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Promoting Contact Orgs Inaccessible Sites

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Resources & Pointers

Audience & Messages

  1. Audience: Users - people who want to report accessibility barriers.
    Message: use this resource to help you - make it easier and hopefully more effective
  2. Audience: Owners - websites owners & developers.
    Message: point users to this resource to help them give you more useful feedback about accessibility issues (e.g., example under Contacting Us)

Blog posts, newsletter blurbs, etc.

Published Dec 2011 and Jan., 2012

  • e-mail lists:
    • webwatch@accessplace.net - Jennifer, 2 Dec 2011
    • VICUG-L@LISTSERV.ICORS.ORG 285 members - Jennifer, 2 Dec 2011
    • ACCESOWEB (accesoweb@yahoogroups.com) 1.821 members - Emmanuelle, 15 Dec 2011
    • Discapacidadyderechoshumanos (discapacidadyderechoshumanos@gruposyahoo.com)588 members - Emmanuelle, 15 Dec 2011
    • Acessibilidade (acessibilidade@yahoogrupos.com.br) 584 members - Emmanuelle, 15 Dec 2011
    • ...

(Older WAI ones are listed in #Resources & Pointers above and others are listed in #Previous blogs, etc. below.)

Draft posts/blurbs

Spanish translations of these posts/blurbs

Audience: Users - Short (initial editor: Jennifer Sutton)

[disabilities audience] During the holidays, shopping online can be frustrating for people with disabilities. Does any of this sound familiar? You have the perfect gift in mind,...

[broader audience] During the holidays, shopping online can be frustrating for people with disabilities. Imagine how you’d feel if you have the perfect gift in mind,...

...but then, you can't read the site easily, you can't find the item amid all of the links on the page, you aren't sure whether the item is really in your shopping cart, or you can't check out independently. It's not fun when you can't keep a gift a secret because you can't buy it without help. Complaining on Twitter or Facebook won't help much in the longrun. So, how can you raise your concerns constructively, spread good cheer while helping to make the Web more accessible, and start getting positive results? Try visiting these two pages for some tips and sample email messages. See blog http://bit.ly/inaccessible1 and document http://bit.ly/inaccessible2

Audience: Users - Longer (initial editor: Jennifer Sutton)

{To newsletter editors: You are welcome to use this verbatim attributed to Jennifer Sutton. If you would like to make edits, contact Jennifer at jsuttondc@gmail.com}

When I go online during the holidays, I just want to find what I'm looking for and check out without needing any help. But sometimes, by the time I'm done, my holiday cheer is beginning to fade. Trying to use an inaccessible site to buy a gift or make a donation on behalf of a loved one can take time I simply don't have during the busy holiday season.

But if I spend a little extra time to report my experiences to the organizations that run the sites I visit, I believe my efforts will make the Web a better place next year.

As I make my shopping list and gather links to the sites I plan to visit, I'm adding a couple of other links to my collection, so they'll be handy. I'm also setting up an email template or two in advance to help me quickly report my shopping experiences -- both the good ones and the ones that are harder than I might wish. Why not join me and start off your New Year positively by helping to make the Web a more accessible place?

Find tips about giving accessibility feedback to Web sites by visiting these two Web pages, brought to you by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative: blog http://bit.ly/inaccessible1 and document http://bit.ly/inaccessible2.

Audience: Web Managers and Developers (initial editor: Sharron Rush)

If you sell goods and services online, you have an eager market of more than 750 million people throughout the world. In the United States alone, this group maintains an aggregate income that now exceeds $1 trillion and boasts $220 billion in discretionary spending power, according to Fortune Magazine.

As ideal as it sounds, many online retailers fail to reach this valuable market because their web sites are not accessible to the group described - people with disabilities. This large and growing group of customers is likely to lose interest when form inputs aren't labeled, graphic elements are not described, or the next step in a purchase process shows up in a modal dialogue that can't be found by assistive technology. These and other design barriers can make online shopping miserable for potential buyers with disabilities.

If your customers are frustrated, you want to know about it. The Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C has a resource to help them communicate with you in a constructive and useful way. Consider posting a link on your shopping pages for customers who encounter shopping barriers.

