W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 1998

web accessability of california transit agency

From: Kelly Pierce <kelly@ripco.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 10:41:46 -0600 (CST)
To: Kelly Pierce <kelly@ripco.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.SV4.4.05.9811291014440.19275-200000@lawson.ripco.com>




Below is the full text of the civil rights complaint filed with the United
States Department of Transportation against the Metropolitan Transit
commission in northern California.  The complaint was filed by blind
computer user Randy Tamez of San Jose, California.  The transit agency
serves San Jose, the center of the technology savvy silicon valley and of
the emerging information society.

the complaint was the subject of a recent William Raspberry column in the
Washington Post following newspaper stories in the San Francisco Examiner,
the Associated Press and in the Wall Street Journal.

Attached documents have been digitized and are included to provide the
full context of the complaint, its allegations, and supporting documents.
The phrase "end of file" appears at the end.

kelly 
  

From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>

November 3, 1998

Ms. Cheryl Hershey  
Team Leader
Federal Transportation Administration
Office of Civil Rights
ADA Compliance Section
400 7th Street S.W. #900
Washington D.C. 20590

Ms. Hershey:

Please accept the following items as complaints against the Metropolitan
Transportation Commission (MTC), 101 8th Street Oakland Ca 94607-4700, which
oversees the 9 Bay Area County Transit Authorities, where I have been trying to
navigate their web-site. These items relate to accommodations requested due to
my disability (I have been declared "legally blind" by a neuro-ophthalmologist
at Valley Medical Center in San Jose).  Earlier this Month I contacted MTC to
inform them that their Web-site was not fully useable by people who use screen
review programs such as myself. (copy of email communications attached).
I allege that this is in violation of 28 C.F.R. Part 35 Sections 160-164. 
Although I have received several responses to my inquiry, none of them have
indicated when and how the Web-site will be made accessible.  Also, this
Web-site was created without consideration and compliance of federal
regulations that cover access to all public communications.  
In a letter dated October 13, 1998 from Mr. Jay Miyazaki (copy attached), the
ADA officer of MTC, it was explained to me that he would look into it and get
back to me.  
My concern is that MTC has denied members of the public with various types of
disabilities the opportunity to access public documents as well as job
information for the reason that their Web-site does not provide equal access
and does not indicate how a person can obtain all the information in an
accessible format, which ever that may be.
I assert at this time that MTC has not complied with 28 CFR Part 35 Sections
160-16, as it relates to the access of information on their Web-site.  Also,
ensuring and providing a means of access should have been addressed during
their Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan, when providing communications to the
public regardless of the method.
Thank you for your acceptance of this complaint.



Randy Tamez
2037 Leon Drive
San Jose Ca, 95128-5011
408-947-8208
r_tamez@pacbell.net
 Enclosures:



>Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 20:57:56 -0700
>To: Cecilie Birner <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
>From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
>Subject: Web Site Access
>Cc: Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, 
>"pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>, Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>, 
>Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>, Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, 
>"Cynthia D. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, DeNero_M@VTA.Org, 
>"suejhodges@aol.com" <suejhodges@aol.com>, Roger Petersen 
><petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>
>
>Hi Cecelie,
>
>I am a person with a visual disability and I use a screen review program, 
>"Job Access with Speech" (JAWS), to navigate around web-sites and interpret 
>digital text information.  I spoke to Pierce Gould (MTC's Public 
>Communication Dep't.) several weeks ago and explained to him that the MTC 
>web-site is not fully accessible to people such as myself.  I sent him 
>information on federal regulations that cover access to all public 
>information provided by entities such as MTC, including electronic 
>information.  It is the responsibility of MTC to ensure that their site is 
>fully accessible and useable by people with various types of disabilities. 
>
>The federal regulation can be located in: 28 CFR part 35 Sections 160-164.  
>This section discusses communications provided to the public and the 
>entities responsibility to ensure that communications are provided to people 
>with disabilities as effectively as those provided to the general public.  
>There are many consultants that can assist with the development and creation 
>of an accessible web-site.  Also, there are many web-sites that are 
>accessible and these can be used as a guide.
>
>The document (Regional Transportation Plan) which I tried to download 
>several times from the MTC site could not be opened and/or read by me. Also, 
>I couldn't even locate your job listings.  Locatable documents on the site 
>are PDF (Portable Document Format) files and are quite difficult to open and 
>interpret by JAWS.  A common format for documents would be text, this would 
>ensure that most people could download and open documents which are intended 
>for the public.  Not all people have the most current programs, and having 
>documents available in text format would ensure that the public can access 
>this material.
>
>Each time I launched Adobe Acrobat the file would not open, and I received 
>several error messages.  Also, in working with Pierce, he explained that 
>there is information to the left on the site which I could not get to and 
>read.  This tells me that there may be other information that is not 
>accessible to people with disabilities.
>
>At this time, people such as I do not have full access to the MTC web-site 
>and are essentially locked out of being provided information that is 
>available to people without disabilities.  Please remedy this disparity of 
>information availability between people with and without disabilities.
>
>Enclosed for your review is a court decision made to ensure that web-sites 
>are fully accessible and negotiable by people with disabilities.
>
>Since MTC oversees the 9 Bay Area Transit Authorities MTC should take the 
>lead in developing a user friendly site as well as complying to all federal 
>regulations that protect people with disabilities. Please accept this 
>communication as a formal complaint being filed with Metropolitan 
>Transportation Commission (MTC).  Please forward this communication to the 
>person responsible for handling ADA complaints.  Please inform me as the 
>name and position of this person.  At this time I am not aware of an ADA 
>officer at MTC.  Can you provide a copy of MTC's Grievance Procedure?  This 
>is the grievance process that should have been identified in the Transition 
>Plan.  This process is set up for the public to file a complaint within MTC 
>and have it resolved.  This process would comply with Title II, 28 CFR 
>35.105, 35.107 and 35.150 (c) (d).  This information will be helpful to the 
>public as to how to file a complaint and who it should go to.  This would 
>also inform people what the process is and provide a resolution to their 
>complaint and how to appeal any decisions.
>
>If you have this information please include it with the next correspondence. 
> Also, any written communications should be provided in digital format.  
>Printed information is not accessible to me.
>
>Please respond within 30 days to inform me that the complaint has been 
>received and being investigated.
>
>All of the above statements are my allegations and assertions.  At this time 
>no federal department has reviewed either my allegations or the access of 
>your web-site.
>
>Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
>
>
>Randy Tamez
>2037 Leon Drive
>San Jose CA 95128
>408-947-8208 Home
>r_tamez@pacbell.net Email
>
>
>Below is the federal court decision:
>
>
>The Honorable Tom Harkin
>United States Senate
>Washington, DC 20510-1502
>
>Digest of Inquiry
>(July 31, 1996)
>
>To what extent does the ADA require that Internet web pages be
>accessible
>to people with visual disabilities?
>
>Digest of Response
>(September 9, 1996)
>
>ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply to Internet Web Pages
>
>Entities to Title II or III of the ADA must provide effective
>communication
>to individuals with disabilities, and covered entities that use the
>Internet to provide information regarding their programs, goods or
>services
>must be prepared to offer those communications through accessible means.
>Such entities may provide web page information in text format that is
>accessible to screen reading devices that are used by people with visual
>impairments, and they may also offer alternative accessible formats that
>are identified in a screen-readable format on a web page.
>
>-----
>
>Text of Inquiry
>
>I have recently been contacted by one of my constituents who has a
>concern
>over the administration's policy on making Web pages compatible for the
>disabled.  I respectfully ask you to review the administration's policy
>on
>this issue and send me a clarification so that I might be able to
>respond
>to my constituent's questions.  It would be helpful if you could mark
>your
>correspondence with my office to the attention of Laura Stuber.
>        
>Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter.
>
>Text of Response
>
>I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, [],
>regarding accessibility of "web pages" on the Internet to people with
>visual disabilities.
>
>The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires State and local
>governments and places of public accommodation to furnish appropriate
>auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effect
>communication
>with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result in a
>fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue burden. 
>28
>C.F.R. Sec. 36.303; 28 C.F.R. Sec. 35.160.  Auxiliary aids include taped
>texts, Brailled materials, large print materials, and other methods of
>making visually delivered material available to people with visual
>impairments.
>        
>Covered entities under the ADA are required to provide effective
>communication, regardless of whether they generally communicate through
>print media, audio media, or computerized media such as the Internet.
>Covered entities that use the Internet for communications regarding
>their
>programs, goods, or services must be prepared to offer those
>communications
>through accessible means as well.
>        
>Mr. [] suggests compatibility with the Lynx browser as a means of
>assuring
>accessibility of the Internet.  Lynx is, however, only one of many
>available options.  Other examples include providing the web page
>information in text format, rather then exclusively in graphic format.
>Such text is accessible to screen reading devices used by people with
>visual impairments.  Instead of providing full accessibility through the
>Internet directly, covered entities may also offer other alternate
>accessible formats, such as Braille, large print, and/or audio
>materials,
>to communicate the information contained in web pages to people with
>visual
>impairments.  The availability of such materials should be noted in a
>text
>(i.e., screen-readable) format on the web page, along with instructions
>for
>obtaining the materials, so that people with disabilities using the
>Internet will know how to obtain the accessible formats.
>
>cc: Records, Chrono, Wodtach, McDowdeny, Hill, FOIA
>n:
>udd
>hille
>policylt
>harkin.ltr
>sc. young-parran
>
>The Internet is an excellent source of information and, of course,
>people
>with disabilities should have access to it as effectively as people
>without
>disabilities.  A number of web sites provide information about
>accessibility of web pages, including information about new developments
>and guidelines for development of accessible web pages.  Examples
>include:
>
>http://www.gsa.gov/coca/wwwcode.htm
>Center for Information Technology Accommodation
>General Services Administration
>        
>http://www.trace.wisc.edu/text/guidelns
>Trace Center, University of Wisconsin
>
>http://www.webable.com/index.html
>
>http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/dmd/access/welcomi.htm
>
>These sites may be useful to you or your constituent in exploring the
>accessibility options on the Internet.  In addition, the Department of
>Justice has established an ADA home page to educate people about their
>rights and responsibilities under the ADA and about the Department's
>efforts to implement the ADA.  The address of the ADA home page is
>http://www/usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahomi.htm.
>
>I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your
>constituent.
>
>Deval L. Patrick
>Assistant Attorney General
>Civil Rights Division
>
>
>
> 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



