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bart web page

From: Kelly Pierce <kelly@ripco.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 22:59:51 -0600 (CST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, Trace information access list <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Message-ID: <Pine.SV4.4.05.9903012258190.10862-100000@foley.ripco.com>

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 18:20:24 -0800
From: BART Webmaster <webmaster@bart.gov>
To: JEANNANDI@aol.com
Cc: Denero@aol.com, Marty <denero_M@vta.org>, Waddell@aol.com,
     Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>,
     Barbara Rhodes <brhodes@pacbell.net>, jgammon@uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     kelly@ripco.com, Lainey.Feingold@aol.com, Esq. <Lfeingold@california.net>,
     Randy Tamez <r_tamez@pacbell.net>, ssander@BART.dst.ca.us
Subject: Re: bart web page

Mr. Pierce:

I appreciate your continued input on our current efforts to make the
BART website more accessible. Although there appears to be omissions in
the WAI, we are continuing to implement it's recommendations as
described in previous emails to you, Jean and initially Jim.  I include
our previous correspondence here so that everyone can benefit from the
background if they don't already have it:

> Subject:	Re: BART website feedback
> Date:		Tue, 16 Feb 1999 19:08:10 -0800
> From: 	BART Webmaster <webmaster@bart.gov>
> Organization: Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
> To: 		kelly@ripco.com

> Thank you for taking the time to comment on the BART website.  As you've
> discovered, some pages of the website are more accessible than others
> right now.  We are currently updating the entire site to meet new
> accessibility standards, and our work is not yet complete. We are
> literally working from page to page, section to section.  We are also
> making sure that any new pages we add meet the new standards as well.
> 
> We are using guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium's
> (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The W3C is the international
> industry and academic group that sets Internet standards.  The WAI is
> the authoritative reference for website accessibility. Their work is
> further described at http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH/.  I expect
> the entire BART website to conform to current WAI standards by mid
> March.
> 
> Regarding the secure site for ticket sales, some browsers (especially
> older ones) cannot access HTTPS.  Because of the potential for fraud and
> other crime, electronic transactions must be conducted on a secure
> server. For browsers that do not have this capability, we offer tickets
> mail at http://www.bart.gov/riding/tickets/mail.htm .
> 
> Incidentally, your Lynx browser can be upgraded: Although it is not
> distributed with built-in encryption, you can add on software that
> allows it to interact with with SSL and HTTPS. Please see
> http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/%7Ejeffwong/lynxstuff/SSL/index.html for
> more information.
> 
> Thanks again for contacting us.
> 
> >
> > ********************
> > The following Feedback about the website was submitted.
> > ********************
> >
> > First Name : kelly pierce
> > E Mail : kelly@ripco.com
> > Subject : your home page
> > URL:    I am a blind computer user surfing the web with Lynx version 2.8.
> > the Lynx on your page do not have alt tags, or text describing what they
> > are.  Additionally, there is no way to order fare cards over the internet
> > for browsers that do not support https url's.  Lynx does not support https
> > urls.  I believe that the lack of usability is a denial of access to your
> > program because of my disability.  I encourage BART to correct this
> > situation.


Kelly, I hope other websites that don't currently follow WAI
recommendations take the same initiative BART has. We also need your
feedback in order for this to work. But please note: We're still
implementing the recommendations, including those that address
proprietary formats (like PDF and ShockWave). We will be offering
alternatives to such formats and avoid other non-standard features
(including elements, attributes, properties, etc. only supported by a
specific browser type) on the timetable I previously mentioned.

Regarding secure servers: Sorry for suggesting the SSL fix -- I didn't
have the shell access detail. I've been reviewing conversations at the
w3c-wai-ig@w3.org Mail Archives looking for more information and all
alternatives such as unsecured connections, open email, email with PGP
public key encryption, phone, dedicated voice mail boxes and fax. You
raise an important issue and I need more information to formulate an
appropriate response. We will get back to you next week with the when
and how.  I wanted to get back to you today, however, to let you know
what we're doing in the meantime.

