[webproducers] Re: creating accessible websites and how it im pacts the project life cycle

To Courtney's point....

While it is not required per se that all sites meet some kind of accessible
standard (508), one day it very well may be (overall, I think the web is
moving toward standarization much the same way newspapers adopted a
more-or-less 5 column standard bak in the day).  

That said, in my experience, keeping accessibilty standards in mind helps
create a better website for all, period. Why? Because it forces the team to
consider the user experience from more perspectives, and forces them to
better artiucalte site goal, logic, etc.  Getting rid of uneccesary graphic
increase download time and site performance, which also adds to a better
user experience. Once more, by ensureing that the site can be view using
text readers or text magnifiers, you are also ensuring that your site can be
scanned by foreign-language translaters, thus increasing the potential
audience of your site.

The reason why I am aware of this stuff is because, like I said, we've
worked from some pretty large gov. agencies that required 508 standards. For
one site in particular, we had a rep. from the great Nielsen Norman Group
(http://www.nngroup.com/) come in and audit our site well before launch.
While we were pretty close to the standard, they gave us many valuable
insights, so much though that now Web Accessiblity is one of our core
offerings.

Anyhow, listen to Courtney: Web Accessibitly is the future!

-----Original Message-----
From: Cortney Sellers [mailto:cortney@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 5:48 PM
To: webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [webproducers] Re: creating accessible websites and how it im
pacts the project life cycle


Well, I didn't mean to stir up so much.  Being disabled, I have dealt with
my fair share of accessibility issues.  There are multiple laws for this --
section 504 and 508 are just 2 pieces of the puzzle from two separate laws
passed in different decades.  
Now granted the courts have not set forth a precedent that "virtual space"
is covered as well as noted below.  However, as the web infiltrates into
everyone's daily lives more and further becomes a cornerstone of access to
business products and services -- one day that decision may very well be
made a mandate.  The set of regulations in place through Section 508 for
Federal and State agencies to do so is a step in that direction.  

Why not plan for it ahead of time and let physically challenged people into
the web sphere created and potentially avoid massive recoding later down the
road?

"Also, although private web sites are not required to comply with the
accessibility standards, they really have an incentive to do so: By creating
web sites that are accessible to the disabled, companies will reach a
potentially larger audience than if they did not do so." - Doug Isenberg,
GigaLaw.com

The ADA has very specific regulations for many things including businesses
and their accessibility factors.

I found this quote on a gov site which details the regulations re federal
funding...

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/websites2.htm

" The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, if the government entities
receive Federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, generally require
that State and local governments provide qualified individuals with
disabilities equal access to their programs, services, or activities unless
doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of their programs, services,
or activities or would impose an undue burden."

Under the ADA, the red letter comment can apply to ANY business through
Title III non-discrimination addendum.  That is the foundation of my
original statements.  

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg3a.html
Sec.36.101 Purpose.
The purpose of this part is to implement title III of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12181), which prohibits discrimination
on the basis of disability by public accommodations and requires places of
public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed,
and altered in compliance with the accessibility standards established by
this part.
Here are some interesting articles from a legal perspective regarding
website accessibility:
-----
What Internet Companies Must Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act
Summary: Internet companies should be familiar with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) not only to create physical offices that accommodate
their disabled employees, but also, perhaps, to create Internet products
that accommodate their customers. For example, in one case, the National
Federation of the Blind sued America Online alleging that AOL's Internet
service was inaccessible to the blind. This article explains the ADA.
http://www.gigalaw.com/articles/2000-all/towns-2000-12-all.html
-----
Websites as Places of Public Accommodation Under the ADA
Summary: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that companies
take steps to ensure the public has access to their goods and services. How
(and whether) the ADA applies to companies' websites is an issue a number of
courts have addressed. This article discusses how the courts have
interpreted the ADA's "public accommodation" requirement on the Internet.

