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NEW ACCVERIFY SE 2002 FOR MICROSOFT FRONTPAGE ENABLES UNPARALLELED ACCESSIBILITY TESTING.

HiSoftware, Inc. will provide all Microsoft FrontPage users access to AccVerify SE 2002, an updated version of AccVerify SE for Microsoft FrontPage, free of charge. This software is available through a strategic relationship between HiSoftware Company and Microsoft Corporation and will provide FrontPage users with the ability to test their Web sites for complete conformance with standards mandated by Section 508 of the federal government's Rehabilitation Act, as well as the international accessibility guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments, which marks its one-year anniversary on June 21, mandates that federal agencies ensure that all electronic and information technologies purchased, maintained or developed meet the accessibility standards established by the U.S. Access Board. Although federally mandated, state governments and private organizations can also benefit by adhering to these standards, which enable access and usability by the widest possible audience.

"Universal design and accessibility on the Web are essential for educational institutions and information providers as we all strive to bring our sites into compliance with Section 508 guidelines," said Gretchen Gfeller, Web and public relations specialist for the Fogler Library, University of Maine. "AccVerify, which offers the ability to make necessary code changes from directly within the authoring environment, is a definite advantage and enhances the appeal of Microsoft FrontPage."

The newest release of AccVerify SE tests for compliance with all programmatic and visual requirements under Section 508, as well as the international accessibility guidelines set forth in W3C WCAG 1.0 Priority 1-3. The advanced testing features are unique to this solution, as all other accessibility tools only have a mechanism for completing the programmatic tests. The Accessibility Interview Wizard is an XML/RDF based technology that allows AccVerify SE users to ensure that their Web sites are designed to conform completely to the accessibility standards; and further, to note in the reports who completed the verification. The reports can be saved, e-mailed, printed and displayed in either text or HTML.

"AccVerify SE is ready to run out of the box but provides unsurpassed customization and scalability options for advanced accessibility testing," said John Lutts, HiSoftware's director of engineering, "The solutions have been designed to work together seamlessly to provide complete accessibility testing and enable FrontPage developers to achieve the highest level of Web site accessibility and usability."

"AccVerify SE 2002 is congruent with Microsoft's continued efforts to champion solutions that are accessible to all people, including those with disabilities," said Giovanni Mezgec, lead product manager for Microsoft FrontPage. "At Microsoft, we believe accessible design is good design and are actively engaged with our partners and customers in developing accessible products. Our relationship with HiSoftware takes this process one step beyond product development and underscores our commitment to encouraging and enabling the development of accessible Web content."

AccVerify SE also includes the new Usability Visual Test Manager, which enables Web designers to easily implement standard usability testing practices and to create and deploy corporate-wide custom usability testing practices as part of their design and quality assurance protocol.

"Programmatic accessibility testing was most important in our initial (retrospective) site repair effort, as we were working against federal and state-imposed compliance deadlines," said Stephen Thergeson, Colorado Department of Education. "Manual testing became more important recently, especially in situations where as multiple authors and editors have had access to the same files. In both cases, the seamless integration of accessibility testing with Web authoring has had a measurable impact on the usability of our Web site. Using AccVerify for Microsoft FrontPage, we've increased site visits by 50 percent and repeat visitors by 73 percent over the past 12 months."

The combination of FrontPage and AccVerify provide an unparalleled solution for the creation of accessible and usable Web content. AccVerify SE provides a complete tutorial on the creation of accessible content and the use of FrontPage to create an accessible Web site.[sections]
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Comment:NEW ACCVERIFY SE 2002 FOR MICROSOFT FRONTPAGE ENABLES UNPARALLELED ACCESSIBILITY TESTING.(Product Announcement)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Words:651
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