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Fw: WGBH/MIT Collaboration Yields Expanded Access Guidelines

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 14:26:04 -0500
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <015f01c2cc83$80f95080$6501a8c0@handsontech>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Catherine Alfieri" <calfieri@ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 2:23 PM
Subject: CURR: WGBH/MIT Collaboration Yields Expanded Access Guidelines

Boston, MA. USA (February 2003).  Publishers, educational programmers and
Web site developers are increasingly aware that they must include students
with disabilities in their audience to comply with a range of accessibility
regulations. However, few developers understand why access is a critical
need or how to provide it in their products. A newly updated and expanded
publication from the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM),
"Making Educational Software and Web Sites Accessible: Design Guidelines
Including Math and Science Solutions," addresses both these points in

The original guidelines, published in 2000, represented an ambitious
initiative to capture access challenges and solutions and present them in a
format specifically designed to educate and assist software developers.  The
current set of guidelines builds on the original document, and offers
further lessons learned from a four-year collaboration with the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called Access to PIVoT (Physics
Interactive Video Tutor).

With funding from the National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov/) and
the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF, http://www.meaf.org/),
NCAM and MIT’s staff added accessibility enhancements to PIVoT, a
sophisticated and comprehensive on-line physics resource.  Along the way,
tools and strategies for making less-daunting subject matter accessible
emerged, and are now available in the new publication.

"NCAM has just released these long-awaited guidelines, and they are well
worth the wait.  Curriculum developers and designers of on-line educational
materials will greatly benefit from the information contained in these
guidelines.  While accessible software and Web sites help meet the needs of
deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind and visually impaired users, these guidelines
effectively advance the theory that non-disabled users always gain from
accessibility enhancements.  While this information if crucial for students
and faculty in higher education, they will benefit K-12 at one end and
working professionals at the other end."

     Norm Coombs, Ph.D.
     Professor Emeritus
     Rochester Institute of Technology

In the guidelines, readers will find:
-  a basic understanding of the needs of users with different disabilities.
-  a summary of various approaches to serve users with different
-  specific solutions for designing more accessible software.
-  guidelines with specific checkpoints and detailed techniques for
-  extensive information on making multimedia presentations accessible to
students who are deaf or blind
-  examples of writing image descriptions for blind students
-  solutions for making forms and databases accessible
-  information on making electronic and on-line textbooks accessible.

"Making Educational Software and Web Sites Accessible: Design Guidelines
Including Math and Science Solutions" is available free of charge in print
and on the Web in a fully accessible version. Request print copies (bulk
orders accepted) by sending an e-mail to mary_watkins@wgbh.org or by calling
617 300-3400 voice, 617 300-2489 TTY.  Read the guidelines on line at:

CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
NCAM and its fellow access departments at WGBH, The Caption Center and
Descriptive Video Service®, make up the Media Access Group at WGBH.  WGBH
pioneered captioning and video description on television, the Web and in
movie theaters.  NCAM is a founding member of the Web Accessibility
Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  NCAM works with
standards bodies, industry, consumer organizations and educators to develop
and implement non-proprietary technical standards for multimedia, advanced
television, and convergent media that ease implementation, foster growth and
lay common groundwork for equal access to new technologies.  For more
information visit http://access.wgbh.org.

WGBH Boston
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source
of nearly one-third of PBS’s prime-time lineup and companion online content
as well as many public radio favorites. WGBH is a pioneer in educational
multimedia (including the Web, broadband, and interactive television) and in
technologies and services that make media accessible for people with
disabilities. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys,
Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored
with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For
more information visit http://www.wgbh.org.

Contact:  Mary Watkins/Media Access Group at WGBH
+1 617 300-3700 voice
+1 617 300-2459 TTY


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Received on Tuesday, 4 February 2003 14:28:15 UTC

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