From: "Cecilie Birner" <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
Organization: MTC
To: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>, Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>,
        Suejhodges@aol.com, jeannandi@aol.com
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 13:52:55 PST



Subject: Re: Web Site Access
CC: bkahn@mtc.ca.gov, Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>,
        April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>,
        "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>,
        Jo-Anne Rosen<jo@wordrunner.com>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.ca.gov>,
        "CynthiaD. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>,
        DeNero_M@V.abag.ca.gov
Priority: normal
X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Windows (v2.54)



Randy,
Thanks for the email and for the URL's to get more information.

I work as an analyst in the Finance Section at MTC and am in charge 
of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  The person 
responsible overall MTC web page is Brenda Kahn.  She can be reached 
at bkahn@mtc.ca.gov .  I have forwarded your message to her.

It was important to get the TIP data up quickly for this year for the 
Congestion Management Agencies (CMAs) and transit operators. I did 
all the web programming myself and up until now have had no feedback 
about accessibility--which is why I asked Barb Rhodes for feedback.  
I was uncertain about using the ADOBE format and am working on a 
better format.  There is an Excel file containing the project data 
(Item number 4 in the contents), but it does not contain all the 
introductory material or financial capacity assessments.

I am currently working on new HTML formatting and my goal is to 
improve the TIP web site in about a month.  I spoke to EDAC about 
the TIP web site briefly last spring and will continue to work on 
getting this public information available to all the public.

You can call me at (510) 464-7822 if you have further questions or 
comments.  Please note that I will be out the rest of this week at a 
conference.

By the way, Connie Soper, who is in the message recipients list, is 
on leave until the end of this year.

Thanks again for your feedback.  Again, I am sorry about the 
accessibility issues with the TIP on the web the first time around. 
I will work as hard as I can to make the necessary improvements.  

--cecilie--
********************************************************************
  Cecilie Birner -- Financial Database Analyst  
  Metropolitan Transportation Commission  101 Eighth Street      
  Oakland CA, 94607-4700  cbirner@mtc.ca.gov  (510) 464-7822          
********************************************************************


>Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 20:51:16 -0700
>To: Cecilie Birner <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
>From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
>Subject: Web Site Access
>Cc: April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>, 
>Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>, Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, Barbara 
>Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, Roger Petersen <petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene 
>Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>, "JEANNANDI@aol.com" 
><JEANNANDI@aol.com>, "katieh@outreach1.org" <katieh@outreach1.org>, 
>DeNero_M@VTA.Org, "suejhodges@aol.com" <suejhodges@aol.com>, 
>"lmichels@pcbvi.org" <lmichels@pcbvi.org>, "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" 
><pgould@mtc.ca.gov>, "draper@iandrinfo.com" <draper@iandrinfo.com>, 
>"joe@ondas.com" <joe@ondas.com>, Mike Carbaugh <Samikec@sarc.org>
>
>Hi Cecilie,
>
>Thanks for the prompt response to my inquiry.  At this time there is no 
>indication of who MTC has assigned to handle ADA complaints.  Again, could 
>this information be provided to me.
>
>Although you state in your email that no one has provided information as to 
>the accessibility of MTC's web-site and that this is the first you have 
>heard about any problems, it is not the responsibility of the public to 
>oversee and advise  MTC on their responsibility to adhere to federal 
>regulations.  Most state and federal regulations are intended to be applied 
>during design and development, not as a post-release fix.  Computer programs 
>have a design phase, like civil construction projects which serve the public 
>by implementing a requirement for pedestrian ramps and markings.  Web site 
>computer programs also provide services and facilities for the public, and 
>people with disabilities are part of the public.
>
>The people who are reviewing MTC's web-site are doing this as concerned 
>citizens.  We are not consultants of MTC nor is this our responsibility.  Is 
>the average person asked by MTC to investigate or test projects for MTC to 
>establish their feasibility?
>
>Again, MTC must adhere to all federal and state regulations that protect 
>people with disabilities.  This may mean prior to entering into a project 
>such as the Web-site, someone may need to research state and federal laws 
>that will impact the project.
>
>Thank you for your time and consideration.
>
>Randy Tamez
>2037 Leon Drive 
>San Jose CA 95128
>
>408-947-8208 Home
>r_tamez@pacbell.net email
>


                                                                        October
13, 1998

Mr. Randy Tamez
2037 Leon Drive
San Jose CA 95128

Dear Mr. Tamez:

This letter is to respond to your e-mail to Cecilie Birner of our staff dated
Sunday, October 11, 1998, regarding the accessibility to MTC’s website.  

To begin with, my name is Jay Miyazaki, Manager of Administrative Services.  I
am MTC’s designated “responsible employee” pursuant to  28 CFR Part 35.107.  

MTC undertook a self-evaluation in January 1993.  That evaluation examined ADA
requirements applicable to MTC, i.e., 28 CFR Sections 35.06, 35.107(a),
35.107(b), 35.132, 35.140, 35.150, 35.160, 35.161 and 35.163 and was conducted
with the assistance of MTC’s Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee. 

Responding to each of your inquiry items,

1.      Regarding website accessibility, we recently redesigned it to make it
more accessible to simplest of computers.  We have not yet completed testing it
to see if our website is accessible to all viewers.  In the meantime, we have
been providing our constituents who have special needs with alternative forms
of written communications, in accordance with MTC’s procedures.  Executive
Director’s Management Memorandum (EDMM) 301: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of
Disability is attached.  EDMM 301 provides procedures for the translation of
written communications, such as the Regional Transportation Plan.  I believe
that this process is consistent with the alternative procedures specified in
the letter to Senator Harkin, attached to your e-mail to Ms. Birner.

2.      Regarding accessing the Regional Transportation Plan, I asked Ms.
Brenda
Kahn to check on alternative accessible formats.  Ms. Kahn is the Senior
Information Officer, responsible for translation of written communications.  I
understand that she previously provided you with one form of translation.

3.      Regarding remedying the disparity of information availability, please
refer to Item 1 above.

4.      Regarding the complaint status of you e-mail to Ms. Birner, this letter
to you is  the response pursuant to the informal procedures indicated in EDMM
301.     
        
5.      Regarding forwarding your e-mail to Ms Birner to the person
handling ADA
complaints, I acknowledge receipt of it on October 12, 1998.

6.      Regarding making a copy of complaint procedures, please see Item 1
above.  

7.      Regarding making public the complaint procedures and appeal process, we
will add this information in a summary form on MTC’s web page.

8.      Regarding translating this letter to digital format, I am sending this
letter as a printed letter, and send it to you via e-mail.  This letter is
attached to the e-mail in WORD format.


Should you wish to contact me, you can reach me at 510/464-7750 or JMiyazaki@
mtc.ca.gov; however, I will be on vacation between October 15 and November 3,
1998.  

                                        Sincerely,



                                        Jay Miyazaki, Manager
                                        Administrative Services

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MANAGEMENT MEMORANDUM



EDMM NO.:               301

SUBJECT:        Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability

INTRODUCTION:   The purpose of this EDMM is to confirm MTC’s commitment to
nondiscrimination on the basis of disability consistent with federal and state
law, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 
12101 et seq.), Government Code  4450 and 12940 et seq., and Civil Code 
54.1.  In particular, the policy is intended to implement the ADA regulations
applicable to state and local governments, published in 28 CFR Part 38 on July
26, 1991.  

APPLICABILITY:  This EDMM applies to MTC employees, applicants for employment,
members of the public, and beneficiaries of MTC services or programs.

POLICY:                 It is the policy of MTC that no qualified individual
with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from
participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or
activities of MTC’s or be subject to discrimination by MTC.

