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final report of the Web-Based Education Commission

From: Michael R. Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 12:24:19 -0400
To: "'Uaccess-L'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: <sec508@trace.wisc.edu>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NEBBJFEIALPLCLHAPJAIAELDEDAA.mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Published on December 19 and recently placed online by the US Department
of Education, the final report of the Web-Based Education Commission
(WBEC) constitutes the "most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of
education and the Internet." Chaired by Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, the
WEBC urged the new administration and Congress to fully embrace
e-learning, address gaps in Internet access, and revise certain
regulations that they believe impede innovation. Users can read the full
text of the 169-page report in its entirety or in five parts in .pdf
format.

Even though the report at: <http://www.ed.gov/offices/AC/WBEC/FinalReport/>
appears to have up before section 508 took effect, I find it an interesting
commentary on how the commission really feels about access to education for
people with disabilties, that this report is available only in PDF format.
This is one of the most inaccessible formats possible.  Even with the newer
reader many people still have issues with PDF.  It is a format that is
designed for printing and should never be the only format available.

This says to me, that they really don't care and the commission, by allowing
this, shows great contempt for the issues involving people with disabilties
and distance education.  PDF files are easy to make, too bad they could not
take the extra time to make the report accessible.  I personally hate PDF
files, they are hard for me to read and to navigate.  I find it incredibly
contemptuous of this commission to post the report in this format alone.

Sincerely,

Mike Burks
Webmaster and Public Information Officer
www.icdri.org
Received on Thursday, 9 August 2001 06:34:27 GMT

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