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ADA FTA Complaint re Inaccessible Web Site

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 12:59:51 -0800
Message-ID: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD8830345AB31@sj-exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Multiple Recipients of List'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Members of the list may recall that an administrative ADA web site complaint
was filed against the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)for
failure to incorporate accessible web design elements into their web site.

According to the response by MTC, "MTC intends that the websites it creates
are readable by screen readers and browsers utilized by people with visual
disabilities.  With the assistance of MTC's Elderly and Disabled Advisory
Committee (EDAC), MTC staff has identified improvements to these websites
necessary to assist people with visual impairments to better navigate the
sites.  Many of the improvements have already been, or are scheduled to be,
implemented.  To the extent that a specific screen reader or browser in
combination may have difficulty with reading a particular MTC website, MTC
is prepared to provide the same information in formats usable by persons
with visual impairments (e.g. audio tape, Braille)."

I am enclosing a copy of the response by MTC regarding their response.  This
is a public document.

Cynthia D. Waddell

-----------------------------------------------


October 7, 1999

Ms. Roberta Wolgast
ADA IHU Leader
Office of Civil Rights
FTA 400 
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

Ms. Mary-Elizabeth Peters
Equal Opportunity Specialist
Office of Civil Rights
FTA 400 
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

RE:	FTA Complaint No. 98259

Dear Ms. Wolgast and Ms. Peters:

I am writing on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission ("MTC")
in response to Ms. Wolgast's subject letter, dated September 2, 1999 and
received at MTC offices on September 21, 1999. 

MTC maintains that its websites are not operated in any manner that would
constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
("ADA") or any applicable Department of Transportation ("DOT") ADA
Regulations. 

MTC intends that the websites it creates are readable by screen readers and
browsers utilized by people with visual disabilities. With the assistance of
MTC's Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee (EDAC), MTC staff has
identified improvements to these web sites necessary to assist people with
visual impairments to better navigate the sites. Many of the improvements
have already been, or are scheduled to be, implemented. To the extent that a
specific screen reader or browser in combination may have difficulty with
reading a particular MTC website, MTC is prepared to provide the same
information in  formats usable by persons with visual impairments (e.g.
audio tape, Braille).  

MTC's TransLink(r) demonstration project, funded with federal support, is
still in its design and build stage. It will fully comply with applicable
ADA regulations. Further, MTC staff has actively sought the participation of
members of the disability community, through EDAC, including the visually
impaired, in order to ensure its accessibility for all users.  It is our
intent to continue to seek full participation of the disability community
throughout the planning and implementation stages of the project.

EDAC was first established in 1991, succeeding an earlier group established
in 1976, and has advised MTC in transportation issues relevant to elderly
and disabled persons. A copy of Attachment A to MTC Resolution No. 2276,
which outlines the roles, tasks, membership and meetings of EDAC, is
attached for your information (Attachment 1). 

Also attached pursuant to your request are:

Attachment 2. Copies of correspondence between MTC and Mr. Tamez. MTC staff
and EDAC have actually sought Mr. Tamez's assistance in helping review MTC's
website for readability by the visually impaired. Mr. Tamez uses a screen
reader program called "JAWS." However, it is important that issues such as
website accessibility are addressed comprehensively and not on an ad hoc
basis in response to a single complainant with a specific screen reader or
browser. 

Attachment 3. Copies of recent agendas for MTC's EDAC meetings where MTC's
websites were discussed. EDAC meets every other month and not only receives
staff briefings, but also provides staff with guidance and recommendations. 

Attachment 4. TransLink(r) Design Review Guidelines dated August 18, 1999
and conformed contract documents for the TransLink(r) project dated June
1999.  

Attachment 5. A memorandum from MTC project manager Russell Driver, dated
October 4, 1999, describing the TransLink(r) design/build phase of the
project and consultation efforts with representatives of the disability
community in regards to the project design. 

MTC staff is continually upgrading MTC's websites and intends to further
improve accessibility as more advanced tools and techniques become
available. MTC staff would be pleased to provide you or your staff with a
tour of its websites, to respond to any questions you have about the
operations of any of MTC's websites, or to review in greater detail the
design and future operation of the TransLink(r) demonstration project.

	Very truly yours, 


	Francis Chin
	General Counsel

FC: lt
Attachments
cc: 	Lawrence D. Dahms
	Steve Heminger
---------------------------------------------------
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 
Received on Friday, 19 November 1999 15:56:39 GMT

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