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American Council of the Blind Endorses HiSoftware Company Cynthia Says (TM) and AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM) Edition as excellent resources for testing web site accessibility





  WASHINGTON, May 21, 2003 -- The American Council of the Blind (ACB) today announced that, as the leading organization of blind and visually impaired Americans, ACB endorses and recommends HiSoftware Company solutions Cynthia Says (TM) as well as AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM), as excellent tools for guaranteeing that web sites will be accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired.

"Because of their scalability, cost effectiveness, and usefulness in web site accessibility testing," says ACB President Christopher Gray, of San Francisco, Calif., "these products offer a wonderful, affordable solution to web masters for making their sites accessible to people with disabilities."

HiSoftware Company, Inc. launched Cynthia Says (TM) in March of 2003, in cooperation with the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet, and the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter. Cynthia Says (TM) provides testing of web sites for compliance with Section 508 and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web accessibility standards. Cynthia Says (TM) tests web sites and reports accessibility issues immediately through simple and easy-to-understand web browser based reports.

According to Robert B. Yonaitis, HiSoftware President and CEO..., "The goal of this service is to provide a well-supported accessibility validation tester for those who need to test a page and to expose them to the underlying technology and the benefits of using the technology."

Through its endorsement, the American Council of the Blind will also be promoting the downloadable version of the software, AccVerify Cynthia Says (TM) Edition. This solution, which is available at no cost to all K-12 schools and at a nominal cost to others, helps educate and assist web content developers to make their Internet content accessible to computer users who rely on assistive software, such as screen-reading and magnification programs and refreshable Braille displays, to access information on their computer screens.

"HiSoftware Company is pleased and honored that our solutions were selected for recommendation by the ACB," said HiSoftware CEO Yonaitis. "Our customers recognize 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. Cynthia Says (TM) enables anyone to test a web page, and it also educates the tester about the underlying technology behind accessibility and promotes accessible web design."

"In selecting HiSoftware Company and its products, ACB specifically sought a company with qualities and solutions that make them leaders in web accessibility testing," says ACB President Gray. "Cynthia Says (TM) helps users to ensure that their web sites have the functionality needed for a diverse population of user needs and preferences."

ACB Executive Director Charlie Crawford, of Silver Spring, Md., added, "We are very impressed by this tool. A web master can get immediate feedback about the accessibility of a site. There's no waiting around for any kind of external endorsement and virtually no additional expense involved in determining whether a person with a disability can access the information presented on the screen. This is good news for people with disabilities, and for all the entities out there who want people with disabilities to have access to what they have to offer via the web. Cynthia Says (TM) is easy to use, and we find that it provides clear and easily understood reports. We believe that this much-needed online tool will help fill the accessibility gap which blind computer users experience so often when their screen readers refuse to 'read' the graphics, tables, or other visual displays on a computer screen. We all look forward to a day when surfing the Internet will be just as easy for people who have disabilities as it is for the more typical computer users out there."

Cynthia Says (TM) allows users to quickly receive an immediate "pass/fail" for automated checks of their web site accessibility along with direct links to the technical rule passed or violated. It also directs and assists users to validate human testing requirements as required. Accessibility issues are detected within web sites from web-based applications, dynamic pages, or static HTML pages. Cynthia Says (TM) 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 a user's own web browser. More information is available at http://www.cynthiasays.com..

.The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Engineering Society of Detroit selected HiSoftware Company as the 2002 recipient of the prestigious da Vinci Award for Electronics and Information Technology. The da Vinci awards were developed to recognize individuals, organizations, and corporations in the engineering, construction, and technical realms whose design innovations have improved accessibility, and empowered people, regardless of their physical ability.

Since its launch in March of 2003, Cynthia Says (TM) has been used to test over one million web pages around the world. Cynthia Says (TM) was used as an educational tool to demonstrate accessibility issues with Scotland's national election. See: http://www.dmag.org.uk/election/details.asp...

About the American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization whose purpose is to work toward independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. Founded in 1961, ACB's members work through more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates to improve the well-being of all blind and visually impaired people by: serving as a representative national organization; elevating the social, economic and cultural levels of blind people; improving educational and rehabilitation facilities and opportunities; cooperating with public and private institutions and organizations concerned with blind services; encouraging and assisting all people with severely impaired vision to develop their abilities, and conducting a public education program to promote greater understanding of blindness. To learn more about the Council's work, visit the organization's web site at http://www.acb.org/... , listen to ACB Radio online at www.acbradio.org... , or contact the national office in Washington, DC at (202) 467-5081.

About HiSoftware

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 life cycle 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, N.H. Further information about HiSoftware can be found online at www.hisoftware.com .


ICDRI is a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, NC and San Jose, CA ( http://www.icdri.org  ). ICDRI is committed to be on the cutting edge of global disability law, policy and technical standards for electronic and information technology.

For more information at ACB, contact:
Charles Crawford, Executive Director

Related HiSoftware Press Release

At  ICDRI contact: 
Michael Burks, Public Information Officer
International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet http://www.icdri.org 
3700 Bastion Lane, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27604        
Telephone:  (919) 349-6661   




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