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Cynthia Says


“Cynthia Says™” Provides Cost-Free Educational Resource for Web Site Accessibility Testing
International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), the Internet Society - Disability and Special Needs Chapter, and HiSoftware Company collaborate to provide cost-free educational resource for Web Site accessibility testing

Concord, NH – March 14, 2003 – HiSoftware, Inc., today in cooperation with the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet, and the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter, announced the launch of a new service, Cynthia Says™, that will provide testing of Web sites for compliance with Section 508 and W3C web accessibility standards. Cynthia Says™ will test Web Sites and report Accessibility issues immediately through simple and easy-to-understand Web browser based reports. HiSoftware Company’s AccMonitor Server powers Cynthia Says™.

"From the beginning of the accessible web design effort, validators for educating policy makers, management and web developers about accessible design have played an important role in the promotion of accessibility. "Cynthia Says" meets the global need for a free, well-supported, accessibility validation tester. Not only does it enable anyone to test a web page, it also educates the tester about the underlying technology behind accessibility and promotes accessible web design. The reports generated by this tool are easy to read and can be readily utilized by the user whether the test is run under the technical design rules of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 or the US Section 508 web requirements,” said Cynthia D. Waddell, JD, Executive Director and Law, Policy and Technology Consultant, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI). “ Back in 1996 I wrote the first accessible web design standard for local government in response to an ADA complaint and I am proud to note that today "Cynthia Says" will continue to assist in accessible web design compliance efforts worldwide."

Cynthia Says™ will help users to ensure that their Web sites have the functionality needed for a diverse population of user needs and preferences, including people with disabilities. Due to the recently enacted Section 508 legislation, interactive accessible technology and Web accessibility for people with disabilities is on the minds of CIO’s at many corporations, organizations, and government agencies.

“Cynthia Says™ is an excellent tool because it is easy to use and provides clear and easily understood reports,” said Michael Burks, Chairman of the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter. “We believe that the Cynthia Says™ online testing service will help fill a gap with a much-needed tool.” 

The Cynthia Says™ portal testing service allows users to quickly receive an immediate ”pass/fail” of their Web site accessibility along with direct links to the technical rule violated. Accessibility issues are detected within web sites from Web-based applications, dynamic pages, or static HTML pages. Cynthia Says™ utilizes HiSoftware’s AccMonitor Server technology and deploys USER Agents (crawlers/scanners) to collect individual page or dynamic page accessibility data. This information is then sent to the central server where actual accessibility verification is performed. The output of the Accessibility verification results in easy to read reports that can then be viewed securely over the Internet through the users own Web browser.

‘This Web based testing service puts checking for accessibility in reach of nearly anyone with an Internet connection, “ said David Poehlman, who has also acted as an advisor and collaborator on the Cynthia Says™ project. “ Cynthia Says™ is accessible, thorough and extremely fast. I am excited to see this new addition to the HiSoftware family of products as it makes checking for accessibility easier than ever”

"Cynthia Says™ provides an ideal solution for organizations to educate themselves regarding accessibility issues on their Web sites," said Robert B. Yonaitis, Founder and CEO of HiSoftware. "“We are extremely pleased to be providing this solution based on our software to assist in a project with the underlying goal of education and advocacy. HiSoftware solutions empower users to develop, implement and maintain a strategy for delivering pervasive accessibility within their organizations. Cynthia Says™ will assist users in recognizing the importance of complying with accessibility standards on their Web sites so that the information they provide is available to everyone regardless of physical ability.”

More information about the Cynthia Says™ project is available on the Web at: http://www.contentquality.com/...

Founded in 1998, The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI) is a non-profit center based in the United States and designated as a 501 (c)(3) entity. As an internationally recognized public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI’s overarching vision is the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities. Cynthia D. Waddell, Executive Director, leads ICDRI’s Accessibility Oversight Professional Consulting Services for government, university and private sector clients. This fee for services effort supports the mission of ICDRI to increase opportunities for people with disabilities by identifying barriers to participation and promoting best practices and universal design for the global community.
ICDRI’s mission also includes an online collection of a knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach and training based on these core resources. ICDRI makes this information available in an accessible format through our web site at http://www.icdri.org/...

About Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter
This is the first chapter in the Internet Society that is not a geographically based chapter. It is dedicated to addressing the needs of people with special needs that are related to the Internet and its attendant technologies. The chapter brings together the experts and leaders of the sector presenting the most up-to-date knowledge and technologies to eliminate barriers and increase the number of users and clients of a "Web Site". As a web content accessibility interest group, the conveners of this chapter aim to make the Internet and its attendant technologies accessible to the largest possible audience regardless of disability, age or the limitations of computer equipment.. More information about the chapter is available at: http://www.isocdisab.org/about.htm...


HiSoftware Company, the leader in enterprise content quality management solutions, provides innovative products that empower quality assurance teams, content developers, Web site architects, and company executives to work collaboratively on their efforts to create and manage corporate Web standards for Accessibility, Privacy, Searchability, Usability and custom guidelines and policies. HiSoftware’s integrated, full lifecycle solutions dramatically reduce the time required to test, manage and deploy e-business Web sites.

HiSoftware works closely with industry leaders and visionaries to provide solutions for today's information accessibility, content quality, search and retrieval needs. HiSoftware’s customers represent Fortune 500 companies, and many of the largest e-commerce, government, and educational sites in North America and around the world and include ChevronTexaco, Commerce One, Mercury Interactive, and Microsoft Government.

Founded in 1998, HiSoftware Company maintains North American corporate headquarters in Concord, New Hampshire. Further information about HiSoftware can be found online at www.hisoftware.com


Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on HiSoftware, please visit the HiSoftware® Web page at http://www.hisoftware.com/press/index.html on HiSoftware’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact appropriate contacts listed at http://www.hisoftware.com/co/contacting_us.htm 

HiSoftware and AccVerify are registered trademarks of Hiawatha Island Software Company, Inc. Microsoft, Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft Office, .NET, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Any and all other product and company names mentioned herein are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Members of the press: To receive breaking news regarding HiSoftware via e-mail, please send your request to be added to the HiSoftware News Distribution List to: hsnews@hisoftware.com




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