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IPO Outreach (was "Title on Horizontal Rules")

From: Judy Brewer <JBrewer@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 15:16:14 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: paciello@yuri.org, allan_jm@tsbvi.edu, geoff_freed@wgbh.org
(I have combined some threads and renamed this "IPO Outreach.")

It is good to hear the positive response to the Web accessibility outreach,
and to see many different people involved in getting out the message on
accessibility.  I've also been presenting on the IPO and WAI to many
audiences since starting at the W3C in late September, and have received a
similarly positive response to these presentations.  As Mike is aware, I am
also presenting at FedWeb97 this week, so that audience will have no lack
of hearing about the WAI.

The official announcement by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the
World Wide Web Consortium last week of the IPO start-up received coverage
in a number of publications; I'll be compiling these on a link off the WAI
page (and the coming IPO page).  For now you can see the W3C press release
at http://www.w3.org/Press/IPO-announce & I will also send out in separate
mail to this list.  The PR efforts will help start the message again, and
we are planning additional PR to address different audiences.   

I'm not surprised that most audiences are still unfamiliar with the WAI; I
don't find it at all "ironic."  While the WAI was announced at WWW6 last
spring, I think most people are aware that pulling together the expected
government and industry funding takes time, and the key piece in terms of
outreach for the WAI has been having the IPO in place, which just happened
last month.  It is commendable that the W3C and the WAI WG participants
started the technical work in advance of receiving any funds, and that
different organizations have continued mentioning the WAI in press during
that time; however we can't have expected those efforts to get the message
out comprehensively.  That is what the IPO is now embarking on, and I look
forward to doing this as a joint effort.   



At 09:01 AM 10/29/97 -0600, James Allan wrote:
>To add to the educational aspect...
>Jutta Treviranus and Jim Allan conducted a CSS workshop at Closing the Gap.
>It was attended by more than 70 people. We had expected 20 to 30 people We
>will probably be doing a preconference workshop on CSS and their utility
>for persons with disabilities at CTG98. . All web based presentations were
>extremely well attended. The need for information is great. Information
>about the WAI was either given by the presenter or a participant in the
>audience. The WAI's existance was news to almost all attendees. 
>Jim Allan, Statewide Technical Support Specialist
>Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired 
>1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
>voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9453  http://www.tsbvi.edu
>"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964

>Ditto!  I have also given several Web access seminars in the past few
months (including MCI, Chicago Tribune, UC-Berkeley).  While many of the
participants may have heard of the W3C, almost none have heard of the WAI.
I also agree with Mike that Web designers are, in general, very
enthusiastic about accessible design.  
>Geoff Freed
>CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
>Date: 10/29/97 8:02 AM
>To: Geoff Freed
>From: Mike Paciello
>Regarding the educational aspect, I thought I might just interject with a
>brief note of encouragement here. In the past 3 weeks I've conducted 4 Web
>Accessibility workshops. One workshop was to a full house of AT&T, NCR and
>Lucent employees. The response was terrific. Generally I expect 15-20
>participants. We had close to 50, 20 of whom were deaf or hard of hearing.
>It was great to focus on web accessibility issues for those other than the
>blind and visually impaired.
>On Monday I conducted a workshop at the FedWeb conference in Bethesda.
>Orginally, only 8 people signed up. By the time the workshop started, I had
>40 in attendance! Additionally, it's lead to at least 4 new workshops to
>specific government organizations (all non-disability orgs).  Yesterday,
>with the terrific participation of Jamal Mazrui, Chuck Letourneau and
>Cynthia Waddell, we put on an accessibility panel with 75 or more folks in
>attendance (again, we were expecting 25-30). The response was terrific. 
>The one ironic point in all of these workshops: NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THE WEB
>We really need to push this agenda folks. People are thirsty for help and
>very willing to make the right adjustments.
>(Who is very, very tired...but happy!)
>At 10:17 PM 10/26/97 +0100, Daniel Dardailler wrote:
>>> Hello all,
>>> This raises an interesting subject. What's the use of nice accesibility
>features if we
>>> don't use them (in this case because we never thought they existed)? How
>could we prevent
>>> this?
>>Good question. That's why there is a WAI IPO and not just a WAI W3C
>>working group adding features to HTML&CSS. We need to produce the
>>guidelines that go with the technology, and educate people about what
>>to do and how to do it.
>Michael G. Paciello                      Executive Director, 
>E-Mail: mailto:paciello@yuri.org         Yuri Rubinsky Insight Foundation
>Tel: +1 603 598 9544                     URL: http://www.yuri.org/
>FAX: +1 603 598 2839                     Promoting Accessibility Awareness!
>Please Make a Tax-Deductible Donation:   http://www.yuri.org/donate.html
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