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RE: New Disabled Web Site Unveiled

From: Neff, Robert <Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 13:12:44 -0500
Message-ID: <B1E68D292F3CD111A57C0000F67CB3CA010445C7@WDCSRV03.usmint.treas.gov>
To: "'Kelly Ford'" <kford@teleport.com>
Cc: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'acb-l@telepath.com'" <acb-l@telepath.com>, "'vicug-l@maelstrom.stjohns.edu'" <vicug-l@maelstrom.stjohns.edu>, "'blindtech@egroups.com'" <blindtech@egroups.com>, "'gui-talk@nfbnet.org'" <gui-talk@nfbnet.org>
Seems to be a script there that is changing.  Is this causing anyone
problems?  There are images that do not have links - they are a part of the
"Join now" alt tag. 

		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Kelly Ford [mailto:kford@teleport.com]
		Sent:	Friday, December 03, 1999 10:09 AM
		To:	webwatch@telelists.com
		Subject:	AP: New Disabled Web Site Unveiled 

		Has anyone tried the mouse mentioned in this article?
Personally I am not 
		sure I need yet another device to make the web accessible
but rather I need 
		folks to follow accessible web design practices.  I've had
no trouble 
		filling out forms and such when accessibility has been used.
Just being 
		able to feel there's a box present isn't going to tell me
what to enter.

		December 2, 1999

		New Disabled Web Site Unveiled

		NEW YORK -- The publisher of a magazine for the disabled
unveiled a new Web 
		site and tools Thursday to make the Internet more accessible
to the blind 
		and other disabled users.

		To take advantage of some features, users of We Media Inc.'s
site would 
		need to buy such special equipment as a vibrating mouse that
lets the blind 
		``feel'' boxes and images on the computer screen.

		Walter Cronkite, the former CBS anchorman who acts as an
adviser to the 
		site, called the new tools ``the ultimate prosthetic.'' The
tools will 
		enable the disabled to do such things as take online college
courses and 
		participate in discussion groups, he said.

		The announcement comes a month after the National Federation
of the Blind 
		sued America Online, calling its software incompatible with
programs that 
		convert text to audio or Braille.

		According to the Census Bureau, one in 10 Americans has a
severe disability 
		such as blindness.

		The for-profit site at www.wemedia.com, affiliated with the
publisher of We 
		magazine, will go into operation Friday, though some of the
services and 
		tools won't be available for weeks or months.

		The site will offer shopping and access to online college
courses, chat 
		rooms, lists of jobs at accessible workplaces and real
estate brokers who 
		specialize in accessible homes.

		The software will be written so that the Web page is
compatible with such 
		tools as the vibrating mouse.

		Several other sites cater to the disabled. Some of the
access tools are 
		also available already. We Media, however, brings both
elements together; 
		it designs accessible sites and works with hardware
companies to develop 
		tools for the disabled.

		For example, someone with paralysis or other motor
impairment could surf 
		the site using technology that detects eye movement.

		A blind person could use the vibrating mouse to feel and
listen to the 
		site's visual content. The mouse works with software to
convert text into 
		computerized voices.

		The mouse will sell for several hundred dollars, though We
Media is seeking 
		arrangements with nonprofit partners to buy the tools in
bulk and offer 
		them for free or at a subsidized price.

		Laurence Bergman, We Media's product manager, likened the
one-time purchase 
		to that of a wheelchair.

		John Doyle, a blind college student from Montreal, said the
new mouse 
		expands what he could do on the Internet. He has an easier
time with 
		shopping sites that ask for credit card and other

		``Before it was difficult to fill out this registration
info. I'd have to 
		ask someone with sight to do it,'' he said, demonstrating
the technology. 
		``This allows me to do anything a sighted person would do on
the Web.''

		So far, We Media is the only Web site to use coding
compatible with the 
		vibrating mouse. But the maker of the mouse, Haptic
Technologies, hopes 
		other sites will ultimately adopt the coding as well.

		Richard Ring, a blind Web user who runs the International
Braille and 
		Technology Center for the Blind, said a vibrating mouse
would be useful, 
		particularly if it worked throughout the Internet. ``I
wouldn't want to be 
		limited to using a special Web site any more than you
would,'' he said.
Received on Friday, 3 December 1999 13:13:21 UTC

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