User-centric

Like politics, services for the disabled are local'and the next federal Web site for accessibility will put that into practice.

Like politics, services for the disabled are local'and the next federal Web site for accessibility will put that into practice. , slated for launch later this year, will categorize Web sites by their interest to users rather than content providers.The disability site will have two faces, one public and one private, said Dick Griffin, the project manager. Griffin serves on the staff of the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, headed by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.On the public side, users can search for federally funded transportation, job programs and other services in their hometowns.Behind the public face will be a virtual private network that state, county and local officials will use to review and approve content for DisabilityDirect. 'Most people don't care what happens in Washington,' Griffin said. They want to know about their communities and specific benefits from government programs.Griffin said the new site will help disabled people better understand what governments can do for them, from job leads to basic transportation.'That level of frustration is magnified considerably when they can't even get down to their local government office,' he said.The existing site will be absorbed into the new site, which will be 'a little more sophisticated in the way it's managed,' Griffin said.The government has been moving toward giving block grants to states and letting them decide how to divide up the funds among local programs, Griffin said. The design of will reflect that philosophy.To access the VPN, state and local agencies will have to get authorization from their federal funding organizations, he said.What Griffin wants to see on the site is, for example, a function that will let users find out when an accessible bus is due at their stop by entering a street address. Some localities already use such technologies.'We know several states and cities are way ahead of us,' he said. 'We want to take advantage of their momentum.'Many states and communities used federal money to develop such services in the first place, he said.The DisabilityDirect site will require that every Web site in its database meet Section 508 guidelines. That condition will encourage localities to make their sites accessible, Griffin said.'We're not putting in anything that people with disabilities can't read,' he said.The private side of will use Autonomy Server, Update and Categorizer software from Autonomy Corp. of San Francisco.The task force looked at several so-called portals-in-a-box but liked the flexibility of the Autonomy products, Griffin said.The site's contractor, Development InfoStructure of Arlington, Va., specified Autonomy's tools, Griffin said.The tools scan text and Web pages and categorize their information, Autonomy spokeswoman Kris Marubio said. The Autonomy search function can perform context-based searches and distinguish, for example, between 'penguin' as an Antarctic bird and 'penguin' as a symbol for the Linux mascot, Tux.Most commercial search engines return hundreds or thousands of hits on a key word, Development InfoStructure president Peter Gallagher said. Using Autonomy's pattern-matching algorithms, 'experts on the private side can find and post the authoritative pages,' Gallagher said.The software weeds out duplicate links and trolls for relevant links that can be made available on the public side.If participants post pages not directly related to DisabilityDirect's mission, the software behind the VPN will flag the links and alert the site's webmasters, Griffin said.In the future, the task force would like to create learning modules to teach visitors about, say, job search skills, Griffin said.Plans call for launching in conjunction with Disability Awareness Month in October. The task force and contractor are already working over the VPN to invite accessibility experts around the country to contribute relevant links and information.President Clinton established the disability-related task force in a 1998 executive order. The panel is slated to disband in mid-2002 unless President Bush decides to extend its life.'We are working hard to show that we're a value-add to the New Freedom Initiative,' Griffin said, referring to President Bush's assistive-technology initiative launched shortly after he took office.The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy is also involved in DisabilityDirect, so the site will continue to have support no matter what happens to the task force.'We're basically designing our site so we can't be accused of being a stovepipe,' Griffin said.The presidential task force staff includes two policy analysts who have physical and visual impairments. 'We're a practicing example of how productive people can be with assistive technologies,' Griffin said.

Dick Griffin, project manager for DisabilityDirect, wants the planned Web site to link people to services in their own communities.

DisabilityDirect.gov








Here's what we've got





www.disability.gov

DisabilityDirect.gov



Timing is everything










DisabilityDirect.gov














DisabilityDirect.gov










NEXT STORY: Editorial Cartoon

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.