Japan is one of the most technologically advanced and accessible countries in the world. Most major cities have the infrastructure to support accessibility for people with disabilities. In Japan there are elevators in almost every train station, busses with passenger lifts, and electronic signboards. There is also Braille everywhere--on the sidewalk, signboards, money, and even on beer cans.
Japan is also starting to build infrastructure for making information--particularly digital information--accessible to people with disabilities. This is best shown through the standards and policies that Japan has instituted to make its sites accessible.
When it comes to accessibility have you ever found yourself in the following situations?
- You wanted to make your site accessible but you didn't have the money
- You just finished a web site or application and then found out that it is not accessible or Section 508 compliant
- You thought a site was accessible and you found out that it really wasn't
- You were told that your web application needs to be Section 508 compliant by a certain date and you didn't have the time to fix it
These are all valid issues, and you are not the only one facing them. But once this is the case, it does not mean that you need to forget about accessibility as it is. There is another way to go around it, and not only to make your site accessible or to bring it to legal compliance, but to show your commitment and willingness to work on it.
When you hear about Section 508 compliance, especially when you have to be compliant on your own dime, you may think that this is just one of those requirements that your company has to pay big bucks for. Maybe you even thought about checking the box, and see what you can get away with if you don't worry about it. Maybe you thought that you are paying, and others are benefiting. In this article, I would like to show where your company can majorly benefit from Section 508 compliance.
Over the last couple of years more attention was brought to Section 508 lawsuits. It is due to the fact that people started taking advantage of their rights, namely, that electronic information should be accessible to them despite of their disabilities. There are many more organizations which could theoretically be threatened by a Section 508 lawsuit, and it is highly probable that in the future it will be more difficult to get away with non-compliance. It is almost a pattern that the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is part of these Section 508 lawsuits. One of the reasons is that as an organization, they support the complaints of an individual, as an organization. Also, this sends a message to agencies which choose not to comply, namely that there is an organization which will help enforcing Section 508, even if on a case by case basis.
Here, we’ll take a look at the major Section 508 lawsuits filed against agencies and businesses regarding their web sites. Our main goal is to learn from these events so we could avoid facing the same legal problems they have encountered.
According to recent legislation, companies that sell textbooks in California must make digital versions of the books available by 2020. Senator Elaine Alquist, the author of the law claims that it will significantly reduce costs for students.
I'm mostly scratching my head: what's the point here? And don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort, but there's really nothing more to it.
After years of relying on the generosity of their able-bodied family members and friends, persons with disability in Kenya have cause to welcome the new
year with smiles.
Soon, they will be able to access public buildings, operate public telephones and board public service vehicles (PSVs) on their own, thanks to a 2003 Act
of Parliament that came into effect almost seven years later.
Just recently, the National Federation of the Blind filed the third Section 508 related complaint in a row. Will this change how seriously Section 508 compliance will be taken?
Well it didn’t take long for me to find another so called “accessible website” through an article at http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2009/27/c3016.html
titled “ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE | OPP launches redesigned website enhancing public access to OPP information“.
The Author states;
To be inclusive of people with disabilities, the website was designed to meet current accessibility standards.
What standards would that be?
Surely not Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0(WCAG), or even WCAG 1.0!
BALTIMORE, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's oldest and largest organization of blind people and the leading advocate for equal access by the blind to information technology, and Carlos Mora, a blind resident of Baltimore, Maryland, filed an administrative complaint today with the United States Department of Education. The complaint asserts that one of the United States Department of Education's Web sites, U.S.A. Learns, violates Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act because it is inaccessible to blind people who use text-to-speech screen access technology or Braille displays to access information on the Internet. Because of the inaccessibility of the U.S.A. Learns Web site, blind people cannot access or navigate through the content of the English vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation lessons that are offered through the site.
Let's examine the costs and benefits of Section 508 compliance. Before we start selling to the Federal Government or working on one of its development, it is worth looking into what will cost us, what's necessary, and what kinds of benefits can we expect when we want to bring our products to Section 508 compliance.