In furtherance of this policy, MTC’s offices shall be accessible to individuals
with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs, as defined in ADA and
California accessibility regulations (36 CFR Part 1191 and Title 24 of the
California Building Code, respectively).  Any modification or alteration to the
MetroCenter and MTC offices will be made consistent with accessibility
regulations applicable to such modification or alteration.  Also, MTC will
locate meetings or public hearings held outside the MetroCenter at accessible
buildings and facilities.  

MTC will take such steps as are necessary to ensure that communications with
program participants, beneficiaries, and members of the public with
disabilities are as effective as communications with others.  In this regard,
MTC has a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) linked to 510/464-7769
and has trained personnel able to receive and send communications on the TDD. 
In addition, MTC will provide, upon timely request, sign language or other
interpreters at MTC meetings to assist the hearing- or speech-impaired.  Other
auxiliary devices to make aurally-delivered materials available to individuals
with hearing impairments and visually-delivered materials available to
individuals with visual impairments will be furnished, as provided in this
EDMM.  

Further, it is MTC’s policy not to discriminate against any qualified
individual with a disability in regard to job application procedures, job
advancement, discharge, employee compensation, job training or other terms,
conditions and privileges of employment.

RESPONSIBILITY: The Executive Director is responsible for overall
administration
of this policy. 
The Deputy Executive Director is responsible for approving external
(non-employee) complaint resolutions and for appointing a Complaint Review
Officer.

The Manager of Administrative Services (MAS) is the “responsible employee”
required by 28 CFR Part 35.107 and the MTC manager responsible for the
implementation and dissemination of the ADA policy.

The Human Resources Manager (HRM) is responsible for day-to-day implementation
of the employment and hiring portions of this policy, consistent with the
regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published in
29 CFR Part 1630, as amended, and for assisting and advising the Complaint
Review Officer on grievances or applicant complaints relating to employment and
hiring.

The Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) is responsible for providing assistance to
supervisors and employees in resolving grievance charges of discrimination
based on disability and conducting the factual investigations for formal
grievances alleging discrimination based on disability.  The AAO is also
responsible for advising and assisting the HRM and Executive Director regarding
complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of disability by
applicants, and for conducting the factual investigations on formal complaints
alleging such discrimination.

The Building Manager is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the
portions of this policy related to the facility accessibility and for
conducting the factual investigations of complaints of non-accessibility to MTC
facilities and meetings, as requested by the MAS or Executive Director. The
Building Manager is responsible for researching the cost of accommodation, the
feasibility and the implementation of the physical accommodation.

The Work Program Coordinator is responsible for availability, maintenance and
training of ALD and TDD. 

The Complaint Review Officer is the individual, designated by the Deputy
Executive Director, to gather information relevant to a complaint filed by a
non-employee, to recommend findings, and to prepare a written response.

The Senior Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for administering
the section of this policy dealing with the provision of auxiliary aids and for
assisting the MAS or AAO in investigating complaints of discrimination
involving communications with members of the public, as requested by the
Executive Director. 

PROCEDURE:      1.  Provision of Auxiliary Aids at Meetings
Requests for sign or other interpreters and other auxiliary aids (e.g.,
readers, note takers, audio recordings and others listed in 28 CFR  35.104)
necessary to afford a disabled individual an equal opportunity to participate
in an MTC meeting should be made at least 3 working days (72 hours) in advance
of the meeting for which they are requested.  (Five or more days’ notice is
preferred; 72-hour lead time is not intended as a guarantee that MTC will be
able to obtain a specific auxiliary aid in every instance).  Such requests will
be referred to the MTC Public Information Office for action.  If a request is
made with less than 72 hours notice, the Public Information Office will make
reasonable efforts to provide the aid requested.  The specific aid requested
shall be given priority consideration; however, MTC reserves the right to
provide a different auxiliary aid if the circumstances of the meeting or the
cost to the agency justify it, as long as the substitute aid provides effective
communication.

2.  Translation of Written Communications

The Public Information Office will make (or have made) audio tapes or Braille
translations of MTC-generated written communications (agendas, minutes, meeting
summaries, reports, etc.) when requested by individuals with visual
impairments.  In determining whether to make audio tapes or Braille
translations, MTC shall take into account the specific needs of the requesting
individual, cost, time constraints, and the type of documents to be copied. 
Reports and other lengthy documents may take four weeks or more to produce in
audio or Braille form, although MTC will make reasonable efforts to produce the
reports as expeditiously as possible. If the written communications requested
under this paragraph are regularly provided free of charge to interested
members of the public (e.g., agendas), the audio tapes or Braille translations
will also be provided at no cost.  If MTC regularly charges for copying the
requested documents (e.g., Public Records Act requests), the equivalent cost of
copying shall be passed along to the individual requesting the tape or Braille
translation. 

3.  Employment and Hiring

The requirements of Title I of the ADA set forth in 29 CFR 1630 apply to  MTC.
(28 CFR  35.140)  Both applicants and employees have an affirmative obligation
to request any reasonable accommodation for their disability.  Applicants may
request such accommodation verbally.  Employees must make the request in
writing to MTC’s HRM.  The Building Manager will research the feasibility and
cost of the accommodation and the impact on MTC’s business and make a
recommendation,  through the MAS, to the Deputy Executive Director.  In most
cases, the recommendation will be reviewed and implemented, if appropriate, in
a timely manner.  If not implemented, the HRM will explain to the applicant or
employee the “undue hardship” that would be caused by the accommodation (see 29
CFR  1630.2 (p)) and the appropriate appeal procedures.

4.  Employee Grievance

In the event that an MTC employee believes that s/he has been discriminated
against in violation of this EDMM, such employee may register a grievance in
accordance with the procedures outlined in EDMM No. 265.

5.  Complaint by Non-employee Alleging Noncompliance 



        a..  Informal Procedure  
Any applicant, program beneficiary, or member of the public who believes MTC is
not in compliance with the ADA and/or EDMM 301 is encouraged to take his or her
concerns to the MAS for an informal investigation.  The MAS will respond to
such concerns in a timely manner, reporting back to the individual or group
within five working days.

        b.  Formal Complaint  
If the matter is not resolved informally to the complainant’s satisfaction, the
complainant may file a written complaint with the MTC Deputy Executive
Director, specifying the complainant’s allegation of discrimination and the
relief sought.

The Deputy Executive Director will designate a Complaint Review Officer to
gather information relevant to the complaint, recommend findings, and prepare a
proposed response.  When employment discrimination is charged, the Complaint
Review Officer will refer the complaint to the HRM to gather factual
information relevant to the discrimination aspect of the complaint and
incorporate his/her findings into the recommendation for complaint resolution. 
The 

Complaint Review Officer shall have 10 working days to review the complaint and
propose a resolution to the Deputy Executive Director.  The Deputy Executive
Director shall respond to the complainant in writing within 15 working days of
receipt of the complaint, including in the response notification of the
complainant’s right to appeal, as described below. 

If the complainant is not satisfied with the Deputy Executive Director’s
response, he or she may notify the Deputy Executive Director in writing within
5 working days that an appeal to the Commission is desired.  The Chair of the
Commission will appoint a three-Commissioner panel, which will review the
complaint and the Deputy Executive Director’s response and make a final
determination regarding the complaint.  No further remedy is available through
MTC.

6.  Self-Evaluation (ADA and 28 CFR  35.105)

MTC has conducted an evaluation of its services, policies and practices and
their effects upon disabled persons, as required by 28 CFR  35.105, and
maintains the evaluation on file, where it is available for public inspection.

References:     EDMM No. 265 

Effective Date: September, 1998

Supersedes EDMM No. 301 dated July 24, 1992


                                                       
_________________________________
                                                        Lawrence D. Dahms,
Executive Director


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 16:43:59 -0700
To: jay miyazaki <jmiyazaki@mtc.ca.gov>
From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
Subject: Legal Article For The Internet
Cc: April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>,
Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>,
"cbirner@mtc.ca.gov" <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>, Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>,
Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, "suejhodges@aol.com"
<suejhodges@aol.com>, "JEANNANDI@aol.com" <JEANNANDI@aol.com>, Roger Petersen
<petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>,
DeNero_M@VTA.Org, "Cynthia D. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, Linda,
"lmichels@pcbvi.org" <lmichels@pcbvi.org>, "lorre_mendelson@sccoe.org"
<lorre_mendelson@sccoe.org>, "draper@iandrinfo.com" <draper@iandrinfo.com>,
Mike Carbaugh <Samikec@sarc.org>, "joe@ondas.com" <joe@ondas.com>,
"katieh@outreach1.org" <katieh@outreach1.org>, Cindy Barboza <cindy@aris.org>, 

Hello Jay,

Below is a legal article discussing Internet access and the removal of
barriers.  Please review this article and distribute to the necessary and
appropriate staff members.

Thanks,

Randy


http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law/weblaw1.htm

Applying the ADA to the Internet: A Web Accessibility Standard 
                                          by Cynthia D. Waddell, JD 
                               ADA Coordinator, City of San Jose, CA USA 

Written and Presented on June 17, 1998 at the request of the American Bar
Association for their National Conference "In Pursuit . . . . A Blueprint for
Disability Law and Policy" 

Although it may seem that the World Wide Web has been like the Wild, Wild, West
--where there are no laws and each frontier web site is on its own, there
are significant legal and practical reasons for ensuring web accessibility. By
web accessibility I am referring to the design of a webpage that embraces the
requirements of Universal Design in order to ensure that all users can access
the information on the page: 

     Universal Design calls for the development of information systems flexible
enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest range of users of
     computers and telecommunications equipment, regardless of age or
disability.

