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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Lawmakers Miss Chance To Get Message To Many Internet Users
March 15, 2004

PORTLAND, MAINE--Every Website has a message.

Unfortunately, many Web designers still keep millions of people from fully accessing their sites and their message.

In spite of government regulations requiring accessible technologies, government Websites themselves may be among the worst when it comes to being accessible to Internet users with disabilities, especially those who do not or cannot read.

The Portland Press Herald reported Monday that most Maine lawmakers are missing out on the chance to get their message to many constituents because their Websites are not compatible with computer programs that "read" text on monitors and turn it into an electronic voice.

Some experts say the problem can be traced to Web designers that simply don't know how to make sites accessible. One professor of Web design blamed designers who put a "slick" look ahead of usability.

"Internet opens up to visually impaired" (Portland Press Herald)
"Section 508: The Road to Accessibility" (U.S. Department of Justice)
"Ramping The Web" by Dave Reynolds (Computor Companion -- Winter 2001/2002)


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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.