the Hardware Subcommittee
talking about BIOS. Gina Caldenaro from IBM provided and excellent synopsis
of the issue (oops - I was including this below, but Michael beat me to the
We found it to indeed be true that there is software that runs after the OS
has loaded, that allows changes to be made to BIOS settings. That appears
to take care of at least part of the problem - just not at start-up.
It comes down to whether or not editing of the BIOS is a common enough IT
activity to warrant accessibility requirements. There seems to be two camps
on that question: some believe it is, others don't.
>From an AT perspective, presently there is little we can do to help at the
BIOS level. Any accessibility would need to be built-in (a very difficult
problem if you consider the need for screen readers, TTS software, audible
cueing, video magnification, inverted contrast capability, scanning switch
access, alternative pointing access, user setting storage, and so on. If
you accommodate all of that, you have probably built an operating system
Perhaps in the future, if we can define and adopt a hardware interface such
as the URC standard that Gregg presented at the last TEITAC meetings, there
will be a way for the BIOS to output its information via a standard port to
AT, which could take it from there.
-Randy Marsden, HW Sub-committee Co-Chair
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