(September 1994 National Information Infrastructure White Paper by Susan
Brummel, USGSA CITA, entitled "People with Disabilities and the NII: Breaking
Down Barriers, Building Choice;" See http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/coca/nii.htm) 

Unless a web site is designed in an accessible format, significant populations
will be locked out as the World Wide Web rapidly advances from a text-based
communication format to a robust, graphical format embracing audio and video
clip tools. 

Yet, the benefits of accessible web design extend beyond the community of
people with disabilities and an aging population since it enables low
technology to
access high technology. There are substantial business incentives for
technology transfer in underdeveloped countries and for populations who do not
have the
"state of the art" technology. Accessible web design features enable CD
technology and videotapes to be archived with word search capabilities due to
text
captioning. Even people who are illiterate can access the Internet since
screenreaders can audibly read text out loud from accessible webpages. 

As the capital of Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose is proud to be a
national leader in web accessibility implementation for local government. This
article
briefly discusses specific legal requirements for accessible web design and how
the City of San Jose developed and implemented a minimal web accessibility
standard that is now supported by the first draft international protocol for
web accessibility. In a nutshell, public policy and legal compliance requires
the
removal of barriers to effective communication and commerce. By accommodating
members of our diverse community, government can play a catalytic role in
promoting a sustainable community. 

I. United States Department of Justice Policy Ruling, 9/9/96: ADA Accessibility
Requirements Apply to Internet Web Pages
10 NDLR 240

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered entities to furnish
appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective
communication with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result
in a fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue burden.
See
28 C.F.R. 36.303; 28 C.F.R. 35.160. Auxiliary aids include taped texts,
Brailled materials, large print materials, captioning and other methods of
making audio
and visual media available to people with disabilities. 

The policy ruling states that ADA Titles II and III require State and local
governments and the business sector to provide effective communication whenever
they communicate through the Internet. The effective communication rule applies
to covered entities using the Internet for communications regarding their
programs, goods or services since they must be prepared to offer those
communications via an accessible medium. 

Specifically addressing the needs of people with visual disabilities, this
policy ruling points out that providing a text format rather than a graphical
format assures
accessibility to the Internet for individuals using screenreaders. Without
special coding, a text browser will only display the word "image" when it reads
a
graphic image. Moreover, if the graphic is essential to navigating the site
(such as a navigational button or arrow) or if it imparts vital information
(such as a table
or image map) the user can get stuck and not be able to move or understand the
information provided. As one user put it: 

     When blind people use the internet and come across unfriendly sites, we
aren't surfing, we are crawling ....Imagine hearing pages that say,
     'Welcome to ...[image].' 'This is the home of ... [image].' 'Link, link,
link.' It is like trying to use Netscape with your monitor off and the mouse
     unplugged. See how far you'll get.

(NY Times Cybertimes, 12/1/96) 

Whereas the Internet in its infancy was only a text-based medium, the current
graphical environment and problems associated with Portable Document Format
(PDF) and hyperlinks designed as animated gifs are currently barriers on the
World Wide Web. As technology erects additional new barriers, such as
video-streaming and audio, people with hearing loss will also be impacted.
Internet kiosks will need the flexibility and interoperability that accessible
web
design provides in order to be accessible to our communities. 

Therefore, as government and businesses increasingly depend on the convenience
of the Internet as a vehicle for programs, goods or services, the more it is
important that accessible web design be addressed. Accessible web design
enables effective communication and saves government resources since documents
can be readily available, requests for ADA Alternate Document Formats can be
satisfied, and Internet/Intranet access for employees with disabilities can be
provided. 

II. United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Settlement
Letters: Docket Number 09-95-2206 (1996
Letter )& 09-97-2002 (1997 Letter) 

Not surprisingly, web accessibility issues are now being faced by educational
institutions. Library reference services are being transformed by the
efficiency of
Internet access to information systems and search engines. Professors are
teaching long distance learning courses over the Internet and even if a student
is
physically in class, homework assignments and resources are being posted on
class homepages. Yet, even if a library terminal has assistive computer
technology installed for students with disabilities, Internet research by
students with disabilities is not possible with inaccessible web page design. 

In a complaint by a student that a university had failed to provide access to
the Internet, the Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education
(OCR) discussed what was meant to provide effective communication. In a
nutshell, 

     [T]he issue is not whether the student with the disability is merely
provided access, but the issue is rather the extent to which the communication
is
     actually as effective as that provided to others. Title II [of the
Americans with Disabiliti es Act of 1990] also strongly affirms the important
role
     that computer technology is expected to play as an auxiliary aid by which
communication is made effective for persons with disabilities. 

(Pages 1-2, 1996 Letter; 28 C.F.R. 35.160(a)) 

In further clarifying what is meant by "effective communication," OCR has held
that the three basic components of effective communication are: "timeliness of
delivery, accuracy of the translation, and provision in a manner and medium
appropriate to the significance of the message and the abilities of the
individual with
the disability." (Page 1, 1997 Letter) 

OCR also points out that the courts have held that a public entity violates its
obligations under the ADA when it only responds on an ad- hoc basis to
individual
requests for accommodation. There is an affirmative duty to develop a
comprehensive policy in advance of any request for auxiliary aids or services.
Moreover, the community of persons with disabilities is required to be
consulted in the development of this policy. See Tyler v. City of Manhattan,
857 F.
Supp. 800 (D.Kan. 1994). 

Of particular interest is the analogy OCR draws between the rationale for
bringing an existing building up to code for access and the purchase of new
technology for information systems. For example, buildings built prior to
access laws are governed by "program access" requirements and remodeling
triggers
the requirement to install certain accessible architectural features. 

Similarly, the effective communication requirement imposes a duty to solve
barriers to information access that the entity's purchasing choices create.
Whenever
existing technology is "upgraded" by a new technology feature, it is important
to ensure that the new technology either improves accessibility or is
compatible
with existing assistive computer technology. For example, web-authoring
software programs that erect barriers in their coding of webpages fall under
this
scrutiny. 

Lastly, OCR states that when an entity selects software programs and/or
hardware equipment not adaptable for people with disabilities, "the subsequent
substantial expense of providing access is not generally regarded as an undue
burden when such cost could have been significantly reduced by considering the
issue of accessibility at the time of the initial selection." (Page 2, 1997
Letter) Therefore, all technology improvements must take into account the
removal of
barriers and ensure that new barriers to access do not occur. Covered entities
preparing to retrofit their web sites need to be aware of this issue. 

III. City of San Jose World Wide Web Page Accessibility Standard 

In response to the monitoring of ADA Internet complaints and the need to
incorporate City ADA implementation policies, the City of San Jose Web Page
Disability Access Design Standard was developed in 1996. (See
http://www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/oaacc/disacces.html) By integrating the
requirements of the
ADA and applying Universal principles, we have ensured the widest public access
to City government information and services. Currently these standards are
being incorporated into our web site and are subject to change as technology
advances to solve these problems and integrate access tool kits in web-
authoring
tools. 

By June 1996 seven minimum requirements were identified to ensure web
accessibility: 

1. Provide an Access Instruction Page for Visitors (includes email hyperlink
for visitors to communicate problems with web page accessibility) 
2. Provide support for text browsers 
3. Attach "Alt" tags to graphic images so that screenreaders can identify the
graphic 
4. Hyperlink photographs with descriptive text "D" 
5. Caption all audio and video clips by using "CC" hyperlinks 
6. Provide alternative mechanisms for on-line forms (such as email or voice/TTY
phone numbers) 
7. Avoid access barriers such as the posting of documents in PDF, table,
newspaper or frame format or requiring visitors to download software. If
posting in
PDF, the HTML text or ASCII file must also be posted. 

The City of San Jose web accessibility standards were adopted by the Board of
Supervisors for the County of Santa Clara in March 1997 and have been
designated as a "best practices" model by the League of California Cities as
well as the federal government. Named to the "Top 25 Women on the Web" by
Webgrrls International, I am pleased to support the efforts of the technology
industry to extend the benefits of the Web to the global community. With the
launch in April 1997 of the Web Accessibility Initiative by the World Wide Web
Consortium, hopefully web accessibility will soon become as common as an
accessible building. Recently, the first draft guidelines for an international
protocol was announced (see http://www.w3.org/Press/19948/WAI-Guide) and a
free web accessibility diagnostic has been upgraded to perform validation of
web pages (see http://www.cast.org/bobby). 

Conclusion 

Without the application of ADA requirements to the Internet, new barriers to
effective communication and global commerce will be erected that will have a
discriminatory impact upon individuals with disabilities. Accessible web design
should be mandated so that everyone, regardless of age or disability, or the
limitations of their computer equipment, can participate in the benefits of the
World Wide Web. 

