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US Sec 508/255 ANPRM and Web Accessibility

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 19:05:41 -0400
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1OPkmw-00023N-TY@bart.w3.org>
Dear WAI Interest Group Participants:

If you are interested in the issue of harmonization of requirements 
for web accessibility, there is still time to comment on the US 
Section 508 and 255 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). 
The comments process for this stage is open to the public; comments 
can be submitted through Monday June 21, 2010. Section 508 affects 
accessibility of information and communications technologies (ICT) 
that can be "procured" (purchased, acquired, etc.) by the US federal 
government. US Section 508 standards have sometimes also influenced 
policies in some other countries and within US states.

Information on the draft regulations and how to comment [1] is 
available from the US Access Board. In addition, the Trace Research 
and Development Center has developed a public resource with 
additional information and analysis [2], including a side-by-side 
comparison of web accessibility provisions, and a place to exchange 
different perspectives.

One of the key questions, Question 7, in this ANPRM [3] concerns how 
effectively the draft regulations address harmonization with 
W3C/WAI's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Comments 
already offered by WAI in Santa Clara [4] and more recently in 
Washington DC [5] describe the importance of harmonizing portions of 
508 that relate to web content and web applications with WCAG 2.0.

We feel that a simpler direct reference to WCAG 2 would clarify 
expectations for web content and web application accessibility, and 
better enable securing the benefits of harmonization. We welcome 
others to look at this question and take the opportunity to comment.


- Judy

[1] US Access Board 508/255 Refresh site
[2] Trace 508/255 Refresh site
[3] ANPRM Preamble, search "Question 7" in:
[4] WAI comments (March 25, 2010)
[5] WAI comments (May 12, 2010)

Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G526
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA  
Received on Friday, 18 June 2010 23:15:57 UTC

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