Back to the WAI work: I initially believed it would be complete in
mid-March. Now it appears we'll be done before then.  This will resolve
many accessibility issues at the BART website, but Jean is right: We
can't operate in a vacuum. You're welcome to troubleshoot the site now. 
However, I hope you and others will take the time to visit after WAI
work is complete. This way you can help identify any issues that might
remain.

Jean, as I said a few days ago, I'll let you know when the WAI work is
done and I hope you'll pass word to the ABC. In the meantime, if anyone
has questions, please feel free to call me at the number below or email
me directly.

Thanks again.


JEANNANDI@aol.com wrote:
> 
> Mr. Moore:  I keep learning more and more myself about what is needed by
> persons with different disabilities.  I hope you will take a close look at
> this and communicate with Mr. Pierce and us as well about these matters.
> His
> solutions seem workable to me--if you don't think they are, please explain.
> Also, it is important that you be TALKING to the folks who will be using
> your
> product, not just reading a manual.
> Thank you very much,
> Sincerely,
> Jean Nandi, member of the Access BART Coalition
> 
> In a message dated 99-02-17 23:26:54 EST, you write:
> 
> << Subj:         bart web page
>  Date:  99-02-17 23:26:54 EST
>  From:  kelly@ripco.com (Kelly Pierce)
>  To:    denero_M@vta.org (Denero, Marty (VTA)), cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us
> (Waddell, Cynthia), brhodes@pacbell.net (Barbara Rhodes),
> brhodes@pacbell.net,
> JEANNANDI@aol.com (JEANNANDI), jgammon@uclink4.berkeley.edu
> 
>  The WAI guidelines are a good start.  However, there are some omissions
>  in the wai guidelines.  One of these is the use of PDF files.  Screen
>  readers cannot read these files with speech synthesis.  The files must be
>  converted into an ASCII text file with a conversion utility.  the
>  resulting product is inferior to that for the non-disabled.  If you want
>  to check it out for yourself, you can go to http://www.access.adobe.com
>  and type in the url of BART's strategic plan, which is on the site.  You
>  can also download the file and send it as a Mime attachment to
>  pdf2txt@sun.trace.wisc.edu.  The strategic plan is not available in html,
>  the universal language on the web.  The only explanation BART has for
>  this is that PDF files are "designed for printing."  Printing for whom?
>  Those who are blind and cannot read the print?  There is no explanation
>  why there is not an html version of the strategic plan on the site.
> 
>  Yes, tickets by mail is an option.  However, it does not provide the
>  convenience, ease and immediacy of the web.  Tickets by mail does not
>  accept credit cards, unlike the online ordering facility, and one must
>  submit a copy of a driver's license or state id.  These are additional
>  burdens that are not part of the online ordering system.
> 
>  Mr. Moore completely mis-states what is technically possible.  Lynx users
>  who are not using the Windows 95 version of the program and are running it
>  on a Unix shell cannot add on additional options and recompile the program
>  themselves.  One's Internet service provider must do this.  He repeatedly
>  makes the point that Lynx is an older browser.  Of course it is.  However,
>  when blind persons are denied access to new technology we must rely on
>  older technology until what is new today is made usable.
> 
>  There is no explanation of how the tickets by mail program can offer the
>  same ease of use as the online ordering feature.  Mr Moore does not
>  explain why a Lynx user cannot fill out the online order form without
>  providing a credit card number and sending it in and then use a dedicated
>  phone line or voice mailbox to receive the credit card information.  CDNow
>  and Amazon do it this way.  Why can't BART?
> 
>  kelly
>

-- 
Timothy J. Moore
Online Marketing Manager
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
800 Madison Street, LMA-4
Oakland, CA  94607

voice:  (510) 464-7128
fax:    (510) 464-7175
email:  webmaster@bart.gov
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 23:59:53 GMT

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