Don't fear 508

If you work for a federal government agency, you have until June 21 to make systems and Web sites accessible. A short article in Government Computer News breaks down the reasons to be 508 compliant into 2 bullet points: First is simple fairness and equity. The benefits of information technology should not be restricted to the fully able. In fact, severely handicapped people, such as quadriplegics, have been projecting their intellects for many years with the augmentation of specialized IT input and output devices. Second, especially for Web sites, it turns out that it's fairly straightforward to make a careful, highly usable system accessible. Clear and navigable layouts, logical link patterns, and freedom from excessive graphics and audio-visual gew-gaws make a Web site easier and more efficient for all users. A site so designed is more likely to be compatible with add-on products for screen reading, type enlargement and the like.