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Re: Accessible web content services

From: William R Williams <wrwilliams@fs.fed.us>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 12:17:49 -0700
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFDE3EE4DD.18763ED8-ON88256EE0.00660453-88256EE0.006A006C@notes.fs.fed.us>

I would second Tina's opinions on the ITTATC project and website;
furthermore, it's existence -- at least for me -- underscores the very
problem stated in the initial message of this thread. In my words, where is
a credible list of web development companies, developers and designers that
genuinely understand accessibility issues?

The "About Us" page at ITTATC contains, in part, the following statement:

"The Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center
(ITTATC) is charged with providing accessibility training and technical
assistance related to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255
of the Telecommunications Act."


I realize the above statement is taken out of context, but it leaves me
wondering where that leaves "The 508 Universe" at the U.S. General Services
Administration. Their "508 Training" pages explains that:

"The 508 Universe serves as a central hub for GSA's section 508 training
and information resources. In it you can access each of the topic-specific
courses that address 508 implementation as well as explore Web links and a
glossary of 508-related terms."


... and on and on we go -- people make their own interpretations of the
guidelines; the feds contract with various groups, piecemeal, to establish
guidance and training. There is no universal approach within the feds --
nothing that comes near to universal access. Many private companies, in my
experience, think web development consists of simply launching a program
and slamming out a site that functions (and looks pretty). Some think
"Bobby" approval is fine; others believe Cynthia or A-Prompt (or the
multitudes of other accessibility checkers) are appropriate.

And it's a headache to convince managers, etc. that accessibility matters.
Heck, people are still sending out pdfs containing text as scanned images.
Meanwhile, the .govs run wild.

Just who is running the show?

An earlier message in this thread, I think from Christophe, included a link
to a section of The EuroAccessibility Consortium website:


I think we all know that the Section 508 requirements only result in a
minimal level of accessibility. I strongly believe the U.S. needs a
comparable group, perhaps a sister organization to the European initiative,
that could promote accessible design in an objective, unified manner.
Anyone in favor of "www.usaaccessibility.org"? (Stated somewhat with tongue
in cheek.)

It just may be the answer.

Bill Williams

             Tina Holmboe                                                  
             et>                                                        To 
             Sent by:                  w3c-wai-ig@w3.org                   
             w3c-wai-ig-reques                                          cc 
                                       Re: Accessible web content services 
             07/29/2004 08:27                                              
             Please respond to                                             

On 29 Jul, Jim Thatcher wrote:

> Hi Ineke,
>> I should not be happy to be listed in such a page.
> You are welcome to that opinion. ITTATC is funded by the US Department of
> Education to support Section 508. They do important work in that area.
> web site may not be perfect but it is usable by people who are blind and

  Is it ? A mere cursory glance at the "homepage" presents me with a
  list of "Read more"'s. Am I the only one who uses tools that create
  summary lists of links in a document ? I don't think so.

  Besides which: accessibility isn't restricted to the blind. I could
  imagine that quite a few people would benefit from, for instance, a
  tool to extract and present paragraphs. That'll be hard on ITTATC's
  site - they don't seem to *have* any paragraphs - nor any headers.

  Yet another example of "Do as I say, not as I do" to show off for
  people wanting to learn about accessibility ?

 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
   [+46] 0708 557 905
Received on Thursday, 29 July 2004 15:27:25 UTC

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