Additional Resources: 

"Electronic Curbcuts: How to Build an Accessible Web Site" by Leslie M.
Campbell and Cynthia D. Waddell, CAPED Communique, California Association
on Postsecondary Education and Disability, Spring 1997 http://
www.prodworks.com/ilf/w5bcw.htm 

"Electronic Curbcuts for Government Web Sites: Making Your Web Site Accessible"
by Cynthia D. Waddell, ADA Update, Fall 1997, National League of
Cities 

Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium http://www.w3.org/WAI/ 

Bobby, a web site that will perform a free accessibility diagnostic and make
suggestions http://www.cast.org/bobby/ 

Starling Access Services- a web site that provides excellent tools for
webmasters http://www.igs.net/~starling/acc/index.htm 

More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's
Information Infrastructure, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board,
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National
Research Council; National Academy Press 1997 Full text posted at
http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/screen 

-end of file- 

November 3, 1998

Ms. Cheryl Hershey  
Team Leader
Federal Transportation Administration
Office of Civil Rights
ADA Compliance Section
400 7th Street S.W. #900
Washington D.C. 20590

Ms. Hershey:

Please accept the following items as complaints against the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 101 8th Street Oakland Ca 94607-4700, which oversees the 9 Bay Area County Transit Authorities, where I have been trying to navigate their web-site. These items relate to accommodations requested due to my disability (I have been declared "legally blind" by a neuro-ophthalmologist at Valley Medical Center in San Jose).  Earlier this Month I contacted MTC to inform them that their Web-site was not fully useable by people who use screen review programs such as myself. (copy of email communications attached).
I allege that this is in violation of 28 C.F.R. Part 35 Sections 160-164.  Although I have received several responses to my inquiry, none of them have indicated when and how the Web-site will be made accessible.  Also, this Web-site was created without consideration and compliance of federal regulations that cover access to all public communications.  
In a letter dated October 13, 1998 from Mr. Jay Miyazaki (copy attached), the ADA officer of MTC, it was explained to me that he would look into it and get back to me.  
My concern is that MTC has denied members of the public with various types of disabilities the opportunity to access public documents as well as job information for the reason that their Web-site does not provide equal access and does not indicate how a person can obtain all the information in an accessible format, which ever that may be.
I assert at this time that MTC has not complied with 28 CFR Part 35 Sections 160-16, as it relates to the access of information on their Web-site.  Also, ensuring and providing a means of access should have been addressed during their Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan, when providing communications to the public regardless of the method.
Thank you for your acceptance of this complaint.



Randy Tamez
2037 Leon Drive
San Jose Ca, 95128-5011
408-947-8208
r_tamez@pacbell.net
 Enclosures:



>Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 20:57:56 -0700
>To: Cecilie Birner <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
>From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
>Subject: Web Site Access
>Cc: Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, 
>"pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>, Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>, 
>Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>, Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, 
>"Cynthia D. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, DeNero_M@VTA.Org, 
>"suejhodges@aol.com" <suejhodges@aol.com>, Roger Petersen 
><petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>
>
>Hi Cecelie,
>
>I am a person with a visual disability and I use a screen review program, 
>"Job Access with Speech" (JAWS), to navigate around web-sites and interpret 
>digital text information.  I spoke to Pierce Gould (MTC's Public 
>Communication Dep't.) several weeks ago and explained to him that the MTC 
>web-site is not fully accessible to people such as myself.  I sent him 
>information on federal regulations that cover access to all public 
>information provided by entities such as MTC, including electronic 
>information.  It is the responsibility of MTC to ensure that their site is 
>fully accessible and useable by people with various types of disabilities. 
>
>The federal regulation can be located in: 28 CFR part 35 Sections 160-164.  
>This section discusses communications provided to the public and the 
>entities responsibility to ensure that communications are provided to people 
>with disabilities as effectively as those provided to the general public.  
>There are many consultants that can assist with the development and creation 
>of an accessible web-site.  Also, there are many web-sites that are 
>accessible and these can be used as a guide.
>
>The document (Regional Transportation Plan) which I tried to download 
>several times from the MTC site could not be opened and/or read by me. Also, 
>I couldn't even locate your job listings.  Locatable documents on the site 
>are PDF (Portable Document Format) files and are quite difficult to open and 
>interpret by JAWS.  A common format for documents would be text, this would 
>ensure that most people could download and open documents which are intended 
>for the public.  Not all people have the most current programs, and having 
>documents available in text format would ensure that the public can access 
>this material.
>
>Each time I launched Adobe Acrobat the file would not open, and I received 
>several error messages.  Also, in working with Pierce, he explained that 
>there is information to the left on the site which I could not get to and 
>read.  This tells me that there may be other information that is not 
>accessible to people with disabilities.
>
>At this time, people such as I do not have full access to the MTC web-site 
>and are essentially locked out of being provided information that is 
>available to people without disabilities.  Please remedy this disparity of 
>information availability between people with and without disabilities.
>
>Enclosed for your review is a court decision made to ensure that web-sites 
>are fully accessible and negotiable by people with disabilities.
>
>Since MTC oversees the 9 Bay Area Transit Authorities MTC should take the 
>lead in developing a user friendly site as well as complying to all federal 
>regulations that protect people with disabilities. Please accept this 
>communication as a formal complaint being filed with Metropolitan 
>Transportation Commission (MTC).  Please forward this communication to the 
>person responsible for handling ADA complaints.  Please inform me as the 
>name and position of this person.  At this time I am not aware of an ADA 
>officer at MTC.  Can you provide a copy of MTC's Grievance Procedure?  This 
>is the grievance process that should have been identified in the Transition 
>Plan.  This process is set up for the public to file a complaint within MTC 
>and have it resolved.  This process would comply with Title II, 28 CFR 
>35.105, 35.107 and 35.150 (c) (d).  This information will be helpful to the 
>public as to how to file a complaint and who it should go to.  This would 
>also inform people what the process is and provide a resolution to their 
>complaint and how to appeal any decisions.
>
>If you have this information please include it with the next correspondence. 
> Also, any written communications should be provided in digital format.  
>Printed information is not accessible to me.
>
>Please respond within 30 days to inform me that the complaint has been 
>received and being investigated.
>
>All of the above statements are my allegations and assertions.  At this time 
>no federal department has reviewed either my allegations or the access of 
>your web-site.
>
>Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
>
>
>Randy Tamez
>2037 Leon Drive
>San Jose CA 95128
>408-947-8208 Home
>r_tamez@pacbell.net Email
>
>
>Below is the federal court decision:
>
>
>The Honorable Tom Harkin
>United States Senate
>Washington, DC 20510-1502
>
>Digest of Inquiry
>(July 31, 1996)
>
>To what extent does the ADA require that Internet web pages be
>accessible
>to people with visual disabilities?
>
>Digest of Response
>(September 9, 1996)
>
>ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply to Internet Web Pages
>
>Entities to Title II or III of the ADA must provide effective
>communication
>to individuals with disabilities, and covered entities that use the
>Internet to provide information regarding their programs, goods or
>services
>must be prepared to offer those communications through accessible means.
>Such entities may provide web page information in text format that is
>accessible to screen reading devices that are used by people with visual
>impairments, and they may also offer alternative accessible formats that
>are identified in a screen-readable format on a web page.
>
>-----
>
>Text of Inquiry
>
>I have recently been contacted by one of my constituents who has a
>concern
>over the administration's policy on making Web pages compatible for the
>disabled.  I respectfully ask you to review the administration's policy
>on
>this issue and send me a clarification so that I might be able to
>respond
>to my constituent's questions.  It would be helpful if you could mark
>your
>correspondence with my office to the attention of Laura Stuber.
>        
>Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter.
>
>Text of Response
>
>I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, [],
>regarding accessibility of "web pages" on the Internet to people with
>visual disabilities.
>
>The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires State and local
>governments and places of public accommodation to furnish appropriate
>auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effect
>communication
>with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result in a
>fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue burden. 
>28
>C.F.R. Sec. 36.303; 28 C.F.R. Sec. 35.160.  Auxiliary aids include taped
>texts, Brailled materials, large print materials, and other methods of
>making visually delivered material available to people with visual
>impairments.
>        
>Covered entities under the ADA are required to provide effective
>communication, regardless of whether they generally communicate through
>print media, audio media, or computerized media such as the Internet.
>Covered entities that use the Internet for communications regarding
>their
>programs, goods, or services must be prepared to offer those
>communications
>through accessible means as well.
>        
>Mr. [] suggests compatibility with the Lynx browser as a means of
>assuring
>accessibility of the Internet.  Lynx is, however, only one of many
>available options.  Other examples include providing the web page
>information in text format, rather then exclusively in graphic format.
>Such text is accessible to screen reading devices used by people with
>visual impairments.  Instead of providing full accessibility through the
>Internet directly, covered entities may also offer other alternate
>accessible formats, such as Braille, large print, and/or audio
>materials,
>to communicate the information contained in web pages to people with
>visual
>impairments.  The availability of such materials should be noted in a
>text
>(i.e., screen-readable) format on the web page, along with instructions
>for
>obtaining the materials, so that people with disabilities using the
>Internet will know how to obtain the accessible formats.
>
>cc: Records, Chrono, Wodtach, McDowdeny, Hill, FOIA
>n:
>udd
>hille
>policylt
>harkin.ltr
>sc. young-parran
>
>The Internet is an excellent source of information and, of course,
>people
>with disabilities should have access to it as effectively as people
>without
>disabilities.  A number of web sites provide information about
>accessibility of web pages, including information about new developments
>and guidelines for development of accessible web pages.  Examples
>include:
>
>http://www.gsa.gov/coca/wwwcode.htm
>Center for Information Technology Accommodation
>General Services Administration
>        
>http://www.trace.wisc.edu/text/guidelns
>Trace Center, University of Wisconsin
>
>http://www.webable.com/index.html
>
>http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/dmd/access/welcomi.htm
>
>These sites may be useful to you or your constituent in exploring the
>accessibility options on the Internet.  In addition, the Department of
>Justice has established an ADA home page to educate people about their
>rights and responsibilities under the ADA and about the Department's
>efforts to implement the ADA.  The address of the ADA home page is
>http://www/usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahomi.htm.
>
>I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your
>constituent.
>
>Deval L. Patrick
>Assistant Attorney General
>Civil Rights Division
>
>
>
> 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



