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Re: PC Week editorial: "Accessibility for All"

From: Chuck Baslock <cbaslock@kansas.net>
Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 02:28:54 -0500
Message-ID: <00c701bd7b1c$1f9681e0$2a82f0c7@default>
To: <empower@smart.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

-----Original Message-----
From: empower@smart.net <empower@smart.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date: Friday, May 08, 1998 20:41
Subject: PC Week editorial: "Accessibility for All"

>Below is an editorial from a recent issue of PC Week magazine,
>located at http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/opinion/0504/04edit.html
>Although it is not completely accurate, I encourage folks to send
I would be interested in hearing what you might have considered to be
>positive feedback to the publication's Letters to the Editor
>section, which may be addressed by email as PCW-L2ES@zd.com
>May 4, 1998
>Accessibility for all
>Making the Web more accessible
>The next time you go to the store, your office or a public
>building, look around and you will see access ramps and other
>means for assisting the disabled.
>Now go to your favorite Web site or your company's home page.
>You are unlikely to find any features to assist the disabled.
>Lack of such accommodations is a growing problem for Web
>developers, IT managers and disabled users. Not only does the
>lack of assistance limit access to information, it cuts off a
>potentially large group of users, or customers, of online
>Until now, most users with physical or cognitive disabilities
>merely got by on the Web. Some use text readers, speech
>synthesizers or voice-activated commands to penetrate HTML. But
>that access is in danger of being cut off as the Web becomes
>more application-centric, with complex scripts for generating
>dynamic content, which text-based software can't translate.
>Likewise, hearing- or visually disabled users can navigate a
>site but are left behind when audio or video is the source of
>The solutions to the access problem are many and simple. First,
>IT managers and Web-design teams should wake up to the need to
>maximize access for all types of disabled users.
>Second, developers should follow Web design recommendations
>being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web
>Accessibility Initiative group. When the guidelines are
>published, within the next few months, they will call for
>standard ways of presenting content that will make it easier for
>disabled users to navigate a site, such as implementing standard
>style sheets instead of custom HTML tags and offering
>closed-captioning and transcripts of multimedia presentations.
>Third, IT managers should learn about the potential crossover
>benefits that access technologies will give to their nondisabled
>work force -- for example, "hands-busy" workers, such as those
>in factories or operating rooms.
>The Department of Justice has ruled that the Americans with
>Disabilities Act has jurisdiction over public Web sites the same
>way it does over public buildings. If adoption of accessibility
>initiatives is slow, lawsuits may result.
>We take for granted the infrastructure that assists the
>handicapped through the everyday world. IT managers and online
>developers should make access to the Web just as ubiquitous.
>Comments? Please send them to Letters to the Editor (PCW-L2ES@zd.com).
> Copyright notice
>End of Document
Received on Saturday, 9 May 1998 03:26:53 UTC

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