I moved to Manhattan, Kansas during the flood of "93". It was inspiring to see how the people joined
together as one entity to help each other. This of course was gratifying as I had just come from the State of New York (after spending 10 years there), where
most everyone seemed to be more concerned about themselves.
By the way, I am originally from the city of Bad Axe in Huron County, Michigan so please don't classify me as a New Yorker!
What really got my attention though was a local (or though it seemed at the time) controversy about ADA and the cities willingness "NOT" to provide or make provisions for those individuals who were unable to access, or had great difficulty in accessing, various buildings and other areas. In fact, one of Manhattan's citizens was taking the city to court to get them to respond to what should have been done long ago.
While getting settled in and trying to get used to a different way of life, I started to become aware of the lack of Disability information available to the persons that really needed it. Where to go, what to do etc. etc. At the same time, the Internet was becoming more popular as a means of access.
I finally got brave enough to get on the Internet to see what I could find. As time went by I found a great disarray of information available but only if you spent numerous hours searching for it.
Speaking to internet Disability information, I've accessed web pages from trash to class. Some pages I couldn't access at all due to not having the software
the page's author deemed to be the only one that should be used. Now mind you, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I would think (having
learned this myself recently) that an author (or site owner) would want ALL users to be able to access his or her page(s). In fact, one site I visited required
the newest of everything including a very powerful computer and a very fast telephone link to load the main page. Talking to the maintainer of the site, I
received the following comment:
We get 50,000 hits a month, why should I care about the ones who can't access this site. They should buy better equipment. Real friendly sort! NOT.
With the latest technology, if the site is designed properly using Universal Access methods, in most cases it is no longer necessary to
provide a text only page. Unfortunately, out of millions of web pages available, only a hand full are 100% accessible by most users.
I found that it was almost impossible to find any page that had an abundance of GOOD (and working) informative links for the disabled (although a few are close). Some pages have several hundred links while other pages have two or three. What is most interesting to me is that on most pages, 15% or more of the links are no longer available due to down level addresses or the site itself is no longer available. I have visited a couple of pages where none of the links were valid. Not only does this phenomenon occur with individual pages but with virtually every search engine I have used. When I say virtually every search engine, I need to clarify that some engines return only a hand full of pages while others return many more. The more pages returned, the more likely to see several non-existent links as well as many duplicate pages just described a little differently.
Why this site? To attempt the monumental (and maybe impossible) task of making available under one roof, links to ALL Disability information with a minimum of down level or out of existence addresses.
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