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Wikipedia is an important part of the information society and thereby also important for e-learning/e-participation/e-inclusion. Wikis are excellent platforms for collaboration and most of them are fortunately almost accessible for users with limited abilities such as blind persons.
i am searching for support and sponsorship opportunities for a development project which shall remove the last remaining barriers for a better accessibility and usability experience with the Mediawiki user interface. The Mediawiki developers are interested in this intention but, as a free & open source project, they currently don't have own resources for that work. Europe could easily help. Organisations and companies such as the Mozilla Foundation, the GNOME Foundation, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Canonical, Novell, Google and many other parties already support open source accessibility projects.
Of course, my major personal interest is to improve the accessibility & usability for blind screen reader users. If one or more parties would give financial support, a professional MediaWiki programmer could be hired for a few months to optimize the monobook CSS and JS for screen reader software. After that, the results and experiences could be used for the implementation of a screen reader skin or gadget for the MediaWiki software and thereby also for the great and well known Wikipedia. You can find first thoughts about blindness related Wiki problems and potential solutions at:
Improvements for the special needs of otherwise handicaped people are imaginable as well, but this depends on available development resources and collaboration with experts for these limitations/disabilities.
"MediaWiki is the web-based wiki software application used by all projects of the Wikimedia Foundation and many other wikis, including some of the largest and most popular ones. Originally developed to serve the needs of the free content Wikipedia encyclopedia, one of the highest traffic sites on the World Wide Web, today it has also been deployed by companies for internal knowledge management, and as a content management system. Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, MediaWiki is free and open source software. "
MediaWiki is developed by employees of the Wikimedia Foundation and a worldwide community of volunteers. The Foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its mission of providing free knowledge to every person in the world.
Please do not ask what Wikipedia could do for Europe but ask what Europe could do for Wikipedia.
Wikipedia should become fully accessible for all European citizens and thereby for the whole world!