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Re: ZDNet News Story on Accessible Web Authoring

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 08:05:12 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990419080512.009c0260@localhost>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 10:49 PM 4/18/99 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>ZDNet has a front-page story today -- their "monday eye opener"
>(yes, it's Sunday as I write this), declaring:
>
>'Handicapped access' hits the Web
>
>4:00 PM PT
>
>Next month, the feds will unveil standards for its suppliers to
>make sure their sites are fully accessible to the disabled. But
>commercial sites may feel the impact, too.

Actually, the EITAAC finishes its work next month, but official federal
standards for Section 508 are months away. For more accurate information,
see the Access Board's site at http://www.access-board.gov/.

>I can never get ZDNet URLs to quote correctly, but you may be
>able to find a link to this at http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/
>
>I'm happy to see some coverage of this but slightly amused at
>the idea that it's hitting the web _now_; where have these
>people been for the last few years? :)
>
>Anyway, does anyone know if the "standards" refered to are the
>WAI standards and the US goverment is going to adopt them once
>they are officially released as W3C recommendation, or if the
>'US Access Board' is planning to release their _own_ set of
>standards which may or may not cover the same thing as the W3C
>sanctioned ones?

The US Access Board will release Section 508 standards at some point in the
future, to address accessibility of electronic and information technology
as defined under Section 508. Those standards may or may not in some way
reference W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WAI is a participant
in the EITAAC, however that does not automatically imply adoption of W3C
Guidelines, nor can I speak on behalf of the EITAAC.

- Judy

>[In my opinion, a separate "standard" would be a disaster; adoption
>of the WAI WCAG or a _priorities-based_ subset of those is the
>only sensible thing to do, and I hope it's what the "feds" are
>up to.  The story does not seem to say explicitly, although it
>does quote Judy Brewer a lot.]
>
>--
>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>Become AWARE of Web Accessibility!                  http://aware.hwg.org/
>Next Speaking Engagement:  FedWeb 1999      http://www.kynn.com/+fedweb99
>April is Web Accessibility Month!           http://www.kynn.com/+hwgapril
>
----------
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Monday, 19 April 1999 08:06:05 GMT

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