June 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 6

AccessWorld News

AccessWorld News

Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship Deadline Approaching

The deadline for the Joseph Roeder Assistive Technology Scholarship from the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) is fast approaching. The Roeder Scholarship is a $2,500 grant made to an individual who is blind and interested in pursuing a career in access technology.

The scholarship is named in memory of Joe Roeder, who served as senior access technology specialist at the NIB from 1997 until his death in 2010.

Applicants must be entering their third or fourth year of college or graduate school, or changing careers to pursue a career in assistive technology.

All applications and additional documents must be submitted online no later than July 8, 2011. Visit the NIB website for the scholarship application. Those with questions may contact Kathy Gallagher at 703-310-0343 or kgallagher@nib.org.

National Federation of the Blind Expresses Outrage, Demands Swift Action at Study Indicating Federal Government's Non-compliance with Website Accessibility Requirements

A study recently published in the journal Government Information Quarterly found that of the homepages of 100 websites operated by federal government agencies, over 90 percent contained violations of the government's own guidelines for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That law requires that government electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "Blind Americans are outraged that the government is failing to comply with its own guidelines to make government information and services available to citizens with disabilities. Given the clear legal requirements of Section 508 and the fact that use of the Internet is critical to education, employment, access to government benefits and services, and all other aspects of modern life, there is no excuse for failure to follow and rigorously enforce these guidelines. We demand that officials in all branches of government take immediate steps to bring all federal Web sites into compliance with the law, and we pledge to continue to hold the federal government accountable if it continues to treat the blind and others with disabilities as second-class citizens."

Most of the accessibility problems were common ones that are easily resolved, such as unlabeled images, mislabeled forms or tables, videos without captioning, flash without any textual equivalents, and lack of keyboard equivalents for mouse-over actions.

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