Of course I contacted the Vancouver Olympic organization, VANOC, and CTV for comments.
None. Andrea Goldstein wrote:
In an ongoing effort to provide extensive Olympic Games coverage to the visually impaired, key components of our Web sites are WAI compliant including event schedule and results, news, athlete bios, medal standings and contests.
Not only is this claim false (the site does not meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), CTV admits that such was attempted for only part of the site.
Online communications director Graeme Menzies provided the following statement (only the accessibility-related portion quoted):
Site accessibility is one of many important considerations our team took into consideration when building a site that could serve the world with information about the 2010 Games in the years leading up to, and during, the Games. Rather than build custom accessibility functions, we strategically chose to use the capabilities of the browser; our research indicated that this is the experience users are most familiar with. Where possible, we strove to meet the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and have also encouraged our partner sites to follow the WCAG guidelines.
I trust your research will compare Vancouver2010.com to other popular websites providing Games information, and that you will find we rate at least as well as other major websites (such as CTVOlympics.ca, NBCOlympics.com, or Olympic.org) if not somewhat better.
I believe he means VANOC did not try to invent its own screen reader for Vancouver2010.com. Nobody expected, or wanted, that.
Vancouver2010.com actually violates a whole list of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines particulars, including missing alternate texts for images, no real possibility of navigating via keyboard, and no captioning or audio description of video.
CTVOlympics.ca is almost exactly as bad, as my research shows.
It seems VANOC did not “strive” far enough.
Posted: 2010.02.22 ¶ Updated: 2010.02.23 00:11
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