Operating Principles

RtF will develop an infrastructure open source that will support all technologies; open source and proprietary.

A level playing field

None of the projects will be designed to give any particular organization or community an advantage over any others.

Technology and neutral approach

Although the infrastructure developed by RtF will be in open source, the infrastructure will support all technologies and all approaches; open source and proprietary.

International, interlingual, intercultural

The projects will be designed in such a fashion that they are localization friendly and culturally open and agnostic so that they can be can be easily adapted and applied in different countries, languages and cultures.

Socio-economic status robust

The projects will be designed to collectively address the full range of socio-economic status that individuals experiencing accessibility problems may represent.

  • When mainstream technologies are available for use free, the access features to use the mainstream technologies should also available free to users (and at the same location and time) as much as possible.

  • Accessible versions of mainstream technologies should (as much as possible) be available at the same cost as the mainstream technologies that the individual was not able to use.


The security and privacy of individuals using access technologies should not be treated as less important than any other user, and may in fact be more important to avoid discrimination that might result from any ability to identify user as having a functional limitation.

Freedom based

The objective of Raising the Floor is to increase people’s freedom to be what they want to be and achieve what they want to in life. The purpose is not to care for, nor protect individuals in these classes in any way that is extra-ordinary that would restrict those freedoms.

Open source

An open source model will be used wherever possible to maximize the ability of the output of Raising the Floor to be used by all parties; private, public and governmental.

  • The open-source model to be used for development of any RtF / GPII Infrastructure or tools will be a royalty free, non-assertive intellectual property (e.g. LGPL or BSD type software licenses). The open source software licensing and Creative Commons content licensing that are planned would allow the core modules to be used in proprietary products to enhance the spectrum of products that will be available.

  • Although RtF will use an open source model for its all its developments, the RtF developed infrastructure and software will all support the development, delivery, and use of all types of software; open source and proprietary.

Open standards

An open standards strategy will be employed to ensure web and application infrastructure interoperability, and to allow use by other efforts including commercial entities.

Eco-system friendly

All projects recognize that they operate in an environment that includes individuals, mainstream companies, assistive technology vendors, governments, and funding agencies.

Projects in Raising the Floor will be aimed at addressing the above-named goals in a collaborative manner that involves public, private and volunteer sectors. All will be working together, looking for ways to maximize the ability of each other to address these issues while recognizing that different sectors (public, private, volunteer etc.) each have their own constraints within which they must operate.

The key is understanding, respect for the fact that each of the entities has different constraints and principles under which it must operate, and a realization that working together we can do more than operating separately.

Contribution acknowledging

The projects will involve joint work and collaborations, but will also maintain the identity and contributions of the individual contributors to help insure recognition of their contributions to the whole.

  • Raising the Floor is designed to be a collection of individuals, organizations and projects that want to work together on common problems. It is not an organization created to replace or supplant other diverse efforts now or in the future.  This principle will also be extended to individuals or entities not in Raising the Floor by choice or other constraint.


All participants agree to fully recognize the efforts of others on whom their work is built.

  • Raising the Floor will have special features in its structure to facilitate this (e.g. license formats that require maintenance of author credit, listing of projects with full affiliation of contributors, etc.) and in the way it will list and publicize efforts of the participants.

Distributed funding model

Although Raising the Floor will seek funding to carry out some activities centrally where needed, it is recognized that RtF participants will often draw resources from their own existing or future funding mechanisms.  RtF will assist as it can in these efforts and maximize their use.

  • This facilitates local recognition and also facilitates support from companies or even countries that would like to support the effort, but are not able to pay for resources outside of an organization’s area or other boundary.