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RE: give me a break!

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 07:56:19 -0500
Message-Id: <200203111256.HAA850181@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: "'WAI (E-mail)'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 09:06 AM 2002-03-09 , Access Systems wrote:
>recently visited the state of Maryland site,  it is full of frames and
>javascript etc....it also says for "people with adaptive equipment see
>link at end of page"   go to end of page and click through.
>and there is a nice little note saying basically "tough" we want to do it
>this way and if you can't use it call this phone number and we will look
>up what you want, of course phone is only answered during business hours.
>does anybody think something like this is adequate how should this be

The Access Board the Justice Department has been consistent in saying that a phone that is only answered 40 hours a week is not equivalent facilitation for a website that runs 24/7.

On the other hand, if the State customer service activity actually had people answering the phone as promptly as a direct merchant 24/7 at their 800 number, equipped to do all the business available on the website, my personal opinion is that you should take the service and say thank you.  Just based on the ease of use of 800 number vs. Web for catalog merchants.

This leaves some room for creativity (and differences of opinion) as to ways this gap might be fixed that fall between the surely bad and surely good extremes.  That is to say a redirect to a phone number is not necessarily a wrong answer, if the service available at the other end of the phone call is as complete and as available as the service delivered by the website.

One option that I am not sure the Maryland people are fully aware of is a voice portal.  Get them to drive I-81 through western Virginia and dial the 511 information service as they go.  Or play with TellMe or BeVocal from their desk in Annapolis.

Have you interacted with any of these voice portal services yourself?  Try it, it's a free call, and a friendly amendment on Interactive Voice Response systems affectionately known as the robot from hell answering the phone.


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Received on Monday, 11 March 2002 07:56:22 UTC

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