From: "Cecilie Birner" <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
Organization: MTC
To: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>, Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>,
        Suejhodges@aol.com, jeannandi@aol.com
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 13:52:55 PST
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
Subject: Re: Web Site Access
CC: bkahn@mtc.ca.gov, Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>,
        April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>,
        "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>,
        Jo-Anne Rosen<jo@wordrunner.com>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.ca.gov>,
        "CynthiaD. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>,
        DeNero_M@V.abag.ca.gov
Priority: normal
X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Windows (v2.54)
Message-ID: <1F722C23AD1@mtc.ca.gov>
X-UIDL: 4c80ebb29fd905b39cf1e04f97e98521

Randy,
Thanks for the email and for the URL's to get more information.

I work as an analyst in the Finance Section at MTC and am in charge 
of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  The person 
responsible overall MTC web page is Brenda Kahn.  She can be reached 
at bkahn@mtc.ca.gov .  I have forwarded your message to her.

It was important to get the TIP data up quickly for this year for the 
Congestion Management Agencies (CMAs) and transit operators. I did 
all the web programming myself and up until now have had no feedback 
about accessibility--which is why I asked Barb Rhodes for feedback.  
I was uncertain about using the ADOBE format and am working on a 
better format.  There is an Excel file containing the project data 
(Item number 4 in the contents), but it does not contain all the 
introductory material or financial capacity assessments.

I am currently working on new HTML formatting and my goal is to 
improve the TIP web site in about a month.  I spoke to EDAC about 
the TIP web site briefly last spring and will continue to work on 
getting this public information available to all the public.

You can call me at (510) 464-7822 if you have further questions or 
comments.  Please note that I will be out the rest of this week at a 
conference.

By the way, Connie Soper, who is in the message recipients list, is 
on leave until the end of this year.

Thanks again for your feedback.  Again, I am sorry about the 
accessibility issues with the TIP on the web the first time around. 
I will work as hard as I can to make the necessary improvements.  

--cecilie--
********************************************************************
  Cecilie Birner -- Financial Database Analyst  
  Metropolitan Transportation Commission  101 Eighth Street      
  Oakland CA, 94607-4700  cbirner@mtc.ca.gov  (510) 464-7822          
********************************************************************


>Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 20:51:16 -0700
>To: Cecilie Birner <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>
>From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
>Subject: Web Site Access
>Cc: April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>, 
>Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>, Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, Barbara 
>Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, Roger Petersen <petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene 
>Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>, "JEANNANDI@aol.com" 
><JEANNANDI@aol.com>, "katieh@outreach1.org" <katieh@outreach1.org>, 
>DeNero_M@VTA.Org, "suejhodges@aol.com" <suejhodges@aol.com>, 
>"lmichels@pcbvi.org" <lmichels@pcbvi.org>, "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" 
><pgould@mtc.ca.gov>, "draper@iandrinfo.com" <draper@iandrinfo.com>, 
>"joe@ondas.com" <joe@ondas.com>, Mike Carbaugh <Samikec@sarc.org>
>
>Hi Cecilie,
>
>Thanks for the prompt response to my inquiry.  At this time there is no 
>indication of who MTC has assigned to handle ADA complaints.  Again, could 
>this information be provided to me.
>
>Although you state in your email that no one has provided information as to 
>the accessibility of MTC's web-site and that this is the first you have 
>heard about any problems, it is not the responsibility of the public to 
>oversee and advise  MTC on their responsibility to adhere to federal 
>regulations.  Most state and federal regulations are intended to be applied 
>during design and development, not as a post-release fix.  Computer programs 
>have a design phase, like civil construction projects which serve the public 
>by implementing a requirement for pedestrian ramps and markings.  Web site 
>computer programs also provide services and facilities for the public, and 
>people with disabilities are part of the public.
>
>The people who are reviewing MTC's web-site are doing this as concerned 
>citizens.  We are not consultants of MTC nor is this our responsibility.  Is 
>the average person asked by MTC to investigate or test projects for MTC to 
>establish their feasibility?
>
>Again, MTC must adhere to all federal and state regulations that protect 
>people with disabilities.  This may mean prior to entering into a project 
>such as the Web-site, someone may need to research state and federal laws 
>that will impact the project.
>
>Thank you for your time and consideration.
>
>Randy Tamez
>2037 Leon Drive 
>San Jose CA 95128
>
>408-947-8208 Home
>r_tamez@pacbell.net email
>


									October 13, 1998

Mr. Randy Tamez
2037 Leon Drive
San Jose CA 95128

Dear Mr. Tamez:

This letter is to respond to your e-mail to Cecilie Birner of our staff dated Sunday, October 11, 1998, regarding the accessibility to MTC's website.  

To begin with, my name is Jay Miyazaki, Manager of Administrative Services.  I am MTC's designated "responsible employee" pursuant to  28 CFR Part 35.107.  

MTC undertook a self-evaluation in January 1993.  That evaluation examined ADA requirements applicable to MTC, i.e., 28 CFR Sections 35.06, 35.107(a), 35.107(b), 35.132, 35.140, 35.150, 35.160, 35.161 and 35.163 and was conducted with the assistance of MTC's Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee. 

Responding to each of your inquiry items,

1.  Regarding website accessibility, we recently redesigned it to make it more accessible to simplest of computers.  We have not yet completed testing it to see if our website is accessible to all viewers.  In the meantime, we have been providing our constituents who have special needs with alternative forms of written communications, in accordance with MTC's procedures.  Executive Director's Management Memorandum (EDMM) 301: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability is attached.  EDMM 301 provides procedures for the translation of written communications, such as the Regional Transportation Plan.  I believe that this process is consistent with the alternative procedures specified in the letter to Senator Harkin, attached to your e-mail to Ms. Birner.

2.  Regarding accessing the Regional Transportation Plan, I asked Ms. Brenda Kahn to check on alternative accessible formats.  Ms. Kahn is the Senior Information Officer, responsible for translation of written communications.  I understand that she previously provided you with one form of translation.

3.  Regarding remedying the disparity of information availability, please refer to Item 1 above.

4.  Regarding the complaint status of you e-mail to Ms. Birner, this letter to you is  the response pursuant to the informal procedures indicated in EDMM 301.     
	
5.  Regarding forwarding your e-mail to Ms Birner to the person handling ADA complaints, I acknowledge receipt of it on October 12, 1998.

6.	Regarding making a copy of complaint procedures, please see Item 1 above.  

7.	Regarding making public the complaint procedures and appeal process, we will add this information in a summary form on MTC's web page.

8.	Regarding translating this letter to digital format, I am sending this letter as a printed letter, and send it to you via e-mail.  This letter is attached to the e-mail in WORD format.


Should you wish to contact me, you can reach me at 510/464-7750 or JMiyazaki@ mtc.ca.gov; however, I will be on vacation between October 15 and November 3, 1998.  

					Sincerely,



					Jay Miyazaki, Manager
					Administrative Services


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MANAGEMENT MEMORANDUM



EDMM NO.:		301

SUBJECT:	Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability


INTRODUCTION:	The purpose of this EDMM is to confirm MTC's commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability consistent with federal and state law, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C.  12101 et seq.), Government Code  4450 and 12940 et seq., and Civil Code  54.1.  In particular, the policy is intended to implement the ADA regulations applicable to state and local governments, published in 28 CFR Part 38 on July 26, 1991.  

APPLICABILITY:	This EDMM applies to MTC employees, applicants for employment, members of the public, and beneficiaries of MTC services or programs.

POLICY:			It is the policy of MTC that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of MTC's or be subject to discrimination by MTC.

In furtherance of this policy, MTC's offices shall be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs, as defined in ADA and California accessibility regulations (36 CFR Part 1191 and Title 24 of the California Building Code, respectively).  Any modification or alteration to the MetroCenter and MTC offices will be made consistent with accessibility regulations applicable to such modification or alteration.  Also, MTC will locate meetings or public hearings held outside the MetroCenter at accessible buildings and facilities.  

