The World Wide Web Consortium publishes standards for accessibility, researched and developed by the Web accessibility Initiative (WAI). The TBI National Data Center, in developing systems to support the information management and dissemination needs of the TBI Model Systems of Care, supports the WAI and its efforts to make the Internet accessible to people with disabilities.
The Web and Internet systems of the TBI National Data Center are being developed under a 5 year grant from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Over the course of this 5 year period, the web and Internet systems will be developed, tested, and deployed in phases, in support of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems. While certain core accessibility issues are addressed immediately at the infrastructure level or through "best practices", many others will not be achieved until user interface design has stabilized. Thus individual pages of the TBINDC websites may not demonstrate full accessibility during this development cycle.
Is our system "Bobby Approved" or "Section 508 Approved" ?
A new version of the TBINDC.org website was posted March 31, 2003. This website is template-based, driven by a database of structured information. Our web server generates over 1000 total pages disseminating the research, publications, and information about the TBI Model Systems, using a small set of flexible page designs.
Common criteria for "accessibility approval" such as Bobby and 508 are page-based, meaning that every page of a website must individually achieve the standards in order for a website to boast of Bobby or 508 "approval". All of the templates we are using accommodate the requirements of Bobby and 508 approval, enabling us to eventually secure accessibility compliance for all web pages on the site even as the database of research information expands dynamically. As the templates reach design maturity, the pages they generate will achieve accessibility standards.
How do we know if we are accessible?
We use a set of proprietary automated programs to periodically review and adjust our pages for quality as well as design. We use the Watchfire QA product as a check of our own determinations, and as a source of information on emerging accessible design.