WebMail Accessibility Interest Group

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

All Teleconferences

Teleconference Details

Date: 2006-08-31

Time: 2:00 PM CDT


To all with an interest in the accessibility of web-based e-mail systems:

We will be having a teleconference on accessibility of web-based e-mail
systems this Thursday, August 31st at 2:00 pm CST.

Joining the teleconference will be Donald Evans, Sr. Program Manager from
Office of Accessibility at AOL.

The goal of this teleconference is to establish a working group that will
focus on recommending guidelines for web-based e-mail application
developers. By following these guidelines, any web-based e-mail could be
accessible to everyone including people with disabilities.

I know this is very short notice, but we could not announce it due to
some constrains earlier. We would appreciate if you could join us;
disabled community will benefit from your expertise and experience.

Teleconference information:

Date: 08/31/2006
Time: 3:00 PM EDT/2:00 PM CDT/12:00 PM PDT
Phone: 217 265-9181



Hello Everyone,

I would like to thank you all for your participations in our first WebMail Accessibility teleconference. I am very positive that we all together can contribute
into accessibility of web-based e-mail systems; a system that we and millions of users depend on it including people with disabilities.

thank you also for your quick response to my request regarding providing me with your names and e-mail addresses. I have added all your names to the WebMail
Accessibility Working Group mailing list.

From now, please send any relevant correspondences to:


Our mailing list archive is located at:


You can also customize your subscription at the above address.

Our next teleconference will be on 09/07/2006. Don cannot make it at 2:00 PM CDT, however he can do it at 1:00 PM CDT. I was wondering if we can change
the time of our next teleconference to 1:00 PM CDT. If this change conflicts with anyone's schedule, please let me know and we meet as we agreed on.
Info about the next teleconference will be announced soon But for now please schedule it in your busy calendar.

Don and Bill, thank you for your e-mails. I am going to forward your e-mails to the list. Don, I will remove the name of the sender because I am not sure
if I have the permission to publish it.

Finally, here's the notes taken by Jon. Thank you Jon.

WebMail Applications Teleconference  (08/31/2006)
* Harvey Press, U.S. Department of Justice
* Hadi Rangin, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
* Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
* Robert Dumas, Blackboard/WebCT
* Larry Herman, MiraPoint and partner with Blackboard
* Lu Jenas, FAA Anchorage
* Janet Peters, Great Lakes ADA
* Julio Chavarria, Great Lakes ADA
* Don Evans, AOL
* Mike Scott, MFSW Consulting
* Loretta Reid, Adobe
* Gale Stafford, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
* Bill Porter, U.S. Coast Guard
* Brandon Taylor, City Colleges of Chicago

* Rachel Garaghty,
* Joseph A. Miller, Defense Logistics Agency
* Ken Petri, Ohio State University

1. Introductions

2. Discussion

LH: Education to developers, training on basic accessibility needs
HR: We have been working with other web developers they are often overwhelmed and they do not have a very good understanding of accessibility
JG: Hadi and I are often at a different place so it is important for us to understand where people are at
RD: My experience started out as these basic requirements, one of the real issues is there needs to change the process, so our goal is have accessibility
at the start of the process
BP: Standards board is meeting and that we could send this
JG: We would like to get information to the access board
HR: Writing the guidelines, we are not in your environment, are these things doable at your company
DE: That is how things work in AOL, markup requirements can be in the specification, you need to be a part of the process
DE: I have a set of requirements for accessible web requirements, I am not sure we cannot get to that in current web environments
DE: Does accessible web mail in version 2.0 possible in alternatives
HR: I don't like to have two different views, if you are using best practices then everyone has access, many times text only sites are not maintained or
have the full features
JG: AJAX has to be a part of these discussions
LH: We have different presentations based on user preferences, we have some newer versions that incorporate AJAX technologies to make it look like other
e-mail programs
LH and HR: Discussion of how different modes may help some users
JG: Discussion of functional accessibility features for web based e-mail systems
HR: Send information to the list related to accessibility
MS: We are finding developers are using toolkits that automatically generate the HTML
RD: We are lucky to have a front end development team, the developers work with Java to directly generate the HTML
RD: We need to be careful as we start using web 2.0 techniques and toolkits
RD: Since we have a front end development team to research solutions before developers use them
RD: We are also interested in interoperability, so we want basic functionality on older browsers that don't support AJAX
LH: We have a front end group and we are also concerned about interoperability and older browsers
LH: We like to have one or two apps are configurable
DE: We use HTML and javascript technologies in AOL, we have alot of dynamic content and tree views
DE: Advertisers like these kinds of interfaces
HR: There are alot of things that can be done with HTML, but some people choose flash, why use flash, when you can use HTML
DE: Rapid development tools often uses Flash
DE: JAWS has a bug in ID and focus
HR: Accessibility is more than JAWS, we want accessibility for everyone, I use JAWS and it has many bugs
DE: Let's talk about tree views and keyboard navigation
HR: Other thoughts

3. Ideas from teleconference
a. One single application that is accessible, rather than separate accessibility features
b. Education and training materials
c. Interest in use of guidelines for other products
d. Best practices for web e-mail applications
e. Web Application Toolkit accessibility
f. Application degrade gracefully when automation features
g. User choices over features

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