MTC will take such steps as are necessary to ensure that communications with program participants, beneficiaries, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.  In this regard, MTC has a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) linked to 510/464-7769 and has trained personnel able to receive and send communications on the TDD.  In addition, MTC will provide, upon timely request, sign language or other interpreters at MTC meetings to assist the hearing- or speech-impaired.  Other auxiliary devices to make aurally-delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments and visually-delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments will be furnished, as provided in this EDMM.  

Further, it is MTC's policy not to discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability in regard to job application procedures, job advancement, discharge, employee compensation, job training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

RESPONSIBILITY:	The Executive Director is responsible for overall administration of this policy. 
The Deputy Executive Director is responsible for approving external (non-employee) complaint resolutions and for appointing a Complaint Review Officer.

The Manager of Administrative Services (MAS) is the "responsible employee" required by 28 CFR Part 35.107 and the MTC manager responsible for the implementation and dissemination of the ADA policy.

The Human Resources Manager (HRM) is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the employment and hiring portions of this policy, consistent with the regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published in 29 CFR Part 1630, as amended, and for assisting and advising the Complaint Review Officer on grievances or applicant complaints relating to employment and hiring.

The Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) is responsible for providing assistance to supervisors and employees in resolving grievance charges of discrimination based on disability and conducting the factual investigations for formal grievances alleging discrimination based on disability.  The AAO is also responsible for advising and assisting the HRM and Executive Director regarding complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of disability by applicants, and for conducting the factual investigations on formal complaints alleging such discrimination.

The Building Manager is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the portions of this policy related to the facility accessibility and for conducting the factual investigations of complaints of non-accessibility to MTC facilities and meetings, as requested by the MAS or Executive Director. The Building Manager is responsible for researching the cost of accommodation, the feasibility and the implementation of the physical accommodation.

The Work Program Coordinator is responsible for availability, maintenance and training of ALD and TDD. 

The Complaint Review Officer is the individual, designated by the Deputy Executive Director, to gather information relevant to a complaint filed by a non-employee, to recommend findings, and to prepare a written response.

The Senior Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for administering the section of this policy dealing with the provision of auxiliary aids and for assisting the MAS or AAO in investigating complaints of discrimination involving communications with members of the public, as requested by the Executive Director. 

PROCEDURE:	1.  Provision of Auxiliary Aids at Meetings

Requests for sign or other interpreters and other auxiliary aids (e.g., readers, note takers, audio recordings and others listed in 28 CFR  35.104) necessary to afford a disabled individual an equal opportunity to participate in an MTC meeting should be made at least 3 working days (72 hours) in advance of the meeting for which they are requested.  (Five or more days' notice is preferred; 72-hour lead time is not intended as a guarantee that MTC will be able to obtain a specific auxiliary aid in every instance).  Such requests will be referred to the MTC Public Information Office for action.  If a request is made with less than 72 hours notice, the Public Information Office will make reasonable efforts to provide the aid requested.  The specific aid requested shall be given priority consideration; however, MTC reserves the right to provide a different auxiliary aid if the circumstances of the meeting or the cost to the agency justify it, as long as the substitute aid provides effective communication.

2.  Translation of Written Communications

The Public Information Office will make (or have made) audio tapes or Braille translations of MTC-generated written communications (agendas, minutes, meeting summaries, reports, etc.) when requested by individuals with visual impairments.  In determining whether to make audio tapes or Braille translations, MTC shall take into account the specific needs of the requesting individual, cost, time constraints, and the type of documents to be copied.  Reports and other lengthy documents may take four weeks or more to produce in audio or Braille form, although MTC will make reasonable efforts to produce the reports as expeditiously as possible. If the written communications requested under this paragraph are regularly provided free of charge to interested members of the public (e.g., agendas), the audio tapes or Braille translations will also be provided at no cost.  If MTC regularly charges for copying the requested documents (e.g., Public Records Act requests), the equivalent cost of copying shall be passed along to the individual requesting the tape or Braille translation. 

3.  Employment and Hiring

The requirements of Title I of the ADA set forth in 29 CFR 1630 apply to  MTC. (28 CFR  35.140)  Both applicants and employees have an affirmative obligation to request any reasonable accommodation for their disability.  Applicants may request such accommodation verbally.  Employees must make the request in writing to MTC's HRM.  The Building Manager will research the feasibility and cost of the accommodation and the impact on MTC's business and make a recommendation,  through the MAS, to the Deputy Executive Director.  In most cases, the recommendation will be reviewed and implemented, if appropriate, in a timely manner.  If not implemented, the HRM will explain to the applicant or employee the "undue hardship" that would be caused by the accommodation (see 29 CFR  1630.2 (p)) and the appropriate appeal procedures.

4.  Employee Grievance

In the event that an MTC employee believes that s/he has been discriminated against in violation of this EDMM, such employee may register a grievance in accordance with the procedures outlined in EDMM No. 265.

5.  Complaint by Non-employee Alleging Noncompliance 


	a..  Informal Procedure
Any applicant, program beneficiary, or member of the public who believes MTC is not in compliance with the ADA and/or EDMM 301 is encouraged to take his or her concerns to the MAS for an informal investigation.  The MAS will respond to such concerns in a timely manner, reporting back to the individual or group within five working days.

	b.  Formal Complaint
If the matter is not resolved informally to the complainant's satisfaction, the complainant may file a written complaint with the MTC Deputy Executive Director, specifying the complainant's allegation of discrimination and the relief sought.

The Deputy Executive Director will designate a Complaint Review Officer to gather information relevant to the complaint, recommend findings, and prepare a proposed response.  When employment discrimination is charged, the Complaint Review Officer will refer the complaint to the HRM to gather factual information relevant to the discrimination aspect of the complaint and incorporate his/her findings into the recommendation for complaint resolution.  The 

Complaint Review Officer shall have 10 working days to review the complaint and propose a resolution to the Deputy Executive Director.  The Deputy Executive Director shall respond to the complainant in writing within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint, including in the response notification of the complainant's right to appeal, as described below. 

If the complainant is not satisfied with the Deputy Executive Director's response, he or she may notify the Deputy Executive Director in writing within 5 working days that an appeal to the Commission is desired.  The Chair of the Commission will appoint a three-Commissioner panel, which will review the complaint and the Deputy Executive Director's response and make a final determination regarding the complaint.  No further remedy is available through MTC.

6.  Self-Evaluation (ADA and 28 CFR  35.105)

MTC has conducted an evaluation of its services, policies and practices and their effects upon disabled persons, as required by 28 CFR  35.105, and maintains the evaluation on file, where it is available for public inspection.

References:	EDMM No. 265 

Effective Date:	September, 1998

Supersedes EDMM No. 301 dated July 24, 1992


						       	_________________________________
							Lawrence D. Dahms, Executive Director


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 16:43:59 -0700
To: jay miyazaki <jmiyazaki@mtc.ca.gov>
From: Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>
Subject: Legal Article For The Internet
Cc: April Chan <achan@mtc.dst.ca.us>, "pgould@mtc.ca.gov" <pgould@mtc.ca.gov>, Connie Soper <csoper@mtc.ca.gov>, Marc Roddin <mroddi@mtc.dst.ca.us>, "cbirner@mtc.ca.gov" <cbirner@mtc.ca.gov>, Jo-Anne Rosen <jo@wordrunner.com>, Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, "suejhodges@aol.com" <suejhodges@aol.com>, "JEANNANDI@aol.com" <JEANNANDI@aol.com>, Roger Petersen <petersen@svpal.org>, Eugene Lozano <lozanoe@sswdserver.sswd.csus.edu>, DeNero_M@VTA.Org, "Cynthia D. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, Linda, "lmichels@pcbvi.org" <lmichels@pcbvi.org>, "lorre_mendelson@sccoe.org" <lorre_mendelson@sccoe.org>, "draper@iandrinfo.com" <draper@iandrinfo.com>, Mike Carbaugh <Samikec@sarc.org>, "joe@ondas.com" <joe@ondas.com>, "katieh@outreach1.org" <katieh@outreach1.org>, Cindy Barboza <cindy@aris.org>, 

Hello Jay,

Below is a legal article discussing Internet access and the removal of barriers.  Please review this article and distribute to the necessary and appropriate staff members.

Thanks,

Randy


http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law/weblaw1.htm

Applying the ADA to the Internet: A Web Accessibility Standard 
                                          by Cynthia D. Waddell, JD 
                               ADA Coordinator, City of San Jose, CA USA 

Written and Presented on June 17, 1998 at the request of the American Bar Association for their National Conference "In Pursuit . . . . A Blueprint for
Disability Law and Policy" 

Although it may seem that the World Wide Web has been like the Wild, Wild, West --where there are no laws and each frontier web site is on its own, there
are significant legal and practical reasons for ensuring web accessibility. By web accessibility I am referring to the design of a webpage that embraces the
requirements of Universal Design in order to ensure that all users can access the information on the page: 

     Universal Design calls for the development of information systems flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest range of users of
     computers and telecommunications equipment, regardless of age or disability.

