T. V. Raman
Digital Equipment Corp.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Voice-Mail: 1 (617) 621-6637
The last 18 months have seen an explosive growth in the amount of information accessible on the World Wide Web (WWW) -a hypertext system linking vast repositories of information. When discussing the question of ensuring accessibility of this resource, attention has focused on the development of accessible WWW clients. However, such clients in themselves will not ensure accessibility; Information available on the WWW that is encoded using visual-presentation based formats, e.g., bitmap images (GIFs), Postscript and PDF (Portable Document Format), will continue to remain mostly inaccessible. This is because presentation-based encodings assume that the information will only be viewed on a visual display and therefore capture a minimal amount of structural information.
This paper outlines the challenges to be overcome by information providers on the NII to ensure universal accessibility of the services they offer.