Chip Adams was kind enough to point me (along with several other colleagues) to some pretty interesting (and positive) news.
Reported in an article at Excite News, titled Web Sites Agree to Be Accessible to Blind: Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, Priceline.com and Ramada.com have agreed to make significant changes to their sites specifically for those browsing with screen reading software and other assistive technology.
That’s of course great news. And I also found this quote rather interesting:
We hope it’s going to be influencing other companies throughout the United States so that the 10 million blind and visually impaired people can fully participate in our society at all levels. —Carl Augusto, president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind.
10 million. For anyone who wonders if the accessibility of a site is important, or whether or not people browse your site with screen reading software–it’s an awfully large number of people to ignore. And that’s just in the U.S. alone.
Without extra effort, building on a foundation of lean, structured markup can do wonders for a site’s accessibility, and it appears that with Priceline and Ramada publicly acknowledging the importance–things are headed in the right direction.