http://www.gigalaw.com/articles/2003-all/towns-2003-09-all.html
-----
Questions and Answers About the U.S. Disability Standards for Web Sites


Summary: New U.S. standards require web sites operated by federal agencies
to be accessible to people with disabilities. The standards were enacted
under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, a law that applies to the
federal government's procurement of certain technologies.
Although the standards do not directly apply to private-sector web sites,
the standards clearly affect the high-tech industry because they are
expected to increase by $1 billion the amount the U.S. government spends
each year on information technology.
This list of questions and answers about the standards is based on an
interview of GigaLaw.com founder Doug Isenberg
<http://www.gigalaw.com/about/editorialboard.html>  by Andy King, newsletter
editor of WebReference.com.
http://www.gigalaw.com/articles/2001-all/isenberg-2001-06b-all.html

Cortney 
::passing soap box back to Morry in case anyone needs it in the future::

-----Original Message-----
From: webproducers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:webproducers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ari Feldman
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 4:01 PM
To: webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [webproducers] Re: creating accessible websites and how it im pacts
the project life cycle


Yes, I believe that's the case too. Otherwise, it wouldn't really be
enforcable except against the big players who would be natural targets
for lawsuits due to their size and bank accounts.



--- "Brad B. McCormick" <mccormickb@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Actually, I believe the websites recieving any kind of FEDERAL
> FUNDING have
> to be accessible; that is, abide by the 508 standards.  
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cortney Sellers [mailto:cortney@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 4:18 PM
> To: webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [webproducers] Re: creating accessible websites and how it
> impacts the project life cycle
> 
> 
> One note here that may be of interest to all....
> 
> Website accessibility is required by federal law.  While this is the
> case,
> some precedents are now being set which lay the groundwork for how
> accessible one has to be.  
> 
> It would be a great additional knowledge base for any web producer to
> have
> in their toolbox.  Many of the things are simple, easy to implement,
> and
> beneficial in multiple ways.  
> 
> The trick will be to know that your team has a clear understanding of
> accessibility from each of their tasks: design, development, testing,
> etc.
> 
> Cortney
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: webproducers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:webproducers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of tonyzeoli
> Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 11:04 PM
> To: webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [webproducers] Re: creating accessible websites and how it
> impacts
> the project life cycle
> 
> I'm assuming that he means what does is cost in extra development
> time to 
> take into consideration accessibility issues, for example making the
> site 
> compliant for the hearing or visibly impaired with either text or
> audio that
> 
> can be accessed automatically when you visit a web site.
> 
> I don't have any resources, but I'll look around. I did learn a
> little about
> 
> this in my last semester at NYU.
> 
> These types of issues are really relevant to the health care industry
> or the
> 
> government, whose regulations require that web sites need to be
> accessible 
> for the elderdly and the handicapped.
> 
> Tony Z.
> > Zahid,
> >  is there a chance you can re-phrase your wording.
> > 
> > "creating accessible websites impact on the project life cycle" --
> quite
> > possible it's me don't understand this.
> > Please elaborate.
> > 
> > Sergei
> > 
> > ********
> > Can anyone give me some advice on the subject creating accessible
> websites
> > impact on the project life cycle?
> > > Any useful  thoughts, websites, books and resources would be
> appreciated.
> > >
> > > still had no responses hmmmm .......... I wonder why ?
> > >
> > > Many Thanks
> > >
> > > Zahid Hossain
> > 
> >
>
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> 
> 
> Tony Zeoli
> Founder/President
> Netmix.com
> 496 Court Street, #3
> Brooklyn, NY 11231
> 
> email: tonyzeoli@xxxxxxxxxx
> ph: 718-858-7876
> fax: 718-504-4337
> cel: 917-705-4700
> aim: djtonyz
>
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=====
--------------------------------------------
"I don't want to change the world
I'm not looking for a new england
I'm just looking for another girl"

                            -- Billy Bragg
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