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media: aaa from a f b?

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 09:01:33 -0500
Message-ID: <009201c08157$2a8326f0$2cf60141@CP286066A>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
American Foundation for the Blind and Interliant Mark
Web Accessibility Breakthrough

DATELINE: Jan. 17, 2001

 Vice President Gore Applauds Creation of Site Featuring Enhanced
Navigability for People with Disabilities; Site to Serve as Role
Model
for
Businesses, Web Developers

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the national advocacy
organization whose mission is to eliminate the barriers faced by
the 10
million Americans who are blind or visually impaired, and
Interliant,
Inc.
(NASDAQ: INIT), a leading global application service provider,
today
announced the launch of AFB's completely redesigned Web site at
http://www.afb.org. AFB re-architected the site using the design
services of
Interliant, which will host the new site from its Vienna,
Virginia,
data
center. Vice President Al Gore praised the effort.

While people who are blind or visually impaired currently use
assistive
technologies such as screen readers and screen magnification
devices
to access the Web, most sites are not designed in such a way that
these
devices can properly read site content. The site that Interliant
designed
with AFB contains a range of features that make it compatible with
the
use of assistive devices and therefore accessible to people with
disabilities. For example, graphics are labeled with text that can
be
read
aloud by screen readers, and the site offers low vision users a
"change
colors" feature that enables them to choose the color combination
that
is easiest to read. In addition, all audio on the site is also
available in
text in order to be accessible to those who are deaf or hearing
impaired.

"I applaud the American Foundation for the Blind for helping to
make
the Internet more accessible to those who are blind or visually
impaired
as well as all people with disabilities," said Vice President Al
Gore.
"We
must eliminate the 'digital divide' for everyone in our society so
that
all
can benefit from the fruits of our technological advances."

The AFB site is unusual in that it combines complex functionality
with
an attractive visual environment and is designed to be accessible
to
people with all types of disabilities. It meets the stringent AAA
guidelines of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World
Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) established to help organizations build
Internet
sites that are accessible to people with disabilities. The AFB
site
could
also serve as a model for compliance with the newly published
accessibility standards for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
of
1998,
which require that all federal government sites providing
information
to
the public be accessible to people with disabilities, since these
standards are based on the WAI guidelines.

"Through her work with AFB, Helen Keller dedicated her life to
full
participation in society by people who are blind or visually
impaired,
and she understood early on the role technology would play in
reaching
that goal," said Carl R. Augusto, president and CEO of AFB. "We
decided to create an American Foundation for the Blind Web site in
her
honor that meets WAI's AAA guidelines and is as exciting and
interesting as any other site on the Internet. We hope that this
site
will
serve as an entryway for many Americans who, like me, want to
explore
the Web, but find inaccessible designs a barrier to participation
in
the
online community.

"Since the 1930s when we invented Talking Books, AFB has been at
the
forefront of setting new standards of access to information for
blind
and
visually impaired people," Augusto continued. "Given how critical
the
Internet has become for accessing information and for
communicating
with others, I'm thrilled to have created a site that accommodates
people
with all types of disabilities, meets AAA compliance and is
visually
appealing for sighted users."

"We're proud to be part of providing such a significant technology
advancement," said Leonard Fassler, Interliant co-chairman. "Our
work
with AFB represents a step forward in bridging the 'digital
divide' for
Americans with disabilities. And the technology used to redesign
the
AFB site can be used as a roadmap for other businesses and
organizations that want to make their sites accessible to all."
Fassler's
personal interest in the project stems from his own experience in
having
a stepdaughter who is blind.

"As a leading global application service provider, Interliant is
committed
to providing Internet innovation for all of our clients and all
end
users,"
Fassler continued. "We continually seek out new ways to bring
valuable information and solutions to as many people as possible."

The technology used to redesign the AFB site has notable
implications
for e-commerce as well as for those selling products and services
via
Web-enabled devices such as next generation cell phones and
personal
digital assistants (PDAs). The 10 million Americans who are blind
or
visually impaired represent an underserved market for e-commerce
transactions, since currently most e-commerce sites are difficult
or
impossible for blind or visually impaired people to access.
Meanwhile,
the same coding structure that is used to make Web sites
accessible for
visually impaired people helps make sites accessible to those
using
Web-enabled devices.

Through the newly designed site, AFB provides its unparalleled
wealth
of resources and information directly not only to people who are
blind
or visually impaired, but also to the professionals who serve
them,
their
friends and families and the general public. Through elements such
as a
searchable database of vision services nationwide, community
message
boards, job postings and the largest collection of Helen Keller
memorabilia on the Web, AFB helps people find the information and
services they need for enhanced quality of life.

Working with Interliant, Inc. (NASDAQ: INIT), AFB advanced its Web
accessibility using XML programming and database-driven content
management tools that are state-of-the-art. Through the work of
AFB
and Interliant, AFB now has a graphically rich site that is highly
compatible with screen readers and magnification devices, which
are
crucial to the blind and visually impaired community.

About Interliant

Interliant, Inc. (Nasdaq:INIT) is a leading global application
service
provider (ASP) and pioneer in the ASP market. Interliant's INIT
Solutions Suite includes messaging and knowledge management,
security, e-commerce, customer relationship management, enterprise
resource planning, distributed learning, Web-site hosting and
Web-based rental applications. Interliant, headquartered in
Purchase,
NY, has forged strategic alliances with the world's leading
software,
networking and hardware manufacturers including Microsoft
(Nasdaq:MSFT), Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq:DELL), Oracle
Corporation (Nasdaq:ORCL), BMC Software (Nasdaq:BMCS), Network
Solutions (Nasdaq:NSOL), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Sun Microsystems Inc.
(Nasdaq:SUNW), and Lotus Development Corp. For more information
about Interliant, visit www.interliant.com.

About AFB

The American Foundation for the Blind-the organization to which
Helen
Keller devoted over 40 years of her life-is a national nonprofit
whose
mission is to eliminate the inequities faced by the ten million
Americans
who are blind or visually impaired.

Headquartered in New York City, AFB maintains offices in Atlanta,
Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, and a governmental relations
office
in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.afb.org.

Interliant is a registered trademark and INIT Solutions Suite is a
trademark of Interliant, Inc., in the US, other countries, or
both.
Other
company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service
marks of others.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that can be
identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "believe,"
"estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "will," "plan," "forecast"
and
similar words and expressions. Such forward-looking statements
involve
risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results,
performance,
achievements and the timing of certain events to differ
significantly
from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking
statements.
Therefore, no forward-looking statement can be guaranteed.
Important
factors to consider in evaluating such forward-looking statements
include changes in external competitive market factors, changes in
Interliant's business strategy or an inability to execute
Interliant's
strategy due to unanticipated changes in its business, its
industry or
the economy in general, unforeseen difficulties in integrating
acquisitions and other factors set forth more fully in
Interliant's
Annual
Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1999
and
other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is
not
possible to foresee or identify all factors affecting Interliant's
forward-looking statements and investors therefore should not
consider
any list of factors affecting Interliant's forward-looking
statements
to be
an exhaustive statement of risks, uncertainties or potentially
inaccurate
assumptions. Interliant does not have a policy of updating or
revising
forward-looking statements, and thus it should not be assumed that
Interliant's silence over time means that actual events are
bearing out
as
expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Interliant, Inc.
Rosanne Desmone, 703/762-1759
rdesmone@interliant.com
or
American Foundation for the Blind
Liz Greco-Rocks, 212/502-7614
lgreco@afb.net
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 09:02:37 GMT

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