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More Than One-Half Of Federal Web Sites Are Not Accessible, Study Finds
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC--According to a report released this week entitled "Achieving E-Government for All", most federal government Web sites are not accessible to about 165 million Americans.

Researchers from Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy examined more than 1,600 government Web sites using Priority Level One guidelines, recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), along with legal requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Just 47 percent of the sites met the basic W3C standards, while only 22 percent met the stricter Section 508 guidelines, which federal agencies and contractors have been required to follow since June 2001.

"This is our right to participate as citizens," said John Kemp, chairman of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

"We welcome and respect inclusion, and we are a far, far cry from that point," he told Federal Computer Week.

The study also revealed that 63 percent of federal Web sites are designed for a 12th-grade average reading level, while the average American citizen reads at or below the 8th-grade level.

Related:
"Achieving E-Government for All: Highlights from a National Survey" (Benton Foundation)

http://www.benton.org/publibrary/egov/access2003.html
"Ramping The Web" by Dave Reynolds (Computor Companion)
http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=144

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