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FW: Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 10:41:54 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A03317F42@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

The July 2004 issue of First Monday includes two studies of
accessibility. One focuses on four member states of the European Union
and WCAG 1.0; the other focuses on the US and Section 508.

-----Original Message-----
John

From: Jayne Cravens [mailto:Jayne.Cravens@unvolunteers.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 8:45 am
To: meaflink@merl.com
Subject: Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday


(please do not write Jayne, the poster of this message, asking for more
information. She does not have any) 

Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday

The July issue of First Monday has a couple of articles related to Web
accessibility. Below are the abstracts of the two essays, along with
links to the full article.

A comparative assessment of Web accessibility and technical standards
conformance in four EU states by Carmen Marincu and Barry McMullin
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/marincu/index.html

Abstract:
The Internet is playing a progressively more important part in our
day-to-day life, through its power of making information universally
available. People with disabilities have particular opportunities to
benefit. Using the Internet in conjunction with dedicated assistive
technologies, tasks that were very difficult if not impossible to
achieve for people with various types of disability can now be made
fully accessible ? at least, in principle. However, in practice, many
online resources and services are still poorly accessible to those with
disability due to unsatisfactory Web content design.

Design of accessible Web content is codified in standards and guidelines
of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Conformance with W3C's Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG) (and/or similar, derivative
guidelines) is now the subject of considerable activity, both legal and
technical, in many different jurisdictions.

This paper presents results of a comparative survey of Web accessibility
guidelines and HTML standards conformance for samples of Web sites drawn
from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. It also gives some
recommendations on how to improve the accessibility level of Web
content.

A particular conclusion of the study is that the general level of Web
accessibility guidelines and HTML standards conformance in all of the
samples studied is very poor; and that the pattern of failure is
strikingly consistent in the four samples. Although considerable efforts
are being made to promote Web accessibility for users with disabilities,
this is certainly not yet manifesting itself in improving Web
accessibility and HTML validity.
-------------
Assessing the accessibility of fifty United States government Web pages:

Using Bobby to check on Uncle Sam
by Jim Ellison
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/ellison/index.html

Abstract:
This study evaluates the current accessibility of U.S. Government Web
pages for people with disabilities. Several Federal laws, and
specifically Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, require Web
pages of government agencies to be accessible to people with
disabilities. This investigation built on past studies that used the Web
accessibility evaluation tool Bobby to assess various types of Web
sites. The home pages of fifty U.S. government agencies were reviewed
for accessibility based on Section 508 guidelines. This study
establishes that the U.S. government has not met its accessibility
goals.


( please do not write Jayne, the poster of this message, asking for more
information. She does not have any) 




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Jayne Cravens (jayne.cravens@unvolunteers.org)
Online Volunteering Specialist
United Nations Volunteers
www.unvolunteers.org
Bonn, Germany

Online Volunteering:  www.onlinevolunteering.org
UNITeS: www.unites.org
Global volunteerism portal: www.worldvolunteerweb.org
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Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2004 11:41:55 UTC

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