AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Eve Modzelewski
Aug. 12--For some of the 54 million disabled people in the country, the Internet is becoming a more welcoming place -- and it could change the way businesses approach Web design.
A recent shove by the federal government aims to make the multimedia glitz of cyberspace a little more intelligible for people with vision, hearing, motor skills and cognitive impairments. Since late June, agencies and contractors of the federal government have been required by law -- specifically, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act -- to make their Web sites accessible to people with disabilities.
In many cases, that's no simple task.
It means colorful graphics must be translated for color-blind users. Crowded hyperlinks have to be spread out so people with motor-skills impairments can click them. All images on a Web site should be accompanied by textual descriptions, and sound files need to include captions. That's just the beginning of the details included in the 16 new guidelines.
Following the federal government's action, companies such as Oakland-based Ripple Effects Interactive have developed specialty practices to help businesses make Web sites accessible and also to conform with …