NCDAE Accessibility Newsletter - March 2007

In this Edition:

Feature Article - Web Accessibility System Change: The Myths, Realities, and What We Can Learn From Two Large Scale Efforts

As web accessibility garners increased importance and attention, there is greater emphasis on making system-wide, rather than individual changes in our efforts to create a more accessible world. This is accomplished through policy setting and implementation that places the importance of web accessibility alongside other web considerations. In the early years of web accessibility, individual developers made the commitment to create accessible web content. When it became evident that leaving accessibility up to individual developers was not efficient, entire systems began making web accessibility a priority and a policy. Since then, many educational institutions, states, and the U.S. Federal government have implemented policies that require the web be accessible to individuals with disabilities, in line with accepted standards. The highest profile, large-scale, system change efforts since those from the California Community Colleges and the U.S. Federal government (i.e., Section 508) have come again from a California educational system (The California State University system), and from a governmental entity (the United Kingdom). Understanding the components involved in such large-scale change may aide others in their planning or execution of web accessibility policy. Read the full article: http://ncdae.org/resources/articles/systemchange.php

Tips and Tools - Principles of Accessible Design

This fact sheet outlines 10 principles of design that, if applied, will make web and electronic content more accessible. To read this fact sheet visit: http://www.ncdae.org/resources/factsheets/principles.php

Webcasts - Web Accessibility 2.0?

Upcoming Webcast - Wednesday May 16th, 2007

Web 2.0 is a term used to describe the recent trend in web applications and development. Innovative applications of AJAX and other technologies are changing the way users interact with web content in dramatic ways. These technologies hold much potential for people with disabilities, yet also bring many potential barriers. This webcast will explore these next generation web applications and technologies and will present how these impact people with disabilities for good and for bad.

The webcast will be held Wednesday May 16th, 2007 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (12:00PM Pacific; 1:00PM Mountain; 2:00PM Central). The audio broadcast will last approximately one hour. It is free of charge and will be captioned simultaneously for the deaf and hard of hearing.

More information is available at http://new.ncdae.org/resources/archives/webcasts/accessibility2.php.

Factoid

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, The Condition of Education 2006 - Indicator 8: Children with Disabilities in Public Schools:

"The number and percentage of school-age children receiving special education services have grown steadily since 1976-77, especially among children with a diagnosed, specific learning disability."

The total number of youth 3-21 served under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) has grown from 3,692,000 in 1976-7 to 6,727,000 in 2004-5.

With a growing number of students being supported at the primary and secondary school level, it follows that a greater number will continue on to higher education. Therefore, it is essential that the supports are in place to ensure that students with disabilities are able to succeed as they continue their education.

Upcoming Events - WebAIM Training

Join WebAIM's accessibility experts in two days of intensive, hands-on web accessibility training June 20-21, 2007 in beautiful Logan, Utah. Learn everything from basic web accessibility principles to advanced accessibility techniques. Learn what you need to know to ensure that you and your website meets legal guidelines and international standards. Registration is limited to ensure you get individualized attention, so register now to secure your place. To register or to find out more, visit: http://webaim.org/training/

In the News - Accessibility with Teeth

The rules have been on the books for several years now, however, enforcement of web accessibility laws have been mostly overlooked, until now: A recent spate of lawsuits in both the US and UK underscore the need to ensure that your websites are accessible to all users. It is no longer just a matter of "the right thing to do", as some companies are finding out, an inaccessible website is an invitation to a very expensive lawsuit...

The following are some of the articles on recent litigation that have been featured on the NCDAE RSS feed:

Web Accessibility and International Law
http://www.accessibilityblog.com/2007/02/15/web-accessibility-and-international-law/

Could the Disabled Bring Down E-Commerce?
http://www.garyshort.org/?p=544

Oracle sued by blind workers in Texas
http://webaim.org/blog/2007/02/07/oracle_lawsuit/

Oracle sued for failing blind users
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2174204/oracle-sued-failing-blind-users

INTERNET LAW - An U.S. Retailer may be Sued if its Website is Inaccessible to the Blind
http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=latestnews&id=1647

National Federation of the Blind files Target lawsuit
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-25-blind_x.htm

Ruling has web designers shifting gears
http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2006/09/25/story4.html?f=et169&b=1159156800%5E1349741&hbx=e_vert

Court Denies Target.com Plea for Dismissal
http://www.accessibilityblog.com/2006/09/07/court-denies-targetcom-plea-for-dismissal/

Target Hit - But is it a Bullseye?
http://accessify.com/news/2006/09/target-case-outcome/

Businesses Urged To Get Webwise Ahead Of Law Change
http://www.pressbox.co.uk/detailed/Business/Businesses_urged_to_get_webwise_ahead_of_law_change_31325.html