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media:American Council of the Blind Endorses HiSoftware Company Cynthia Says (TM) and AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM) Edition as excellent resources for testing web site accessibility

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 13:25:06 -0400
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <00ed01c31fbd$ed1e45d0$6401a8c0@handsontech>



http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030521/new016_1.html

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Charles Crawford, Executive Director
ccrawford@acb.org

American Council of the Blind Endorses HiSoftware Company Cynthia Says (TM)
and AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM) Edition as excellent resources for testing
web site accessibility

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2003 -- The American Council of the Blind (ACB) today
announced that, as the leading organization of blind and visually impaired
Americans, ACB endorses and recommends HiSoftware Company solutions Cynthia
Says (TM) as well as AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM), as excellent tools for
guaranteeing that web sites will be accessible to people who are blind and
visually impaired.
"Because of their scalability, cost effectiveness, and usefulness in web
site accessibility testing," says ACB President Christopher Gray, of San
Francisco, Calif., "these products offer a wonderful, affordable solution to
web masters for making their sites accessible to people with disabilities."

HiSoftware Company, Inc. launched Cynthia Says (TM) in March of 2003, in
cooperation with the International Center for Disability Resources on the
Internet, and the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter.
Cynthia Says (TM) provides testing of web sites for compliance with Section
508 and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web accessibility standards. Cynthia
Says (TM) tests web sites and reports accessibility issues immediately
through simple and easy-to-understand web browser based reports.

According to Robert B. Yonaitis, HiSoftware President and CEO, "The goal of
this service is to provide a well-supported accessibility validation tester
for those who need to test a page and to expose them to the underlying
technology and the benefits of using the technology."

Through its endorsement, the American Council of the Blind will also be
promoting the downloadable version of the software, AccVerify Cynthia Says
(TM) Edition. This solution, which is available at no cost to all K-12
schools and at a nominal cost to others, helps educate and assist web
content developers to make their Internet content accessible to computer
users who rely on assistive software, such as screen-reading and
magnification programs and refreshable Braille displays, to access
information on their computer screens.
"HiSoftware Company is pleased and honored that our solutions were selected
for recommendation by the ACB," said HiSoftware CEO Yonaitis. "Our customers
recognize the importance of complying with accessibility standards on their
web sites so that the information they provide is available to everyone
regardless of physical ability. Cynthia Says (TM) enables anyone to test a
web page, and it also educates the tester about the underlying technology
behind accessibility and promotes accessible web design."

"In selecting HiSoftware Company and its products, ACB specifically sought a
company with qualities and solutions that make them leaders in web
accessibility testing," says ACB President Gray. "Cynthia Says (TM) helps
users to ensure that their web sites have the functionality needed for a
diverse population of user needs and preferences."

ACB Executive Director Charlie Crawford, of Silver Spring, Md., added, "We
are very impressed by this tool. A web master can get immediate feedback
about the accessibility of a site. There's no waiting around for any kind of
external endorsement and virtually no additional expense involved in
determining whether a person with a disability can access the information
presented on the screen. This is good news for people with disabilities, and
for all the entities out there who want people with disabilities to have
access to what they have to offer via the web. Cynthia Says (TM) is easy to
use, and we find that it provides clear and easily understood reports. We
believe that this much-needed online tool will help fill the accessibility
gap which blind computer users experience so often when their screen readers
refuse to 'read' the graphics, tables, or other visual displays on a
computer screen. We all look forward to a day when surfing the Internet will
be just as easy for people who have disabilities as it is for the more
typical computer users out there."

Cynthia Says (TM) allows users to quickly receive an immediate "pass/fail"
for automated checks of their web site accessibility along with direct links
to the technical rule passed or violated. It also directs and assists users
to validate human testing requirements as required. Accessibility issues are
detected within web sites from web-based applications, dynamic pages, or
static HTML pages. Cynthia Says (TM) utilizes HiSoftware's AccMonitor Server
technology and deploys USER Agents (crawlers/scanners) to collect individual
page or dynamic page accessibility data. This information is then sent to
the central server where actual accessibility verification is performed. The
output of the accessibility verification results in easy-to-read reports
that can then be viewed securely over the Internet through a user's own web
browser. More information is available at http://www.cynthiasays.com.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Engineering Society of
Detroit selected HiSoftware Company as the 2002 recipient of the prestigious
da Vinci Award for Electronics and Information Technology. The da Vinci
awards were developed to recognize individuals, organizations, and
corporations in the engineering, construction, and technical realms whose
design innovations have improved accessibility, and empowered people,
regardless of their physical ability.
Since its launch in March of 2003, Cynthia Says (TM) has been used to test
over one million web pages around the world. Cynthia Says (TM) was used as
an educational tool to demonstrate accessibility issues with Scotland's
national election. See: http://www.dmag.org.uk/election/details.asp.

About the American Council of the Blind
The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization
whose purpose is to work toward independence, security, equality of
opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually
impaired people. Founded in 1961, ACB's members work through more than 70
state and special-interest affiliates to improve the well-being of all blind
and visually impaired people by: serving as a representative national
organization; elevating the social, economic and cultural levels of blind
people; improving educational and rehabilitation facilities and
opportunities; cooperating with public and private institutions and
organizations concerned with blind services; encouraging and assisting all
people with severely impaired vision to develop their abilities, and
conducting a public education program to promote greater understanding of
blindness. To learn more about the Council's work, visit the organization's
web site at http://www.acb.org, listen to ACB Radio online at
www.acbradio.org, or contact the national office in Washington, DC at (202)
467-5081.

About HiSoftware
HiSoftware Company, the leader in enterprise content quality management
solutions, provides innovative products that empower quality assurance
teams, content developers, web site architects, and company executives to
work collaboratively on their efforts to create and manage corporate web
standards for accessibility, privacy, searchability, usability and custom
guidelines and policies. HiSoftware's integrated, full life cycle solutions
dramatically reduce the time required to test, manage and deploy e-business
web sites.
HiSoftware works closely with industry leaders and visionaries to provide
solutions for today's information accessibility, content quality, search and
retrieval needs. HiSoftware's customers represent Fortune 500 companies and
many of the largest e-commerce, government, and educational sites in North
America and around the world and include ChevronTexaco, Commerce One,
Mercury Interactive, and Microsoft Government.
Founded in 1998, HiSoftware Company maintains North American corporate
headquarters in Concord, N.H. Further information about HiSoftware can be
found online at www.hisoftware.com.
Received on Wednesday, 21 May 2003 13:26:42 GMT

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