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Re: University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.

for

From: Sharron Rush
Date: Aug 29, 2008 12:20PM


Update on the closing for the Accessibility Institute:

Andrew Dillon, Dean of the I School has renewed his proposal to take
John's work into that school and build on it. We are petitioning UT
to seriously consider this option....the petition is online
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/SavetheInstitute

Thanks to Jared and all who have already signed, please distribute freely.

Best,
Sharron


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>
>Today's Topics:
>
> 1. Re: University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
> (Cynthia Waddell)
> 2. Re: University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
> (Moore, Michael)
> 3. Youtube announce captioning support (Christian Heilmann)
> 4. Re: University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
> (Jared Smith)
>
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>From: "Cynthia Waddell" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
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>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
>Message: 1
>
>Mike,
>Thank you for the heads-up on this sad news. Is the decision purely based
>on financial and funding issues? Do you believe that the university had all
>pertinent information before them when they made this decision? So much is
>going on in the US and the world that I am surprised that the university is
>taking itself out of the loop.
>
>Best regards,
>Cynthia Waddell
>
>--------------------------------------------------
>Cynthia D. Waddell, JD
>Executive Director and
>Law, Policy and Technology Consultant
>International Center for Disability Resources
> on the Internet (ICDRI)
>Phone: (408) 691-6921
>
>ICDRI is based in
>Raleigh, North Carolina USA
>http://www.icdri.org/CynthiaW/cynthia_d.htm
>
>See My New Book!
>Web Accessibility: Web Standards and
>Regulatory Compliance by Apress
>at www.icdri.org/WSR_Book.htm
>See also Constructing Accessible Web Sites
>www.icdri.org/constructing_accessible_web_site.htm
>
>Is your Web Site Accessible?
>Find out now with Cynthia Says! www.cynthiasays.com
>Endorsed by the American Council of the Blind,
>the CynthiaSaysTM portal is a joint Education
>and Outreach project of ICDRI, The Internet
>Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter,
>and HiSoftware.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Moore, Michael [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
>Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:31 AM
>To: WebAIM Discussion List
>Subject: [WebAIM] University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
>
>All,
>
>Here is what I have been able to gather from my communications with
>friends at the University of Texas.
>
>1. The Accessibility Institute at the University of Texas will be
>closed effective August 29th 2008.
>2. Proposals to move the work to the College of Information and/or
>the College of Computer Science have not been accepted. Although those
>institutions are capable of conducting the research there are no
>specific funds, faculty, or researcher positions to support this work.
>3. The two primary researchers from the Accessibility Institute are
>no longer available. The founder and Director, John Slatin, PhD passed
>away last spring and Kay Lewis, PhD has accepted another position.
>4. The University's IT department has few resources dedicated to
>accessibility. Two systems analysts are assigned 15% of their time each
>to oversee accessibility for the University's 1M+ web pages.
>
>It is very disappointing that the University has made this decision. The
>University of Texas has the stature, funding, reputation, and experience
>necessary to attract researchers and faculty needed to continue and
>build the Accessibility Institute. All that the University's
>administration seems to lack is the interest.
>
>The UT Accessibility Institute through Dr. Slatin was able to exert
>considerable influence on the development and implementation of
>accessibility standards world-wide. This included the formation of the
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative and the WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 as well as the
>US Access Board and the Section 508 standards. Although I have
>tremendous admiration and respect for John, I do not believe that he
>would have been as influential had his advocacy not been backed by the
>solid research conducted at the Institute and the prestige of the
>University of Texas. The loss of the UT Accessibility Institute is a
>loss for the University, the State of Texas, the nation, and the world.
>Most importantly it is a loss for millions of disabled people who have
>benefited from the research, education, and advocacy that was conducted
>through the Institute.
>
>The University runs promotional commercials during sports broadcasts
>where Walter Cronkite, speaks about the influence of the University.
>"The University of Texas, what starts here changes the world." This was
>certainly true of the Accessibility Institute. By closing the Institute,
>the University of Texas is signaling that accessibility is not a
>priority anymore. I can only hope that this decision does not change
>the world.
>
>Mike Moore
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>From: "Moore, Michael" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
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>Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 16:21:44 -0500
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>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
>Message: 2
>
>Cynthia Waddell wrote:
>
>Thank you for the heads-up on this sad news. Is the decision purely
>based
>on financial and funding issues?
>
>Mike: The form letter that those of us who have written to the
>University to advocate for the Institute have received states that the
>Institute cannot continue to exist without Dr. Slatin. I do not believe
>that the University of Texas cannot attract someone in the academic
>community with the interest and ability to carry on John and Kay's work.
>My sources at UT tell me that there was never an attempt to find a new
>head for the Institute. The position was never posted. Other UT faculty
>members have expressed a desire to continue the Institute.
>
>Do you believe that the university had all
>pertinent information before them when they made this decision?
>
>Mike: No, we are actively trying to provide them with the information
>and encouragement that they need to reverse their decision. All help
>would be greatly appreciated.
>
>So much is
>going on in the US and the world that I am surprised that the university
>is
>taking itself out of the loop.
>
>Mike: So am I.
>
>
>
>
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>From: Christian Heilmann < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
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>Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 13:12:11 +0100
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>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>Subject: [WebAIM] Youtube announce captioning support
>Message: 3
>
>w00t!
>
>"YouTube Blog Post":http://de.youtube.com/blog?entry=mi8D3ntPgFQ
>"Detailed information on YouTube
>support":http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=100079
>
>
>
>
>
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>From: "Jared Smith" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
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>
>< <EMAIL REMOVED> >
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>Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 11:40:08 -0600
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>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] University of Texas Accessibility Institute to close.
>Message: 4
>
>If you believe it is a poor decision by the University of Texas to
>close the Accessibility Institute, you can complete the petition at
>the following URL:
>
>http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/SavetheInstitute
>
>Jared Smith
>WebAIM
>
>
>