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Re: Amazon.com Web Accessibility Agreement

From: Horacio Soares <horacio.soares@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 14:13:32 -0300
Message-ID: <9cf9ce270703311013rc0f3fe8r4e06bbb0319ab1ed@mail.gmail.com>
To: cynthia.waddell@icdri.org
Cc: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I am very happy with this initiative and congratulations for all
involved... Amazon.com is always a safety benchmark.

But I have question: wy this exclusive focus on the visual deficiency?
What about the others? And the usability and Web Standards problem?


Horácio Pastor Soares
INTERNATIVA - Artigos e Negócios

On 3/30/07, Cynthia Waddell <cynthia.waddell@icdri.org> wrote:
> Everyone-
> Partly in response to the NFB v. Target lawsuit advocacy, the announcement
> below has been made regarding the Amazon.com website.  The International
> Center for Disability Resources on the Internet is posting both the
> agreement and the press release at our website at www.icdri.org.
> The NFB and Amazon Agreement in particular states in part:
> A.       Amazon commits to work to provide Full and Equal Access on
> Amazon.com and Syndicated Store Web Sites, to the extent such access is not
> already available, by no later than December 31,2007 and continuing
> thereafter.
> B.       Amazon commits to work to implement technical measures, to the
> extent any are necessary, no later than June 30, 2008 and continuing
> thereafter, so as to ensure that third parties to whom Amazon delivers
> e-commerce services are not prevented by Amazon-supplied technology from
> providing Full and Equal Access on their Merchant.com Web Sites.
> C.       Given the complexity and scope of the Subject Web Sites, the
> Parties recognize that the changes required to meet this timetable may
> encounter unforeseen complications and entail solutions not yet developed.
> Should such complications occur, NFB shall not unreasonably refuse to
> consent to any request by Amazon for an extension of the time table set
> forth above up to an additional six months. Amazon will inform NFB as soon
> as practicable if circumstances arise requiring it to request any further
> extensions.
> Best regards,
> Cynthia Waddell
> Executive Director
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Region V ADA Information [mailto:GREATLAKES@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU]On
> Behalf Of Robin Jones
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:52 PM
> Subject: Press Release: Amazon.com and National Federation of the Blind
> Join Forces to Develop and Promote Web Accessibility
> The following information is forwarded to you by the DBTAC-Great Lakes ADA
> Center (www.adagreatlakes.org) for your information:
> Press Release:  National Federation of the Blind
> March 28, 2007
> Amazon.com and National Federation of the Blind Join Forces to Develop and
> Promote Web Accessibility
> BALTIMORE, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind
> (NFB) and Amazon.com announced today that they have agreed to work together
> to promote and improve technology that enables blind people to access and
> use the World Wide Web. In a cooperation agreement, Amazon.com pledged its
> commitment to continue improving the accessibility of its Web site platform,
> while the NFB committed to contribute its expertise in Web accessibility
> technologies to help further Amazon.com's efforts.
> "Amazon has always looked for ways to provide the most convenient and
> easy-to-use shopping experience for all our customers, including those who
> use screen access software," said Patty Smith, director of corporate
> communications for Amazon.com. "By working directly with the NFB, which has
> a wealth of accessible technology experience, we'll be able to make more
> improvements for both our sighted customers and those customers who use
> screen access software to browse and shop the Internet."
> Blind persons access Web sites by using keyboards in conjunction with screen
> access software, which vocalizes or translates into Braille the visual
> information displayed on a computer screen by Web browsers and other
> computer applications. If not designed properly, however, Web sites can
> present barriers that do not allow the information contained on them to be
> translated properly for blind users, and emerging Internet technologies are
> presenting new accessibility challenges.
> "The National Federation of the Blind has long been a center of expertise in
> both developing and implementing access technology to provide the blind with
> the information and tools we need to integrate successfully into society,"
> said Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.
> "We have developed technologies like the Kurzweil-National Federation of the
> Blind Reader and NFB-NEWSLINE(R) that provide the blind with unparalleled
> access to information, and the staff of our International Braille and
> Technology Center for the Blind has experience in making Web sites and other
> technologies more accessible to blind computer users. We look forward to
> working with the developers at Amazon.com, the leader in innovation in
> online retail, to perfect techniques and technologies that will make the
> Internet more accessible for users of assistive technology. We are pleased
> that an industry leader like Amazon.com is committed to full and equal
> access for the blind on its Web sites and throughout the e-commerce
> industry. This cooperation agreement demonstrates to the world that the
> blind are eager to work with leading Internet companies to improve the
> online experience for everyone, and also that access for the blind goes hand
> in hand with continued innovation in Internet technology."
> About the National Federation of the Blind
> With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the
> largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the
> United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy,
> education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and
> self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and
> the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National
> Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training
