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RE: The Sad State Of Accessibility On Municipal Websites

From: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 07:40:23 -0400
Message-ID: <1A729C6059E7CD4CA1DFE3985E6004210623AAC2@fth-ex02.CVNS.corp.covansys.com>
To: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Joe Clark said:

> 89% of 408 California municipal Web sites surveyed flunked Priority 1 
> (in automated testing).

I'm suprised that 11% passed. I build Web applications for public sector
clients on a daily basis. In every Request for Proposal that we get,
there are accessibility requirements, but they are never given any kind
of priority when it comes to awarding the job. And, quite often, you can
tell that the client really has no clue as to what accessibility is all
about. I hear and read this phrase way too often:

"Must be compliant with the ADA Section 508 Guidelines."

The sad thing is, our salespeople refer to accessibility the same way.
They are equally as clueless. The simple fact of the matter is that
goverment agencies are required to mandate accessibility as a
requirement, but they have little idea of what it is all about. 

This does not mean that everyone working for a government agency is
clueless, because I know for a fact that the State of Connecticut put
all of its Webmasters through accessibility training a few years ago.
The point is that most people working in the real world working on Web
sites simply don't care about accessibility -- because they don't need
to. Quite a few know that, to some degree, it's an issue, but there is
no mechanism, no driving force in place that actually makes them want to
learn the intricacies and be compliant.

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Randal Rust
Covansys Corp.
Columbus, OH
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 2004 07:40:54 UTC

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