(September 1994 National Information Infrastructure White Paper by Susan Brummel, USGSA CITA, entitled "People with Disabilities and the NII: Breaking
Down Barriers, Building Choice;" See http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/coca/nii.htm) 

Unless a web site is designed in an accessible format, significant populations will be locked out as the World Wide Web rapidly advances from a text-based
communication format to a robust, graphical format embracing audio and video clip tools. 

Yet, the benefits of accessible web design extend beyond the community of people with disabilities and an aging population since it enables low technology to
access high technology. There are substantial business incentives for technology transfer in underdeveloped countries and for populations who do not have the
"state of the art" technology. Accessible web design features enable CD technology and videotapes to be archived with word search capabilities due to text
captioning. Even people who are illiterate can access the Internet since screenreaders can audibly read text out loud from accessible webpages. 

As the capital of Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose is proud to be a national leader in web accessibility implementation for local government. This article
briefly discusses specific legal requirements for accessible web design and how the City of San Jose developed and implemented a minimal web accessibility
standard that is now supported by the first draft international protocol for web accessibility. In a nutshell, public policy and legal compliance requires the
removal of barriers to effective communication and commerce. By accommodating members of our diverse community, government can play a catalytic role in
promoting a sustainable community. 

I. United States Department of Justice Policy Ruling, 9/9/96: ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply to Internet Web Pages
10 NDLR 240

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered entities to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective
communication with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue burden. See
28 C.F.R. 36.303; 28 C.F.R. 35.160. Auxiliary aids include taped texts, Brailled materials, large print materials, captioning and other methods of making audio
and visual media available to people with disabilities. 

The policy ruling states that ADA Titles II and III require State and local governments and the business sector to provide effective communication whenever
they communicate through the Internet. The effective communication rule applies to covered entities using the Internet for communications regarding their
programs, goods or services since they must be prepared to offer those communications via an accessible medium. 

Specifically addressing the needs of people with visual disabilities, this policy ruling points out that providing a text format rather than a graphical format assures
accessibility to the Internet for individuals using screenreaders. Without special coding, a text browser will only display the word "image" when it reads a
graphic image. Moreover, if the graphic is essential to navigating the site (such as a navigational button or arrow) or if it imparts vital information (such as a table
or image map) the user can get stuck and not be able to move or understand the information provided. As one user put it: 

     When blind people use the internet and come across unfriendly sites, we aren't surfing, we are crawling ....Imagine hearing pages that say,
     'Welcome to ...[image].' 'This is the home of ... [image].' 'Link, link, link.' It is like trying to use Netscape with your monitor off and the mouse
     unplugged. See how far you'll get.

(NY Times Cybertimes, 12/1/96) 

Whereas the Internet in its infancy was only a text-based medium, the current graphical environment and problems associated with Portable Document Format
(PDF) and hyperlinks designed as animated gifs are currently barriers on the World Wide Web. As technology erects additional new barriers, such as
video-streaming and audio, people with hearing loss will also be impacted. Internet kiosks will need the flexibility and interoperability that accessible web
design provides in order to be accessible to our communities. 

Therefore, as government and businesses increasingly depend on the convenience of the Internet as a vehicle for programs, goods or services, the more it is
important that accessible web design be addressed. Accessible web design enables effective communication and saves government resources since documents
can be readily available, requests for ADA Alternate Document Formats can be satisfied, and Internet/Intranet access for employees with disabilities can be
provided. 

II. United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Settlement Letters: Docket Number 09-95-2206 (1996
Letter )& 09-97-2002 (1997 Letter) 

Not surprisingly, web accessibility issues are now being faced by educational institutions. Library reference services are being transformed by the efficiency of
Internet access to information systems and search engines. Professors are teaching long distance learning courses over the Internet and even if a student is
physically in class, homework assignments and resources are being posted on class homepages. Yet, even if a library terminal has assistive computer
technology installed for students with disabilities, Internet research by students with disabilities is not possible with inaccessible web page design. 

In a complaint by a student that a university had failed to provide access to the Internet, the Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education
(OCR) discussed what was meant to provide effective communication. In a nutshell, 

     [T]he issue is not whether the student with the disability is merely provided access, but the issue is rather the extent to which the communication is
     actually as effective as that provided to others. Title II [of the Americans with Disabiliti es Act of 1990] also strongly affirms the important role
     that computer technology is expected to play as an auxiliary aid by which communication is made effective for persons with disabilities. 

(Pages 1-2, 1996 Letter; 28 C.F.R. 35.160(a)) 

In further clarifying what is meant by "effective communication," OCR has held that the three basic components of effective communication are: "timeliness of
delivery, accuracy of the translation, and provision in a manner and medium appropriate to the significance of the message and the abilities of the individual with
the disability." (Page 1, 1997 Letter) 

OCR also points out that the courts have held that a public entity violates its obligations under the ADA when it only responds on an ad- hoc basis to individual
requests for accommodation. There is an affirmative duty to develop a comprehensive policy in advance of any request for auxiliary aids or services.
Moreover, the community of persons with disabilities is required to be consulted in the development of this policy. See Tyler v. City of Manhattan, 857 F.
Supp. 800 (D.Kan. 1994). 

Of particular interest is the analogy OCR draws between the rationale for bringing an existing building up to code for access and the purchase of new
technology for information systems. For example, buildings built prior to access laws are governed by "program access" requirements and remodeling triggers
the requirement to install certain accessible architectural features. 

Similarly, the effective communication requirement imposes a duty to solve barriers to information access that the entity's purchasing choices create. Whenever
existing technology is "upgraded" by a new technology feature, it is important to ensure that the new technology either improves accessibility or is compatible
with existing assistive computer technology. For example, web-authoring software programs that erect barriers in their coding of webpages fall under this
scrutiny. 

Lastly, OCR states that when an entity selects software programs and/or hardware equipment not adaptable for people with disabilities, "the subsequent
substantial expense of providing access is not generally regarded as an undue burden when such cost could have been significantly reduced by considering the
issue of accessibility at the time of the initial selection." (Page 2, 1997 Letter) Therefore, all technology improvements must take into account the removal of
barriers and ensure that new barriers to access do not occur. Covered entities preparing to retrofit their web sites need to be aware of this issue. 

III. City of San Jose World Wide Web Page Accessibility Standard 

In response to the monitoring of ADA Internet complaints and the need to incorporate City ADA implementation policies, the City of San Jose Web Page
Disability Access Design Standard was developed in 1996. (See http://www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/oaacc/disacces.html) By integrating the requirements of the
ADA and applying Universal principles, we have ensured the widest public access to City government information and services. Currently these standards are
being incorporated into our web site and are subject to change as technology advances to solve these problems and integrate access tool kits in web- authoring
tools. 

By June 1996 seven minimum requirements were identified to ensure web accessibility: 

1. Provide an Access Instruction Page for Visitors (includes email hyperlink for visitors to communicate problems with web page accessibility) 
2. Provide support for text browsers 
3. Attach "Alt" tags to graphic images so that screenreaders can identify the graphic 
4. Hyperlink photographs with descriptive text "D" 
5. Caption all audio and video clips by using "CC" hyperlinks 
6. Provide alternative mechanisms for on-line forms (such as email or voice/TTY phone numbers) 
7. Avoid access barriers such as the posting of documents in PDF, table, newspaper or frame format or requiring visitors to download software. If posting in
PDF, the HTML text or ASCII file must also be posted. 

The City of San Jose web accessibility standards were adopted by the Board of Supervisors for the County of Santa Clara in March 1997 and have been
designated as a "best practices" model by the League of California Cities as well as the federal government. Named to the "Top 25 Women on the Web" by
Webgrrls International, I am pleased to support the efforts of the technology industry to extend the benefits of the Web to the global community. With the
launch in April 1997 of the Web Accessibility Initiative by the World Wide Web Consortium, hopefully web accessibility will soon become as common as an
accessible building. Recently, the first draft guidelines for an international protocol was announced (see http://www.w3.org/Press/19948/WAI-Guide) and a
free web accessibility diagnostic has been upgraded to perform validation of web pages (see http://www.cast.org/bobby). 

Conclusion 

Without the application of ADA requirements to the Internet, new barriers to effective communication and global commerce will be erected that will have a
discriminatory impact upon individuals with disabilities. Accessible web design should be mandated so that everyone, regardless of age or disability, or the
limitations of their computer equipment, can participate in the benefits of the World Wide Web. 

Additional Resources: 

"Electronic Curbcuts: How to Build an Accessible Web Site" by Leslie M. Campbell and Cynthia D. Waddell, CAPED Communique, California Association
on Postsecondary Education and Disability, Spring 1997 http:// www.prodworks.com/ilf/w5bcw.htm 

"Electronic Curbcuts for Government Web Sites: Making Your Web Site Accessible" by Cynthia D. Waddell, ADA Update, Fall 1997, National League of
Cities 

Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium http://www.w3.org/WAI/ 

Bobby, a web site that will perform a free accessibility diagnostic and make suggestions http://www.cast.org/bobby/ 

Starling Access Services- a web site that provides excellent tools for webmasters http://www.igs.net/~starling/acc/index.htm 

More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board,
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council; National Academy Press 1997 Full text posted at
http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/screen 

Return to EASI Home page 





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