HTML Writers Guild Opens Web Accessibility Center
New AWARE Center Promotes Creation of Web Pages Usable by Everyone
The HTML Writers Guild is pleased to announce the opening today of the Accessible Web Authoring Resources and Education (AWARE) Center, an online resource for web designers who want to make web sites that can be used by everyone.
"Many World Wide Web pages are completely unusable by people with disabilities or older computers," explains Kynn Bartlett, President of the Guild and Director of the AWARE Center. "Most web page authors simply aren't aware of the problems with their designs, and that's where we can help. We make web authors aware of how their design practices can affect accessibility."
Created as part of the Guild's April 1999 Web Accessibility Month, the AWARE Center, located at http://aware.hwg.org/, features an introduction to web accessibility, tips and techniques on improving access to web sites, and links to disability and universal access web sites.
"The must-read document for all web authors is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)," said Bartlett. "The W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative has created the definitive reference for ensuring that all users can access information placed on the web."
The HTML Writers Guild is the only association of web authors to join the World Wide Web Consortium, and it takes an active role in the development of both web standards and guidelines on applying those standards to improve the web, such as those of the Web Accessibility Initiative.
"Web accessibility is a major focus of the HTML Writers Guild," said Leanne Phillips, HWG Vice-President of Member Education. "The Guild's primary purpose is to expand the body of knowledge regarding web design, including the creation of accessible web sites. The AWARE Center, by serving as a central resource for accessible web authoring techniques, moves us forward in that direction."
Other activities by the Guild that support web accessibility include a yearly, month-long focus on accessible design each April, participation in the Web Accessibility Initiative's working groups, web conference presentations and tutorials by AWARE Center staff on accessible design, and a popular online course on web accessibility through the HWG's Online Education Program.
"Our focus on accessibility is a natural part of the Guild's mission to teach effective web design," noted Ann Navarro, HWG Vice President of Finance and Director of Online Education. "The techniques used in accessible web design improve a web site's performance across different platforms and browsers. This saves development time and cost by creating one highly accessible web site that can be used by everyone."
The resources of the AWARE Center are open to all web authors and may be accessed online at http://aware.hwg.org/.
ABOUT THE HTML WRITERS GUILD
With a membership of over 95,000 web authors in more than 130 countries, the HTML Writers Guild, Inc., is the world's largest international organization of web authors. The Guild's purpose is to assist its members in developing and enhancing their capabilities as web authors; to compile and publicize information about standards, practices, techniques, competency, and ethics as applied to web authoring; and to contribute to the development of the web and web technical standards and guidelines.
Through online classes in web development, active email discussion lists, extensive resources for web authors, membership in the World Wide Web Consortium, and special projects such as the AWARE Center, the HTML Writers Guild works to improve the quality of the World Wide Web for all users.
The HTML Writers Guild's main web site is http://www.hwg.org/.