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Research, viewpoints and tools in support of
making Web sites accessible to people with disabilities

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Many environmental barriers to people with disabilities can be removed by making minor modifications or adjustments. The same is true of Web sites!

If you construct a building, it's easier and cheaper to put in access for people with disabilities during the initial construction than to add it on later. The same is true of Web sites!

Making accommodations on your Web site for the greatest number of users increases the availability and usefulness of those materials. A few scenerios to consider:

People with disabilities use special tools to browse the Web, and these assistive technologies can be confused by some Web site designs and functions. Designing your web site to be accessible by people using assistive technologies is very simple and costs nothing if its done as you build your Web site.

View pages on your Web site through Bobby, http://www.cast.org/bobby/, and see how accessible the pages are to people with disabilities (start with your home page, then try your page for volunteers, etc.). Bobby will grade a Web page, show you exactly where problems could occur for a user, and show exactly how to change the .html code for each problem to render the page fully accessible. Bobby was created at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), a non-profit organization whose mission is to expand opportunities for all people, especially those with disabilities, through the innovative uses of computer technology. The Bobby Web site provides a great deal of information to help you make your Web site accessible to the greatest number of people possible.

Bobby approved

The AIR-Austin Web site is "Bobby Approved" -- meaning our site is fully-accessible to people using assistive technologies to view Web pages. We used Bobby to guide this process.

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Examples! View our Gallery of Accessibility, links to award-winning Web sites that pass the BOBBY test.

Other suggested resources

An Example of Disability Access Design Standards

The following is an excerpt from the City of San Jose, California Web site's "Disability Access Design Standards". In recognition of its efforts to design its Web sites with easy-access in mind, the San Jose site was selected as a model City link for the federal government Center on Information Technology Accommodation. These standards are excellent for any organization to follow.

To see this policy in action, see the San Jose Police Department Web site at
http://www.sjpd.org


This information is from the Virtual Volunteering Project, http://www.impactonline.org/vv/ with help from a special grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. It is reprinted with permission.

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AIR Austin Logo
For more information about AIR-Austin, call
Sharron Rush at 512/478-2581
or send email sharrush@mail.utexas.edu
or visit the
AIR-Austin Web site
http://www.main.org/AIR-Austin