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RE: final report of the Web-Based Education Commission

From: Robert Neff <rneff@bbnow.net>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 11:19:34 -0500
To: <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>, "'Uaccess-L'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: <sec508@trace.wisc.edu>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
PDF's use depends upon your business requirements.  NOT everyone has a need
for it. however, there are great usages for it.  Espscially to collate
multiple formats into one document and to ensure documents are printable
across multiple printers and it is device independent where you just need
the reader.

adobe has worked hard to educate the community on the base documents's
accessibility needs in that if the document is generate properly then it
will convert easily to PDF for viewing and reading as well as converting to
text or HTML.

unfortunately the blame is attributed to PDF, when the web masters could
have easily offered mulitple fomrats for example, posted a text and the
document in its native format.

i also wonder if the native document was proplery constructed with the use
of headings?

it is still going to take web folks and agencies time to procure the proper
tools and to be educated on the process so it becomes second nature.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Michael R. Burks
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 11:24 AM
To: 'Uaccess-L'
Cc: sec508@trace.wisc.edu; WAI Interest Group
Subject: final report of the Web-Based Education Commission

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

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.


Mike Burks
Webmaster and Public Information Officer
Received on Thursday, 9 August 2001 12:12:07 UTC

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