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Fwd: Re: Web Access (LONG)

From: B.K. DeLong <bkdelong@naw.org>
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 11:06:10 -0400
Message-Id: <199809061505.LAA18945@mail-out-1.tiac.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
This is the result of Web access discussions on another mailing list. The
word is slowly getting out.

>From: cedisabl@sprynet.com
>Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 23:42:48 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: Re:  Web Access
>To: bkdelong@NAW.ORG
>X-Mailer: SPRY Mail Version:
>Ronald Riley's comments are very good.  I was the one who posted the
>web access letter.  Below I have added the data about web access and
>The "Harkin letter" has sources in it.  "Bobby" is another good source for
>who wish to check their site and then if there is a problem a recommendation 
>will advise about methods to correct the problem.  I have some other
contacts in 
>case this is not enough.
>Dr Clyde Shideler
>                       The Honorable Tom Harkin
>                            United States Senate
>                        Washington, D.C. 20510-1502
>Digest of Inquiry
>(July 31, 1996) To what extent does the ADA require that Internet web
pages be
>accessible to people with visual disabilities?
>Digest of Response
>(September 9, 1996)
>ADA Accessibility Requirements Apply To Internet Web Pages
>Entities subject to title II or III of the ADA must provide effective 
>to individuals with disabilities, and covered entities that use the
Internet to
>provide information regarding their programs, goods or services must be
>offerm those communications through accessible means. Such entities may
>page information in text format that is accessible to screen reading devices
>that are used by people with visual impairments, and they may also offer 
>accessible formats that are identified in a screen-readable format on a web
>Text of Inquiry
>I have recently been contacted by one of my constituents who has a concern
>the administration's policy on making Web pages compatible for the
disabled. I
>respectfully ask you to review the administration's policy on this issue and
>send me a clarification so that I might be able to respond to my
>questions. It would be helpful if you could mark your correspondence with my 
>office to the
>attention of Laura Stuber.
>Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter.
>Text of Response
>I am responding to your letter on behalf of your constituent, {}, regarding
>accessibility of "web pages" on the internet to people with visual
>The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires State and local
>and places of public accommodation to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and
>services where necessary to ensure effective communication with
individuals with
>disabilities, unless doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the
>program or service or in an undue burden. 28 C.F.R. ? 36.303; 28 C.F.R. ? 
>Auxiliary aids include taped texts, Brailled materials, large print
>and other methods of making visually delivered materials available to people 
>with visual
>Covered entities under the ADA are required to provide effective
>regardless of whether they generally communicate through print media, audio
>media, or computerized media such as the Internet. Covered entities that
use the
>Internet for communications regarding their programs, goods, or services
must be
>prepared to offer those communications through accessible means as well.
>Mr. [] suggests compatibility with Lynx browser as a means of assuring
>accessibility of the Internet. Lynx is, however, only one of many available 
>options. Other
>examples include providing the web page information in text format, rather
>exclusively in graphic format. Such text is accessible to screen reading
>used by people with visual impairments. Instead of providing full
>through the Internet directly, covered entities may also offer other
>accessible formats, such as Braille, large print, and/or audio materials, to 
>the information contained in web pages to people with visual impairments. The
>availability of such materials should be noted in a text (i.e.,
>format on the web page, along with instructions for obtaining the
materials, so 
>people with disabilities using the Internet will know how to obtain the 
>Cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Hill, FOIA n:
>sc. Young-parran
>The Internet is an excellent source of information and, of course, people
>disabilities should have access to it as effectively as people without 
>disabilities. A
>number of web sites provide information about accessibility of web pages,  
>information about new developments and guidelines for development of
>web pages. Examples include:
>Center for Information Technology Accommodation General Service
>Trace Center, University of Wisconsin
>These sites may be useful to you or your constituent in exploring the 
>accessibility options on
>the Internet. In addition, the Department of Justice has established an
ADA home 
>page to
>educate people about their rights and responsibilities under  the ADA and
>Department's efforts to implement the ADA. The address of the ADA home
page is
>I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent.
>Deval L. Patrick
>Assistant Attorney General
>Civil Rights Division
>Subject: Web Page Accessibility
>Welcome to Bobby
>Bobby is a free service of CAST that will analyze single web pages for their
>accessibility to people with disabilities. Bobby will also examine a page's
>HTML to see if it is compatible with various web browsers or HTML
>specifications. Bobby was created at CAST (Center for Applied Special
>Technology). Founded in 1984, CAST is a not-for-profit organization whose
>mission is to expand opportunities for all people -- especially those with
>disabilities -- through the innovative uses of computer technology.
>Three versions of Bobby are available:
>   1.Bobby 2.0 - This on-line version analyzes individual web pages for
>accessibility using a list of commonly accepted  accessibility barriers. All
>pages on your website must receive four stars to display the Bobby Approved
>icon. This legacy approval criteria may not be an option after July 1998.
>   2.Bobby 2.01 - This on-line version analyzes individual web pages for
>accessibility using a subset of the February 3 working draft of "WAI
>Accessibility Guidelines: Page Authoring" that can be automated. All pages
>must pass to display the Bobby Approved icon. Page authors wishing to signify
>with these more stringent guidelines may wish to add "with WAI 0203" below
>   3.Bobby the Application (beta 1) - This application will test local files
>and entire websites for accessibility. It is written in Java and will run
>under Solaris and Windows 95/NT. Like Bobby 2.01, it uses the February 3
>working draft WAI
>accessibility page authoring guidelines. To download the application, go the
>Bobby 2.01 home page.
>Suggested Approach
>CAST recommends that web developers use Bobby as the first step to ensure
>accessible web page design. In addition, we suggest the following:
>   1.Read the most current "WAI Accessibility Guidelines: Page Authoring".
>   2.Review the "WAI Accessibility Guidelines: Page Authoring Checklist".
>   3.Request feedback from visitors to your web site.
>   4.Retest web pages frequently with updated versions of Bobby.
>True accessibility is ultimately a human endeavor and Bobby is only one step
>in the process of making a site accessible to as many people as possible.
>note that the WAI page author gidelines are a work in progress. Depending on
>the frequency of new releases, CAST will make every effort to provide a
>version of Bobby for each new set of WAI page author guidelines.
B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
Director                         Suite 140SC-305
New England Chapter     Boston, MA 02115
National Association      (617) 247-3753
of Webmasters


NAW is the North American "chapter" 
of the World Organization of Webmasters

Received on Sunday, 6 September 1998 11:05:18 UTC

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