The guide is called Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites and can help your potential customers describe specific areas of pain. Open the channels of communication to potential customers with disabilities. You may make their holidays much merrier and give yourself the gift of a new customer who is likely to return. May all your holidays be bright!

Audience: UN Organizations (initial editor: Vicki Menezes Miller)

Web Accessibility - Watch This Corner: Help make the Web more accessible during the holidays. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 9(g) requires that web sites are accessible to all. W3C Web Accessibility Initiative provides a wealth of resources and guidance, This month: If you want to contact an organization to suggest improvements in web accessibility, go to: http://bit.ly/inaccessible2

Audience: Public Institutions (initial editor: Wayne)

Your service unit worked hard on the Website. You set aside budget and hired good people. Now, you offer most services online. The Web also informs people about services, classes and events offered at the institution. Directions, calendars and other key information are distributed through your on-line presence. You save your clients hours of commute time. You are proud, and should be.

You may not realize it, but many people with disabilities will visit the site. This is a large and growing group, and it is likely that these visitors may miss important opportunities at your institution because of easily fixed mistakes that obstruct their access. Form inputs appear without labels; graphic elements are used without text description, or the next step in a registration process shows up in a modal dialogue that cannot be found by assistive technology. These and other design barriers can make online usage miserable or impossible for clients with disabilities. Your Website could block access to public services that are intended for everyone — even people with disabilities.

If your clientele is frustrated, you want to know about it. The Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C has a resource to help them communicate with you in a constructive and useful way. Consider posting a link on your institutional pages for users who encounter barriers.

The guide is called Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites and can help your potential customers describe specific areas of pain. Open the channels of communication to potential customers with disabilities. You may make their holidays much merrier and give yourself the gift of a new customer who is likely to return. May your all your holidays be bright!

Audience: Job Seekers with Disabilities (initial editor: Sharron Rush)

Year-end shopping is an incentive for many retailers to add staff and therefore often a good time to find work. As more retailers expect applicants to submit inquiries online, the accessibility of the application process becomes critically important to job seekers with disability. Optimism can quickly turn to discouragement when form inputs aren't labeled, graphic elements are not described, or the next step in the application process shows up in a modal dialogue that can't be found by assistive technology. These and other design barriers can make the online job search miserable for potential buyers with disabilities. An inaccessible web application process can harm the business as well.

Employees with disabilities are generally a great asset to a company, according to studies by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the US Department of Labor. Businesses need to know if their employment application process is excluding valuable human resources. As employees, people with disabilities add to the range of viewpoints businesses need to succeed, offering fresh ideas on how to solve problems, accomplish tasks and implement strategies. Hiring people with disabilities can positively impact a business's bottom line. Recruiting and retaining workers with disabilities is one strategy to counter the effects of the aging and shrinking workforce. This untapped labor pool can offer a source of skilled employees and can contribute to increasing retention and reducing turnover. In addition, tax incentives and technical assistance can assist with accommodations, which are often relatively easy and inexpensive to implement.

If you encounter barriers to applying for jobs online, you can provide a valuable service by letting the employer know about it. Find tips about giving accessibility feedback to Web sites by visiting these two Web pages, brought to you by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative: blog http://bit.ly/inaccessible1 and document http://bit.ly/inaccessible2.

Tweet ideas

  1. If an inaccessible site frustrates you during the holidays, here's how you can take action: http://bit.ly/inaccessible2
  2. Tired of yelling at your computer about inaccessible websites? A blog post describes what you can do: http://bit.ly/inaccessible1
  3. Have you used sample emails to contact an organization about its inaccessible site? Start here to check them out: http://bit.ly/inaccessible2
  4. Help make the Web more accessible during the holidays. Contact an organization to suggest improvements: http://bit.ly/inaccessible2
  5. Finding a website inaccessible? Tell them! Tips & sample emails - blog http://bit.ly/inaccessible1 & doc http://bit.ly/inaccessible2 #a11y {WAI tweeted 2 Dec 2011}

Previous blogs, references, etc.

EOWG Contacts Dec 2011

...suggesting an organization do "a blog post that best reflects the organization's position in this matter." (Jennifer)

See also the #Published Dec 2011 list above