A Newsletter of the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
(Summer 1999, Volume 17 Number 1)

Update on Newsline for the Blind

Our special service which offers our users the opportunity to read newspapers from any touch-tone telephone, 24-hours daily, will soon be offered statewide. Newsline for the Blind, a service of the National Federation of the Blind, is now available at no cost to our users in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, where it can be accessed by a local phone call. Interested users may request an application be mailed to them. After filling out this application, which must be returned to the NFB in Baltimore, Maryland, users will be issued an identification number and security code. These will allow them to choose among the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Users can jump from one article to another, or from one newspaper to another, and can increase or reduce the speed of reading to adjust to personal needs. Once registered, current users may dial 224-5345 in the Madison area and 286-0600 in the Milwaukee area to use the service, but in October we hope to announce a statewide toll-free number for the service. In order to use the 800 number as soon as it is available, Regional Library users should request an application NOW.
As a special incentive, when we preview the 800 number, we will also be adding the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal to the newspapers available. The National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland, currently is beta-testing these newspapers.


Avis Rent-a-Car will be improving access to its airport shuttle systems for people with disabilities, under an agreement with the United States Department of Justice. The nation's second largest rental car company will provide accessible airport shuttle buses at all of its airport locations across the country, by agreement with the Justice Department.
The out-of-court agreement resolves a complaint filed by a traveler who uses a wheelchair alleging that Avis Rent A Car, Inc., violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing access to the shuttle system that operated between the terminal at the Detroit Metro Airport and its offsite rental car facilities. The agreement requires Avis to ensure that each of its 36 shuttle systems has at least one wheelchair-accessible vehicle by December 2000. During negotiations, Avis agreed to expand the settlement to cover all of its airport shuttle systems, not just the one at Detroit Metro.
"Airline travelers who use wheelchairs will be able to go from the airport terminal to their rental cars as easily as other customers," said Bill Lann Lee, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "This is a model agreement and Avis should be highly commended for its cooperation and, more significantly, its desire to provide the best possible service to its customers with disabilities."
Under title III of the ADA, businesses that operate shuttle systems on a "fixed route", like Avis, are required to ensure that any newly acquired or leased vehicles that are large enough to carry more than sixteen persons, are accessible to people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs.
Avis has already added wheelchair lifts to two vehicles at the Detroit Airport that the Justice Department determined should have been equipped with them, but were not. Avis has also agreed to ensure that all of its newly acquired large shuttle vehicles are accessible to wheelchair users; to retrofit existing vehicles; and, to provide evidence that, as part of its comprehensive nationwide barrier removal program, it has removed the architectural barriers identified by the Department at Avis' Detroit facility. In addition, Avis will continue to make available "curbside service" at all airport locations nationwide, even though it might not be required at every location.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the ADA or today's settlement can call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800)514-0383/TDD or access the ADA home page at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm.

The Tulsa-based Narrative Television Network is proud to announce that their television and movie programming made accessible for blind and visually impaired people now is available world-wide on the Internet via their web site at http://www.narrativetv.com. The programming is available free-of-charge, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. Users can enjoy the programs on demand as well.

A new organization, Wisconsin Braille, has been founded with the purpose of ensuring the smooth flow of high-quality brailled materials to blind and visually impaired residents of Wisconsin. The membership consists of teachers of visually impaired students, their education assistants, braille transcribers, proofreaders, administrators, producers, librarians, parents, and braille readers. Annual membership is $10. For more information, contact Constance Risjord, 15196 Shellington Drive, Cazenovia, WI 53924. Phone: 608-647-7129. E-mail: crisjord@compuserve.com.

Reminder: Other LBPH users have asked us to ask you to tell us about defective tapes by putting a rubber band around the bad tape, inside its case, before returning it to us. If you don't tell us, it could go out to disappoint another user. Thank you.

Bank One, Wisconsin, is a leading provider of financial products and services, with 85 banking centers, telephone banking, and 150 ATMs in the state. In addition, OnLine Banking at http://www.bankone.com now serves 200,000 customers in the U.S. Bank One offers customers large print checks, braille ATMs, TDD Services, 24-hour Customer Service by toll-free phone number, and accessible lobbies. For more information, contact a local Bank One center.


Here are some "travellin' reads for summer fun!

The Onyx, by Jacqueline Briskin (RC 19658)
Carpool, by Mary Cahill (RC 33830)
Crazy in Alabama, by Mark Childress (RC 37543)
The Widows' Adventures, by Charles Dickinson (RC 30888)
Edsel: a Novel of Detroit, by Loren D. Estleman (RC 40817)
The Reivers: A Reminiscence, by William Faulkner (RC 31880)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by Ian Fleming (juvenile) (RC 26681)
32 Cadillacs, by Joe Gores (RC 37271)
The Last Studebaker, by Robin Hemley (RC 36934)
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac (RC 31675)
Christine, by Stephen King (RC 18670)
The Way to Dusty Death, by Alistair MacLean (RC 07739)
Motor City, by Bill Morris (RC 37222)
The Last Convertible, by Anton Myrer (RC 13838)
Dog of the South, by Charles Portis (RC 14349)
Road Rage, by Ruth Rendell (RC 45873)
Damnation Alley, by Roger Zelazny (RC 14461)


Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line, by Ben Hamper (RC 36404)
Iacocca: an Autobiography, by Lee Iacocca (RC 21224)
Solo: Life with an Electric Car, by Noel Perrin (RC 41774)

On May 5, 1999, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 specification as a W3C recommendation. Being a W3C recommendation means that the specification is stable; contributes to the universality of the Web; and has been reviewed by the W3C membership, who recommend it as the means for making Web sites accessible. W3C, the standard- setting body for WWW activities, now encourages information providers to raise their level of accessibility using this recommendation.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines include fourteen guidelines for accessible design, such as the provision of equivalent alternatives to visual information. Each guideline has associated "checkpoints" explaining how the accessibility principles apply to specific features of sites. For example, providing alternative text for images ensures that information is available to a person who cannot see images. Providing captions for audio files makes information available to someone who cannot hear audio. A parallel "Techniques" document, to be updated periodically, contains specifics on how to implement the checkpoints with the latest versions of mark-up or presentation languages such as HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), or SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language).

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control in France, and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 320 organizations are members of the consortium.
Web Accessibility Initiative

BULLETIN BOARD is published four times a year by the Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped. It is available in large print, Braille, and audio-cassette editions. The Wisconsin Regional Library makes no recommendations or endorsements concerning any products or services which may appear in this publication.

Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
813 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1436
1-414-286-3045 (in Milwaukee)
1-800-242-8822 (in Wisconsin)
1-414-286-3548 (TDD)
1-414-286-3102 (FAX)
cpirtl@mpl.org or mvalan@mpl.org (e-mail)

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