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RE: Further Comment on ISOC / Web site - accessibility

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:17:57 -0700
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345AA67@sj-exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'ISTF Discussion'" <istf-participants@lyris.isoc.org>
Cc: "'Turnbull, Susan'" <susan.brummel@gsa.gov>, "'Brewer, Judy'" <Jbrewer@W3.org>, "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@W3.org>
Ms. Maxwell-
I am very glad to hear about ISOC's commitment to address accessible web
design.  There is a growing clamor in the international arena to face this
universal design issue and to arrive at solutions so that everyone can
access the World Wide Web.  As Susan Brummel Turnbull of USGSA said back in
1994, the benefits of applying universal design means that information
systems can be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest
range of users of computers and telecommunications equipment, regardless of
age or disability.  

I encourage you to contact Judy Brewer of the W3C Web Accessibility
Initiative for resources and assistance in your effort.  Those of us
involved in this effort are keenly aware of the challenges but also know
that in the end the credibility and growth of the World Wide Web will be
undermined and left to a privileged, select population if we do not address
universal design.

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)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX

-----Original Message-----
From: christine maxwell [mailto:maxwell@aix.pacwan.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 4:04 AM
To: ISTF Discussion
Subject: Further Comment on ISOC / Web site - accessibility

I have just posted this note to the Internet Society Membership discussion
list.  But since the issue of accessiblity is also very much a topic of
keen interest on ISTF, I have also posted it here.

 I just wanted to clarify and make sure that people clearly understand
ISOC's position with regard to making really significant improvements to
the Internet Society's Web site's accessibility - and indeed to the
creation of any web pages that are created under the Internet Society's

We need people to understand that any redesign will be undertaken with
accessibility for the disabled as a core consideration.  A redesign of the
Web site is actually also the only way that we can really do this right. We
can make quick  fixes to the current site on an ad hoc basis, but as many
of you have  seen the  existing page framework is not "Bobby compliant" on
the most basic level.
 Further, making the necessary changes on a page-by-page basis would prove
 to be prohibitively difficult and time-consuming.

We are in the beginning stages of giving careful thought to the redesign
 effort of the Internet Society web site.  We will certainly be solititing
ideas and input from our Chapters as well as the individual membership in
this whole process.  Also, When we are a a bit further along, we would like
to invite experts in special user issues and members of the disabled
community to discuss and virtually or in reality, meet with our Web master
so that he can get a much better feel  for what their concerns are and what
today's technology offers from a  user's perspective. It's easy enough to
ensure that any new site is  "Bobby-compliant", but this would allow
witnessing first-hand some of the  issues and concerns that might not
otherwise be apparent to our Webmaster.

As Director of communications for the Internet Society, I (and I know I
speak for our Executive Director and Webmaster as well) am of the view that
this issue is too important for us to simply give lip  service to appease
those who complain today - we must take the lead in
 implementing those features of greatest benefit while not compromising the
 appearance of the site for other users. If we do this, everyone will be
 happy - all users can benefit from the site, and we can benefit from taking
 the lead on an important issue in keeping with our Internet Society
(see: http://www.isoc.org/welcome/whatdo.html).

Thank you for your ongoing patience in this regard.
Kind regards to you all.

Christine Maxwell
Vice Chairman and VP Communications
Received on Wednesday, 27 October 1999 12:15:02 UTC

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