BALTIMORE -- The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, Jan. 17 announced an agreement with Travelocity, one of the largest and most popular online travel agencies, to make travelocity.com more accessible to the blind.
Under the agreement, Travelocity will make accessible by July 1, 2011, its home page and each initial Web page used for searching Flights, Hotels, Vacation Packages, Last Minute Packages, Cars and Rail, Cruises, and Activities, with the accessibility of the rest of the pages needed to complete a booking to follow soon after.
Travelocity has committed to make its entire Web site fully accessible to blind people by March 30, 2012.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The Internet is a critical means of access to business, education, information, and entertainment in the twenty-first century, and the blind must have equal access if we are to be equal participants in society. By making its popular online travel agency fully accessible to the blind, Travelocity is setting an example that should be followed by the entire online travel industry."
The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to have reached this important agreement with Travelocity, and we will continue to work tirelessly until the blind have equal access to the full range of products and services available to the public through the Internet and other information technologies."
Nejib Ben-Khedher, Chief Operating Officer of Travelocity, said: "We are committed to providing our customers with the best service possible. With that in mind, making our Web site accessible is of critical importance—all of our customers, including those who are blind, must be able to easily access our products and services. We thank the National Federation of the Blind for their assistance and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that rapid progress is made in making the Travelocity Web site usable by everyone."
Pursuant to the agreement, Travelocity will develop a comprehensive accessibility program that will include the development of an accessibility guidelines manual, and the appointment of both an accessibility coordinator and an accessibility committee.
Additionally, Travelocity will continue to work with officials of the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that the Travelocity services remain accessible to the blind. Travelocity will submit its Web site to the NFB Nonvisual Accessibility (NFB-NVA) Web Certification program, a rigorous procedure by which Web sites and applications that have made efforts to be accessible to the blind can be identified and recognized.
The NFB-NVA Web Certification program continuously monitors participating sites to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria. If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual or a version basis. If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind will work with the site developers to remedy them.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Posted by BA Haller at 11:43 AM