Public Release: 

Expert To Address Web Accessibility For Persons With Disabilities

National Science Foundation

Information technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives through its impact on work, commerce, scientific and engineering research, education and social interaction. Technology developed for the "typical" user, however, may inadvertantly create barriers for people with disabilities. The World Wide Web currently presents many such barriers.

The World Wide Web Consortium was created in 1994 to develop common protocols that enhance the interoperability and promote the evolution of the World Wide Web. The consortium is announcing the formation of the International Program Office for the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Its mission is to address the accessibility of the web.

Judy Brewer, recently appointed director of the new WAI International Program Office, will discuss the activities of the initiative and address the impact of accessible design as well as marketing benefits for non-disabled technology users.

The WAI, funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, represents a unique partnership of industry, US and European governments and disability organizations working cooperatively to shape the information technology in our lives.

Who: Judy Brewer, Director, International Program Office Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium

What: Morning Newsmaker

When: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, October 22

Where: National Press Club - Zenger Room
14th & F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

For more information contact:
Beth Gaston, (703) 306-1070/egaston@nsf.gov

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