W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 1999

RE: URGENT: Help

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 10:53:12 -0700
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345A78D@SJ_EXCHANGE>
To: "'Francisco Godinho'" <f.godinho@mail.telepac.pt>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: guia.pasig@bigfoot.com, Dolphin - Neill McBride <support@dolphinaccess.com>, Hadar - Hans Sundstrõm <hans.sundstrom@hadar.amu.se>, CAPS - Luis Azevedo <pclma@alfa.ist.utl.pt>, IBM - SNS - Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, IBM - SNS - Jim Thatcher <thatch@us.ibm.com>, "IBM - Robert B. Mahaffey" <bmahaffe@us.ibm.com>, Javier Romañach <jromanac@dial.eunet.es>, Alexis Donnelly <Alexis.Donnelly@cs.tcd.ie>, Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y R. <sinarmaya@mx3.redestb.es>, Francisco Antonio Soeltl <fsoeltl@micropower.com.br>, Hadar - Jens Hansen <jens.hansen@hadar.amu.se>, SIVA - Massimo Ferrario <massimo.ferrario@siva.it>, WAI - Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, Ricardo Silva <rsilva@pobox.com>, "Microsoft - Gary M. Moulton" <garymo@microsoft.com>, "Microsoft - David A. Bolnick" <davebo@microsoft.com>, NCAM - Larry Goldberg <Larry_Goldberg@wgbh.org>, NCAM - Geoff Freed <Geoff_Freed@wgbh.org>, Robert Neff <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>, SIVA - Renzo Andrich <renzo.andrich@siva.it>, Sun - Earl Jonhson <earl.johnson@eng.sun.com>, Sylvie Duchateau <sduchate@hall.snv.jussieu.fr>, "Waddell, Cynthia" <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Francisco-
I have had to answer the same question from government administrators and
executives about whether or not accessible web design is expensive and
difficult.  Perhaps some of my comments can assist you.

Regarding the issue of difficulty, it is important that an accessible web
design policy be in place so that it can be implemented consistantly
throughout the organization.  Implementation requires that technical tools
and training be made available.  The initial cost will be the training of
webmasters and the development of templates for ease of management.

Regarding training of webmasters, we know that if a webmaster codes HTML
properly, they will satisfy many accessibility requirements without specific
access design training.  The problem has been the development of web
authoring software that strips accessibility out of their deliverable.  The
industry is now aware of the problem and is working to build accessibility
checkers, like spelling checkers, into the software, but it will take some
time.  Meanwhile, as webmasters continue to update their training,
accessibility can be built into their training.  As you know, the training
can be done on-line.  Currently I am recommending my webmasters to receive
training by taking the HTML Writer's Guild on-line course that begins next
month.  The cost of this commercial training is $50.  The cost would be
significantly lower if the government of Portugal entered into a group
contract for the purposes of training.

Cost is also lowered by the creation of templates created by the
organization.  For example, take a look at the State of Washington in the
USA.  Their website has posted the templates for their webmasters:
http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/  Practically speaking, a governmental
entity should develop templates so that a consistent look and feel can be
created as well as to contain cost of maintenance.  This step should be done
whether or not accessibility is addressed anyway.

As you know, many tools are available free on the Internet.  Bobby, an
automated validator, will perform an accessibility diagnostic free and even
suggest HTML code to correct the code.  Lynxviewer, HTML 4.0, CSS validators
are available free as well.  The W3C site
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools.html and the Washington State site
http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/ are excellent free resources.  Again,
even if someone were to not implement accessibility, these tools enable
clean HTML that webmasters should be doing anyway.  Each of these tools have
their limitations, but the industry and the W3C are working on solutions.

Next, I have found a significant cost savings in both time and money in
meeting government's obligations to provide communications in an accessible
format to our citizens.  For example, under US law all documents must be
accessible in an alternate format and that format could include Braille,
diskette, large print, audio-tape or email.  Whereas previously I contracted
for documents to be Brailled and audio-taped, I can now send an accessible
electronic version of the document must faster and cheaper.  Frequently I
find that I no longer have to contract for the audio-taping or Braille and I
do not have to use staff time for mail handling.  I also find that the
alternate format can be sent to the requestor in a timely manner whereas
previously audio-taping could take from 3 days to 3 weeks to prepare.  (And
if it took 3 weeks, I was paying for the time of the transcriber to do this
as well!)

The same cost savings is also applicable to employees in government with
disabilities.  Posting documents on both the Internet and Intranet have
facilitated communication within and between agencies.  By posting the
information in an accessible manner, I do not have to stop every time an
employee with a disability needs an alternate format and prepare that
document for access.  Documents posted in an accessible manner give
employees with disabilities equivalent access and enables them to continue
with their work in the same manner as those without disabilities.

Lastly, if Portugal does not address accessible web design, they will not be
able to have dynamic web pages and participate in the benefits of web-based
applications and the emerging information appliances.  As you know,
accessible web design enables the web page to be accessed by palm pilots,
internet kiosks and personal digital assistants.  More importantly,
accessible web design enables low technology to access high technology.  A
telephone browser on the server can enable someone without a computer or
modem to call the web site and listen to the content of that website.
Currently I am working on this feature for internet voting.  Government will
reap tremendous savings and increase election participation by enabling
people to vote by telephone.  This is just the beginning of the many
applications for the web, simply because the functionality found in the
assistive computer world is now being mainstreamed to create new information
appliances.

On the other hand, if accessibility is not implemented, the cost to society
will be the erection of new barriers to both people with disabilities as
well as people without the state of the art computer technology.

Good luck in your work.

