Friday, March 12, 2010

Ignored segregation: inaccessible websites

I wrote my article, "Tending a wild garden..." as a paper while working on my Masters of Library Science. I was taking a class on "Resources and Services for People With Disabilities" and was amazed to learn how much of the Web is inaccessible to persons with visual and other impairments. I also was struggling to grasp the recommendations of the Web Accessibility Initiative and how it would affect my future work designing and maintaining library websites. My paper was a step in that direction.

It is sad that in a country that prides itself on equal rights for all that such an inequity lacks an adequate remedy in law. The current regulations and guidelines have no enforcement "teeth," and the only way to redress this is for persons with disabilities (PWD for short) to sue the worst offenders (e.g. Target).

According to a recent posting on the Accessibility Watch blog,
On 26 January 2010, the Federal IT Council (FITC) in Switzerland (Informatikrat des Bundes – IRB) accepted the changes to P028 Version 2.0 with unanimous consent. As a result of these changes, existing federal websites must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA by 31 December 2010. New federal websites must meet this conformance level immediately.

Someday the U.S.A. will do better.

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