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Universal Access to the World Wide Web Thomas R. Neiss, Assistant Provost for Network Technology Services, State University of New York, System Administration,

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Presentation on theme: "Universal Access to the World Wide Web Thomas R. Neiss, Assistant Provost for Network Technology Services, State University of New York, System Administration,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Universal Access to the World Wide Web Thomas R. Neiss, Assistant Provost for Network Technology Services, State University of New York, System Administration, Albany, NY

2 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss2 State University of New York 64 Campus public higher education system of New York State64 Campus public higher education system of New York State 380,000+ students380,000+ students 40,000+ staff40,000+ staff Millions of web pagesMillions of web pages

3 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss3 What is Universal (Web) Accessibility? The content or service offered on a site is universally accessible if the end user can choose their preferred method of acquiring the information and interacting with that site.The content or service offered on a site is universally accessible if the end user can choose their preferred method of acquiring the information and interacting with that site.

4 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss4 The Web is a way of life, for those fortunate. But, the information highway is a dead end road filled with insurmountable obstacles for those using assistive technologies, older equipment and the latest technologies Information Technology was more accessible five years ago than it is today.

5 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss5 How did this happen? Ad hoc web development, with few standards and little impact assessmentAd hoc web development, with few standards and little impact assessment Rapid web technology developmentRapid web technology development Poorly trained and uninformed developersPoorly trained and uninformed developers Lack of tools and resources for learning about the issuesLack of tools and resources for learning about the issues

6 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss6 Today Situation Lack of awareness of the technical and legal issues about accessibilityLack of awareness of the technical and legal issues about accessibility Lack of training or training that does not include accessibilityLack of training or training that does not include accessibility Accessibility is not (yet) a design criteriaAccessibility is not (yet) a design criteria Most think it (accessibility) is too hard to doMost think it (accessibility) is too hard to do Remediation, however is not easyRemediation, however is not easy

7 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss7 Federal Initiatives Americans with Disabilities Act 1990Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973 Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act 1998Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act 1998 Section 508 delayed until March 2001Section 508 delayed until March 2001

8 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss8 NYS takes the lead Technology Policy Universal Access to the Web Technology Policy Universal Access to the Web Priority 1 Level A by Priority 1 Level A by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) –Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) –W3C - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

9 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss9 Everybody Benefits Persons with disabilities identified the need, but everyone benefits from curb cuts and automatic doors and increasingly from:Persons with disabilities identified the need, but everyone benefits from curb cuts and automatic doors and increasingly from: –Speech recognition –Voice synthesis and digitized voice –Closed captioning New technologies require it! PDA’s Web Phones, Internet phones, WebTVNew technologies require it! PDA’s Web Phones, Internet phones, WebTV

10 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss10 Strategies that ‘just make sense’ Inform everyone of the policy and its requirements, and the benefitsInform everyone of the policy and its requirements, and the benefits Develop or use existing curricula to train students on accessible web designDevelop or use existing curricula to train students on accessible web design Provide training for your staff that includes accessibilityProvide training for your staff that includes accessibility Include accessibility requirements in contracts with vendorsInclude accessibility requirements in contracts with vendors Include accessibility requirements in the designInclude accessibility requirements in the design Make universal accessibility a way of life - It’s not that hardMake universal accessibility a way of life - It’s not that hard

11 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss11 If the technology ( or the web site) isn’t ready yet PDF files - Provide text or html - Conversion utilities are availablePDF files - Provide text or html - Conversion utilities are available Provide alternative methods (in accessible form)Provide alternative methods (in accessible form) For fill in forms, provide assistanceFor fill in forms, provide assistance

12 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss12 SUNY supports Universal Access to the Web Doing so willDoing so will –Increase our ability to attract, educate and graduate students with disabilities –Increase our ability to hire, retain and promote staff with disabilities –Remove potential legal actions –Position SUNY as a leader in disability rights and services

13 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss13 What SUNY has done Advised campus president’s of policyAdvised campus president’s of policy Presidents appointed Web Accessibility ContactsPresidents appointed Web Accessibility Contacts Provided awareness through meetings, sessions, listserv’sProvided awareness through meetings, sessions, listserv’s Conducted survey on complianceConducted survey on compliance Serving on NYS Information Technology Access Steering CommitteeServing on NYS Information Technology Access Steering Committee Conducts monthly trainingConducts monthly training

14 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss14 What can you do? Develop an Accessibility StrategyDevelop an Accessibility Strategy Advise managers/staff/faculty/students of what universal access really meansAdvise managers/staff/faculty/students of what universal access really means Include accessibility requirements in web site designInclude accessibility requirements in web site design Insist upon (and provide) proper trainingInsist upon (and provide) proper training Assume the responsibility of providing access to electronic information for everyoneAssume the responsibility of providing access to electronic information for everyone

15 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss15 What can you do? Understand the laws and responsibilities associated with universal accessibilityUnderstand the laws and responsibilities associated with universal accessibility Spread the word - Universal Accessibility “just makes good sense”Spread the word - Universal Accessibility “just makes good sense” Work with your Disability Services or ADA officesWork with your Disability Services or ADA offices If you are still not convinced visit a blind staff member and have them access the web with JAWSIf you are still not convinced visit a blind staff member and have them access the web with JAWS

16 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss16 Resources World Wide Web Consortium Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Content Accessibility Guidelines The WAI’s Curriculum for WCAG 1.0 A self teaching guide for Web Content Accessibility WAI’s Curriculum for WCAG 1.0 A self teaching guide for Web Content Accessibility NYS Office for Technology Office for Technology

17 CNI - San Antonio 2000 Thomas R. Neiss17 Resources ValidationValidation –Bobby- – Lynx browser –Accessibility-Prompt toolkit –W3C html Validation –W3C CSS Validation


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