Web Accesibility

DOJ Motto

Effective March 15th, 2011 Web Accessibility has the force of law and is no longer just a set of guidelines and an Internet Initiative.

What this means is that infractions are being referred to the US Department of Justice, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section just as they would if they were fair housing or such complaints. That is because fairness and accessibility are guaranteed human rights violation that affect a class of persons as easily if they were racial, gender, sexual or other kinds of discrimination. Web Accessibility is the law.

Dept of Justice Seal

Web Accessibility began as the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of W3.org

WAI answers the three basic questions:

  1. Why: The Case for Web Accessibility

    Equal access and opportunity are recognized as basic human rights.
    These are not just US laws, they are defined by the United Nations as Human Rights Violations. That may seem extreme, but when you design a web page it can be read around the world by billions of people. Currently around 10 per cent of the total world’s population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability, including millions that struggle daily with blindness, hearing disabled and physically disabled that can’t use mouse or keyboard. Some people this is the only way they can communicate with the world. This may include people who are elderly, or live in rural and/or developing nations.
  2. What: Examples of Web Accessibility 

    Alternative text is the classic example of web accessibility, although it is not limited to that. Images should include equivalent alternative text in the markup/code.Mouse is another example. All functions must also be available through the keyboard. In addition assistive technology must be available for those that can’t use the keyboard and rely on speech to text processors etc.

    Transcripts for Podcasts is the third example. Many can’t hear audio or see video so transcript services make them accessible.

  3. How: Make your Website and Web Tools Accessible 

    An introduction to web accessibility can be found at W3.org/WAI 

    The latest in-depth WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Sept, 2013Summary: Accessibility is essential for developers and organizations that want to create high quality websites and web tools, and not exclude people from using their products and services.

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About Michael T Reidy

I am a student in the Web Development Associates of Applied Technology degree program at Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Our instructor is Lorelle VanFossen who was a senior editor of the WordPress codex. I have been working with computers for over 25 years. My first computer job was managing electronic data processing (EDP) for the US Department of Commerce as the Assistant Manager for Electronic Data Processing (AMEDP) in the Tulsa Regional Office of the 1990 Decennial Census. The computer was a midrange DEC VAX/VMS. Soon after, PC Networks became popular and I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE+I) and Trainer (MCT). I was recruited by IBM Sales as a Field Technical Support Specialist to launch their new PC Server brand. A few years later, I was invited to join IBM Global Services as a Team Lead Professional Server Expert (PSE) and Global IT Architect for Systems and Storage. I was both a contributing member and review board architect of IBM Global Services Reference Architecture. As Lead Architect for Integrated Storage Management Services (ISMS), I was the sole author of the IBM Global Services (GS) Method for Lean Storage Services: ISMS. When IBM Global Services offshored to India in the financial crises of 2007, I relocated to Vancouver, WA. For the past six years, I have worked independently as an Audio/Video Producer and Web Manager. In my personal life, I am the Minister of the St Clare Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in Portland, OR and a Regional Councilor for Troubadours of Peace (ToP) Region in the Pacific Northwest states of OR, WA, AK, ID. I am responsible for Communications Technology development for ToP Region. I served the National Franciscan Order – USA (NAFRA) as a Q Committee member (AV Producer) for the NAFRA Quinquennial XVIII in Chicago, 2012. I twice received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for National Engineers Week: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. I chaired the efforts of IBM, in conjunction with Intel, to promote minority recruitment in engineering through such programs as: Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro (Design Your Future). I was also an elementary and secondary classroom advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). I currently volunteer as a Spiritual Care Volunteer for Legacy Hospital, Salmon Creek and as a Hospice Volunteer for the Veterans Administration in Vancouver, WA.

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