Cynthia D. Waddell

---------------------------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)277-4034
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
http://www.rit.edu/~easi/webcast/cynthia.htm
http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/waddell.htm 



-----Original Message-----
From: Francisco Godinho [mailto:f.godinho@mail.telepac.pt]
Sent: Friday, July 23, 1999 3:54 AM
To: WAI Interest Group
Cc: guia.pasig@bigfoot.com; Dolphin - Neill McBride; Hadar - Hans
Sundstrõm; CAPS - Luis Azevedo; IBM - SNS - Phill Jenkins; IBM - SNS -
Jim Thatcher; IBM - Robert B. Mahaffey; Javier Romañach; Alexis
Donnelly; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y R.; Francisco Antonio Soeltl; Hadar -
Jens Hansen; SIVA - Massimo Ferrario; WAI - Judy Brewer; Ricardo Silva;
Microsoft - Gary M. Moulton; Microsoft - David A. Bolnick; NCAM - Larry
Goldberg; NCAM - Geoff Freed; Robert Neff; SIVA - Renzo Andrich; Sun -
Earl Jonhson; Sylvie Duchateau; Waddell, Cynthia
Subject: URGENT: Help
Importance: High


Dear friends,

The Portuguese law about web accessibility is ready to be
approved or rejected by the Government in few days.

This law, in Portugal, could be very important to
web accessibility in Europe and Brazil.

However, there is one question that is crucial for the decision:
Some members of the Government think that
accessible web authoring is expensive and difficult.

I have 24 hours to summarize some arguments
(one page) to overcome this lack of information.
I would be grateful if you could help me today.

In the W3C/WAI FAQs, I  found some arguments:

9. Does it cost more to make a site accessible?
http://www.w3.org/1999/05/WCAG-REC-fact.html#text

Designing a new site to be accessible should not add significantly to
development cost. Some aspects of accessibility, such as use of style
sheets, can actually reduce the costs of maintaining or updating sites, and
this benefit should increase over time as style sheets are more evenly
implemented in browsers and available as an authoring strategy in authoring
tools.

For existing sites, the ease or difficulty of making sites accessible
depends on a variety of factors, including the size of a site, the
complexity of a site, and the authoring tool that was used to make a site.
Periodic upgrades or reviews of sites can be good opportunities to review
the accessibility of sites. When compared with the broader audience that a
site is available to, and the greater usability for other users as well,
accessible sites can be cost-effective.
[end]

I think that I need more arguments.

Should I alert for the production's cost of alternative formats
like braille or audio tapes  ?

Thank you for your help
Francisco Godinho
Co-coordinator of the Petition for the Accessibility of the Portuguese
Internet
PASIG - Portuguese Accessibility Special Interest Group
http://www.acessibilidade.net/index_eng.html


---------------------------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)277-4034
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
http://www.rit.edu/~easi/webcast/cynthia.htm
http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/waddell.htm 



-----Original Message-----
From: Francisco Godinho [mailto:f.godinho@mail.telepac.pt]
Sent: Friday, July 23, 1999 3:54 AM
To: WAI Interest Group
Cc: guia.pasig@bigfoot.com; Dolphin - Neill McBride; Hadar - Hans
Sundstrõm; CAPS - Luis Azevedo; IBM - SNS - Phill Jenkins; IBM - SNS -
Jim Thatcher; IBM - Robert B. Mahaffey; Javier Romañach; Alexis
Donnelly; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y R.; Francisco Antonio Soeltl; Hadar -
Jens Hansen; SIVA - Massimo Ferrario; WAI - Judy Brewer; Ricardo Silva;
Microsoft - Gary M. Moulton; Microsoft - David A. Bolnick; NCAM - Larry
Goldberg; NCAM - Geoff Freed; Robert Neff; SIVA - Renzo Andrich; Sun -
Earl Jonhson; Sylvie Duchateau; Waddell, Cynthia
Subject: URGENT: Help
Importance: High


Dear friends,

The Portuguese law about web accessibility is ready to be
approved or rejected by the Government in few days.

This law, in Portugal, could be very important to
web accessibility in Europe and Brazil.

However, there is one question that is crucial for the decision:
Some members of the Government think that
accessible web authoring is expensive and difficult.

I have 24 hours to summarize some arguments
(one page) to overcome this lack of information.
I would be grateful if you could help me today.

In the W3C/WAI FAQs, I  found some arguments:

9. Does it cost more to make a site accessible?
http://www.w3.org/1999/05/WCAG-REC-fact.html#text

Designing a new site to be accessible should not add significantly to
development cost. Some aspects of accessibility, such as use of style
sheets, can actually reduce the costs of maintaining or updating sites, and
this benefit should increase over time as style sheets are more evenly
implemented in browsers and available as an authoring strategy in authoring
tools.

For existing sites, the ease or difficulty of making sites accessible
depends on a variety of factors, including the size of a site, the
complexity of a site, and the authoring tool that was used to make a site.
Periodic upgrades or reviews of sites can be good opportunities to review
the accessibility of sites. When compared with the broader audience that a
site is available to, and the greater usability for other users as well,
accessible sites can be cost-effective.
[end]

I think that I need more arguments.

Should I alert for the production's cost of alternative formats
like braille or audio tapes  ?

Thank you for your help
Francisco Godinho
Co-coordinator of the Petition for the Accessibility of the Portuguese
Internet
PASIG - Portuguese Accessibility Special Interest Group
http://www.acessibilidade.net/index_eng.html
Received on Friday, 23 July 1999 13:51:09 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 5 February 2014 07:13:33 UTC