> center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
> Source:
> http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,81373.shtml
> --------------------------------------------------
> Cynthia D. Waddell, JD
> Executive Director and
> Law, Policy and Technology Consultant
> International Center for Disability Resources
>    on the Internet (ICDRI)
> Phone:  (408) 691-6921
> ICDRI is based in
> Raleigh, North Carolina USA
> www.icdri.org/CynthiaW/cynthia_waddell.htm
> See My New Book!
> Web Accessibility:  Web Standards and
> Regulatory Compliance by Apress
> at www.icdri.org/WSR_Book.htm
> See also Constructing Accessible Web Sites
> www.icdri.org/constructing_accessible_web_site.htm
> Is your Web Site Accessible?
> Find out now with Cynthia Says! www.cynthiasays.com
> Endorsed by the American Council of the Blind,
> the CynthiaSaysTM portal is a joint Education
> and Outreach project of ICDRI, The Internet
> Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter,
> and HiSoftware.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of David Poehlman
> Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:51 AM
> To: wai-ig list
> Subject: Fwd: DAISY Consortium adopts accessible math specification
> from the web page:
> http://www.dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/070321.htm
> For Immediate Release
> DAISY Consortium Adopts Modular Math Extension
> New MathML-based extension will make math accessible to students with
> disabilities
> LONG BEACH, Calif. - March 21, 2007 - The DAISY Consortium, an
> international industry standards organization, announced today that it
> has formally adopted the Specification for a Digital Talking Book
> Modular Extension for Mathematics. This development is a critical
> element for integrating accessible mathematics into DAISY and
> NIMAS-compliant digital content. Now that this specification has been
> published, it is important for the education and accessibility
> communities to begin incorporating it into textbook accessibility
> requirements.
> As an active member of the DAISY Consortium, Design Science, Inc. has
> been instrumental in this development. "We're really pleased to be
> leading the effort to make math accessible to everyone," said Neil
> Soiffer, Chair of the DAISY MathML Modular Extension Working Group and a
> Senior Scientist at Design Science. "Design Science is the leading
> vendor for math authoring tools. Many of these can be used to create
> DAISY content and we have developed new tools to assist in the process
> of creating DAISY books."
> "This is fantastic news for students and professionals with
> disabilities," said Steve Noble, Director of Accessibility Policy for
> Design Science. "Now that accessible math is part of the DAISY Standard,
> the future is really bright for students who have been yearning to study
> math and science subjects-and even make a career out of it-but have
> always been hit hard by the absence of accessible materials. Now those
> days are over."
> Vendors are moving swiftly to support the new specification in DAISY
> applications. The specification also provides for backward
> compatibility, so older DAISY players will be able to use newer content,
> albeit without being able to take advantage of all the new capabilities
> of math materials written to the new standard.
> Although the current DAISY/NISO Z39.86-2005 Digital Talking Book
> Standard has been widely adopted by the accessibility community, the
> only available method of integrating math content relied on using images
> with alt text tags. Alt text tags for math equations provide only the
> most limited level of accessibility and are very difficult to author in
> a consistent manner. Using MathML allows all of the valuable features of
> a digital talking book to work for math just as it does for literary
> text, like support for large print, customizable speech, Braille,
> navigation, and synchronized highlighting.
> The Specification for a Digital Talking Book Modular Extension for
> Mathematics is available on the DAISY website at
> http://www.daisy.org/projects/mathml/mathml-in-daisy-spec.html
> For further information, see also the DAISY Consortium Press Release at
> http://www.daisy.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsId=296
> About MathML
> MathML is an XML-based language for representing mathematics that was
> published as a Recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in
> 1998. Since MathML captures the meaning and structure of mathematics, it
> enables a wide range of applications. In addition to making it possible
> to have math spoken to print disabled readers, it also enables searching
> for mathematical expressions within content and interoperability with
> the growing number of computational applications that understand MathML.
> For more information about MathML see http://www.w3.org/Math/
> About the DAISY Consortium
> The DAISY Consortium was founded in 1996 and consists of a growing
> membership of organizations around the world committed to developing
> equitable access to information for people who have a print disability.
> DAISY's vision is that all published information, at time of release to
> the general population, be available in an accessible, highly
> functional, feature rich format and at no greater cost, to persons with
> print disabilities. For more information about the DAISY Consortium see
> http://www.daisy.org/
> About Design Science, Inc.
> Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long Beach, California, Design
> Science develops software used by educators, scientists and publishing
> professionals, including MathType, Equation Editor in Microsoft Office,
> WebEQ, MathFlow, MathPlayer and TeXaide, to communicate on the web and
> in print.
> ###
> Design Science staff available for interviews:
> Steve Noble, Director of Accessibility Policy, steven@dessci.com
> Neil Soiffer, Senior Scientist, neils@dessci.com
> Press Contact:
> Bruce Virga
> Vice President, Sales
> +1(800)827-0685
> +1(562)432-2920
> Design Science, Inc.
> 140 Pine Avenue, 4th Floor
> Long Beach, CA 90802
Received on Saturday, 31 March 2007 17:13:37 UTC

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