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FW: National Federation of the Blind Certifies eBusiness Leaders HP, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Social Security Administration for Web Accessibility

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 15:17:52 -0500
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <001c01c318c3$98c3bd40$ac17a8c0@TOSHIBATABLET>
<<NFB Certifies eBusiness Leaders HP, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. Social
Security Administration for Web Accessibility.htm>> 

 <http://www.nfb.org/coming/wells_ebusiness.htm>
http://www.nfb.org/coming/wells_ebusiness.htm 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

National Federation of the Blind Certifies eBusiness
Leaders HP, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Social
Security Administration for Web Accessibility 
Microsoft Photo Editor 3.0 Picture
Baltimore, MD, May 12, 2003 - The National Federation of the Blind (NFB),
the nation's largest consumer and advocacy membership organization of blind
persons, today announced the first national recipients of its "Nonvisual
Accessibility Web Application (NVA) Certification." The first companies and
national organizations to be recognized by the NFB for their efforts in the
area of Web accessibility are HP, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), and the
U.S. Social Security Administration. 

In support of companies that stand behind every blind Americans' right to
full and active participation on the Internet, the NFB enacted the NVA
certification program to recognize organizations that construct Web sites to
be as fundamentally usable by the blind as by the sighted. Today's
announcement recognizes HP, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. Social Security
Administration as leaders in Web accessibility for the visually impaired in
their respective fields and also demonstrates the growing success of the
certification program in assisting Web site owners to address the issue of
creating content and services that are accessible to all.

"HP, Wells Fargo and the U.S. Social Security Administration are leaders in
Web accessibility," said Dr. Marc Maurer, President, National Federation of
the Blind. "We created the certification process so that Internet
accessibility leaders, such as these, could be publicly recognized by the
NFB for their efforts. We hope that more companies and organizations will
follow the example that these innovators have set and make Web accessibility
a priority in their organizations."

Certification was granted after the NFB conducted task-performance tests of
the primary functions of the organizations' Web sites. It was determined
that a visually impaired user can perform the primary functions of the Web
sites using at least two talking-screen access programs. As part of the
certification program, NFB will continuously monitor these Web sites for
accessibility using an automated system that flags potential problems for
review by blind users.

"This certification is a significant step towards our goal of connecting
everyone to the power of technology by integrating accessibility into core
business functions across HP," said Marius Haas, vice president of worldwide
eBusiness, HP. "Supporting these types of measures helps ensure that HP
products, services, and content on hp.com are accessible to everyone,
regardless of their abilities."

"The Internet provides a new medium to expand access to the visually
impaired and blind," said Avid Modjtabai, executive vice president and head
of Wells Fargo's Internet Services Group. "Wells Fargo is pleased to be the
nation's first and only financial institution to be certified by the
National Federation of the Blind. And, we are committed to bringing
financial services to all of our customers including people who are blind or
visually impaired."

"The Social Security Administration's re-designed Web
site-www.socialsecurity.gov-is easier to navigate and more accessible to all
visitors, including people with visual and other physical disabilities,"
said Jo Anne Barnhart, commissioner of Social Security. "Social Security's
programs touch the lives of nearly every American. Our Web site offers
online services to people at every stage of life."

The NFB worked closely with the technology community to develop the
procedures by which the Web sites and applications of these organizations
may be certified. HP, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. Social Security
Administration worked with SSB Technologies of San Francisco, an
NFB-designated Web Accessibility Consultant (WAC), to prepare for
certification.

For more information about the NFB-NVA Certification program, visit
<file:///\\..\seal\intro.htm> http://www.nfb.org/seal/intro.htm. 
About the NFB 
With more than 50,000 members and 700 local and state affiliates and
chapters, the NFB is the largest and most influential membership
organization of blind people in the United States. As a consumer and
advocacy organization, NFB is the leading force in the blindness field today
and the voice of the nation's blind.

About Wells Fargo & Company 
Wells Fargo & Company is committed to serving the diverse needs of our
customer base by making our products and services accessible to our
customers with disabilities. Wells Fargo is a diversified financial services
company with $370 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance,
investments, mortgage, and consumer finance from more than 5,800 stores and
the Internet ( <http://www.wellsfargo.com> wellsfargo.com) across North
America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo was recently ranked the
#1 Internet banking site by Gomez, the preeminent Internet
quality-measurement firm.

 <file:///\\..\contactus.htm> CONTACTS: 
Patricia A. Maurer
Director of Community Relations
National Federation of the Blind
 <mailto:pmaurer@nfb.org> pmaurer@nfb.org
(410) 659-9314, ext. 272 
Wells Fargo
Wendy Grover, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications
415-396-5905
 <mailto:groverw@wellsfargo.com> groverw@wellsfargo.com 
SSB Technologies
Tim Springer
415-359-5521
 <mailto:timsp@ssbtechnologies.com> timsp@ssbtechnologies.com 

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Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 16:18:34 GMT

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