[community] Press Release: "Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Website Inaccessible for People Living with Disabilities"

David Berman berman at davidberman.com
Thu Jul 21 18:26:44 UTC 2016


We're sharing this critical news. You're amongst the first to get it, as we
think it may be a great fit for you. It's a timely, international human
rights story that has some Canadian twists that is about missed opportunity
and yet hopefulness.

Please find the press release copied below, or at the following link:

Thank you,

David Berman



Online address for this release: http://www.davidberman.com/rio2016
Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Website Inaccessible for People Living
with Disabilities
Organizers report tickets sales are low; Ottawa firm proves their website
excludes millions from buying tickets and offers to donate help to fix

Hundreds of millions of people living with disabilities planning to follow
or buy tickets to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
this summer will not be able to do so through the official website. The
site ( <http://www.rio2016.com/> <http://www.rio2016.com/>www.rio2016.com)
is inaccessible, according to standard testing performed this month by
David Berman Communications in Ottawa.

“The website fails to comply with the lowest level of international
standards for accessible websites (W3C’s WCAG 2.0 Level A). This means, for
example, that a person who cannot see or a person who cannot use a computer
mouse who is trying to buy a ticket to an Olympic event has no chance of
success. And yet Rio 2016 claims their site is accessible
<https://www.rio2016.com/en/accessibility>: we work with so many
organizations who work so hard to have the right to proudly make such
declarations, that we feel we need to speak up on this one and help them
correct it.” says David Berman, e-accessibility and inclusive design expert.

Both the promotional and e-commerce pages of the site fail WCAG 2.0 Level A
formal testing as well as informal user testing. Basic accessibility
constructs, such as providing meaningful descriptions of photographs, have
been ignored... meanwhile, it is impossible to purchase a ticket without
using a mouse: whether using assistive technologies or not. For example,
someone who cannot see (or cannot read) can use an assistive technology
called a screen reader that reads a web page out loud. But key information
that gets read out loud on the ticket-buying pages is unintelligible.

Canada is a world leader in online accessibility. Canada’s federal
government was the first national government in the world to embrace the
WCAG standards, forbidding any public-facing government webpage from not
meeting or exceeding the standard. Ontario was the first government in the
world to make website accessibility the law not just for government, but
for businesses and non-government organizations as well. And now Canada’s
new federal government has committed to the passage of a national
accessibility act.

“We applied standard tests we use to test websites for accessibility to the
rio2016.com site: formal compliance testing (which tests how compliant the
website is against industry standards) as well as usability testing where
people living with disabilities try to perform specific tasks on the site
... the site failed on both mobile and desktop.” said David Berman.

This would mean that the Canadian Minister of Sport and Persons With
Disabilities, Hon. Carla Qualtrough, a person living with disabilities who
has volunteered with the International Paralympic Committee and previously
served as President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, would not be able
to buy tickets to the Rio Olympics or Paralympics unassisted.

The same applies for many Paralympic athletes, as well as millions of
people in the world who live with disabilities, points out Dean Mellway,
three-time Canadian Paralympic medal winner, who directs Carleton
University’s READ initiative <http://carleton.ca/read/about-read/>, where
David chairs the Carleton Access Network.

Brazil’s Minister of Sport, Ricardo Leyser, recently expressed concern that
tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games aren’t selling.

The London 2012 Olympic website, in contrast, is often celebrated as an
example of excellent accessible design.

“Design teams often fear that complying with accessibility regulations will
make their site lose its drama or intrigue. However, we’ve developed a
library of techniques where we promise compliance with all WCAG 2.0 Level A
and Level AA criteria in a way that enhances the user experience for the
entire audience,” Berman continues. “We call this “No Trade-offs” Inclusive
Design: instead of compromise, we improve the design for all. When we
design for the extremes, and we do it well, everyone benefits.”

“There’s still time to make the website accessible before the Olympics,” Berman
assures. “We’re eager to bring some Canadian know-how: we’ll donate our
services to show them how to fix their sites if that’s what it takes so
everyone is welcome to enjoy the Olympic games, in person and online.”


David Berman Communications is an inclusive design firm based in Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada that specializes in testing, coaching, and fixing websites,
documents, and apps, to make them work for everyone. The firm works for
government and private sector clients from around the world, formally
auditing online products against international standards, and then coaching
the best tactics to make the products meet or exceed those standards.

David Berman has served as a senior consultant for Canada's three largest
government Web publishers, and has advised governments in Australia,
Canada, India, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Oman, and the USA, as well as the
private sector (IBM, banks, automotive, consumer electronics...), higher
education (chair of Carleton University’s Carleton Access Network), and
municipalities. David has also been appointed a high-level advisor to the
United Nations on how accessible Web design can help the Developing World,
was named the International Universal Design Champion for the Government of
Ireland, is a member of the ISO standards committee for accessible PDF, and
named an Invited Expert to the W3C (the publisher of WCAG). His passion for
sharing knowledge on how the Web can help improve the world has brought him
to over 60 countries, and his book Do Good Design (Pearson) has been
published in 7 languages.

“This is the first decade that will see the majority of humanity online. We
are the first generation that has the power to include everyone...and
because we can we must.”

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where
Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to
develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey
Jaffe, W3C's mission is to lead the Web to its full potential.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of
recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these
guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with
disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing
loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement,
speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. To reach
Level A compliance, a product must comply with 25 Level A success criteria.
To reach Level AA compliance, a product must comply with the Level A
success criteria as well as the 13 Level AA success criteria.


More information about WCAG 2.0: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

More information about W3C: https://www.w3.org/Consortium/

The web accessibility audit process:

David introduces you to Web accessibility:

More information about David Berman: <http://www.davidberman.com/about>

More information about David Berman Communications:

Press photos of David Berman:

Wikipedia article on David Berman:

Contact Information

David Berman

Email: <berman at davidberman.com> <berman at davidberman.com>
berman at davidberman.com


Phone: 613-728-6777

Tamara Torok, media liaison

Email: <tamara at davidberman.com> <tamara at davidberman.com>
tamara at davidberman.com

Phone: 613-728-6777

Dean Mellway

Email: <dean_mellway at carleton.ca> <dean_mellway at carleton.ca>
dean_mellway at carleton.ca

Phone: 613-520-2600 x1144

David Berman, RGD, FGDC
David Berman Communications | berman at davidberman.com | @davidberman | blog
+1-613-728-6777 | 340 Selby Avenue, Ottawa K2A 3X6

High Level Advisor, United Nations | GDC ethics chair | Ico-D
Sustainability chair | Carleton University Access Network chair
*Upcoming:* Washington | Toronto | Mexico | North Bay | Cyprus | Bali |
*Accessibility courses:* Ottawa | Dublin | Toronto | Edmonton | Washington
Do Good book news:  <http://www.dogoodbook.com/>
<http://www.dogoodbook.com/>"Don't just do good design ... do good!"

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