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Cynthia Waddell Cynthia Waddell
Section 508 Accessible Web: U.S. & International Impact Wednesday, October 8, 2003
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30PM 
(Refreshments at 3:00 PM)

Cythia Waddell will talk about Section 508 Accessible Web: U.S. & International Impact. In response to an ADA complaint in 1995, Cynthia D. Waddell wrote the first accessible web design standard that was recognized as a best practice by the federal government and adopted by jurisdictions both in the US and abroad.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the emergence of accessible web design standards and accessible web complaints that led to Section 508. It will also provide an overview of the current federal web design standards and their indirect impact on State laws and policies. State activities regarding adoption of Section 508 accessible web will be discussed as well as international activities such as the current United Nations discussion for accessible web design in a proposed treaty on rights of persons with disabilities.

As the Executive Director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), Cynthia D. Waddell provides leadership and project oversight for carrying out ICDRI's overarching vision for the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. Internationally recognized as a public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI's mission is to collect a global knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach and training based on these core resources.

Cynthia D. Waddell brings particular expertise in the provision of ICDRI's Accessibility Oversight Professional Consulting Services for government and private sector clients. Through this effort ICDRI seeks to increase opportunities for people with disabilities by identifying barriers to participation and promoting best practices and universal design of technology for the global community. She provides consulting services to government, university and commercial clients for compliance with disability rights laws including the federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (Section 508).

In the world of accessibility, Cynthia D. Waddell is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and information technology as well as employment and construction. A stakeholder in the accessibility effort, Cynthia D. Waddell was born with a bi-lateral hearing loss and is a member of the deaf/hard of hearing community. Through her work as the former Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Officer for the City of San Jose, CA, and through her service in Federal, State, and County appointments, she has served as a tireless advocate for the entire community of people with disabilities.

Cynthia D. Waddell combines her expertise in disability legislation and technology to provide education and professional consulting services for access to electronic and information technology for persons with disabilities. As one of the co-authors of Constructing Accessible Web Sites, ISBN # 1590591488, she provided the first in-depth coverage of Section 508 as well as the first global survey of law and policies on accessible web.

An active participant in public policy strategic planning and implementation for governments in the US and abroad, Cynthia D. Waddell served as a technology expert for the Bush Administration 2003 US-UK seminar exchange on increasing employment for people with disabilities. Currently she serves as the United Nations Expert on accessible technology transfer for developing countries and provides expertise on accessibility for the UN body drafting the new treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. Recently she acted as Rapporteur for the Manila Declaration on Accessible Information Communications Technology (ICT). She also is the 2003 recipient of the first Government Technology award for leadership in accessible technology and for pioneering advocacy and education. See

As the author of the first accessible web design standard for U.S. local government, Cynthia D. Waddell is a frequent writer and speaker. The National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency, cites her influential works in their 2003 report, Application of the ADA to the Internet and the Worldwide Web, and also in their 2001 impact report, The Accessible Future. She was also the subject of a feature story "Enabling Technology" in the February 2001 issue of Government Technology Magazine.

Cynthia D. Waddell is a Lecturer in Law at Santa Clara University School of Law where she holds a Juris Doctor and graduated as a Public Interest Disability Rights Scholar. Current appointments include public service as a member of the California Building Standards Access Code Committee, the California Area VII Board for Developmental Disabilities, and the County of Santa Clara Advisory Commission for People with Disabilities. She also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter, and is a member of the National Task Force on Technology and Disability, the National Committee for Information Technology Standards V2 IT Access Interfaces Technical Committee, and the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Interest Group.

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Jacqueline Le Moigne