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RE: discouraging news from ToolBook and MIT

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 11:35:11 -0700
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345A7A5@SJ_EXCHANGE>
To: "'Rafael Romero'" <Rafael.Romero@uv.es>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Mr. Romero-
If you have the opportunity to further discuss accessibility and online
learning with American entities or personnel, I recommend that you invite
them to read my paper "The Growing Digital Divide in Access for People with
Disabilities:  Overcoming Barriers to Participation."  The paper discusses
disability rights laws in long-distance learning that responsible programs
need to address.  The paper was commissioned for the first national
conference on the impact of the digital economy convened by the White House.
The paper is found at http://www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov/access/waddell.htm 

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: Rafael Romero [mailto:Rafael.Romero@uv.es]
Sent: Monday, July 26, 1999 11:15 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: discouraging news from ToolBook and MIT


Hello, I was attending a conference about Online Learning in Cheltenham last
21-22 july at the UK.

After Prof John Williams <http://ken.mit.edu/jrweb/> from MIT (Massachusetts
Institute of Technology) explained the strategical importance of online
learning courses for the future of the institute and the new applications
they were developing I went to him privately to ask if they were considering
accesibility issues in the new developments. He kindly explained to me that

1. W3 pages themselves do not comply with WAI accessibility standards
2. Accesibility for disabled was not a priority for them in these moments.

Afterwards he accepted a WAI Quick Tips card that I handed to him.

Later on in the public presentation of Toolbook latest version (v. 7) there
was a very similar situation. TB 7 is used to develop multimedia educational
software, that now is also directly exported to html and java formats. I
asked publicly to Mr Claude Ostyn, the general director of Asymetrix, if
they were considering accesibility issues in the html code generated by
their application.

He also kindly explained to me and the rest of the public that

1. W3 pages themselves do not comply with WAI accessibility standards
2. Accesibility for disabled was not a priority in these moments and they
were not going to delay the launch of TB 7 for these issues.

I was a bit surprised because Mr Ostyn had previously mentioned the
potential of web for reaching many types of users, including those with
disabilities and he is himself a member of one W3 group working in
standardisation of Online Learning Materials (or something similar).

The question of W3 pages not complying themselves to accesibility standards
seems to be a recurrent excuse for some people for not promoting/enforcing
the guidelines in their own institutional webs and applications. 

Pity. Isn't it?

Best regards, Rafael Romero.


PS: URL of conference was http://online.chelt.ac.uk/ole99/ but that is not
relevant to the message and currently it is not working. Hopefully it will
soon be available again in case anyone is interested in the whole list of
speakers.
Received on Monday, 26 July 1999 14:33:07 UTC

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