Design guidelines and tools exist for making web sites accessible for people with disabilities, but a majority of corporate and government web sites continue to be inaccessible. For the U.S. Federal government, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all web sites be accessible, however, a majority of Federal web sites are not in compliance, and site accessibility statements often provide little information. This presentation will provide information on recent research and recent policy activity related to web accessibility. Some recent research findings include studies of human interaction proofs, link structures, and web-based e-mail applications for blind users, and web browsing for expert users with Down syndrome. Some recent policy activities include the July memo from the Office of Management and Budget on Section 508 enforcement, the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Justice Department on the accessibility of web information provided by entities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the administrative complaint filed against Penn State University due to inaccessible campus technology.
Dr. Jonathan Lazar is a Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University. He is the founder and director of the Universal Usability Laboratory at Towson University, and currently serves as director of the undergraduate program in Information Systems. He is interested in research issues related to user-centered design processes, web usability, web accessibility for people with disabilities, and public policy in HCI. Dr. Lazar is co-author of the book “Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction” (Wiley, 2010), editorof the book “Universal Usability” (Wiley, 2007) and author of “Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach” (Addison-Wesley, 2006). Dr. Lazar is the ACM SIGCHI Chair of Public Policy, and he serves on the editorial boards of Universal Access in the Information Society, Interacting with Computers, and ACM Interactions Magazine. Dr. Lazar was named a winner of the 2010 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind, and was named the 2009 Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Science and Mathematics at Towson University.