2013 Annual Conference Registration -- Accessibility
FYI, Mary Ghikas just sent this email message out.
To: Mike Marlin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Healey – email@example.com
Adam Szczepaniak – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiffany Bradford-Oldham – email@example.com
Marybeth Wise – firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Mary W. Ghikas, email@example.com
As you likely already know, we are opening registration (including housing reservations) for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. We are utilizing new registration and housing companies – for generally good business and technical reasons. However, in bringing up the new systems, we have encountered some issues related to accessibility and I wanted make you aware of the issues, our process for addressing them and the interim work-around.
(1) There are some remaining accessibility issues with the registration site itself. ALA (particularly Louise Gruenberg) has done extensive usability testing; we have a list of problems that we are currently addressing. We do not believe they will all have been satisfactorily addressed by Monday morning, but we will be continuing to work on them. A phone number to call if you encounter a problem is on the site and on the ALA Annual Conference website. The number is also included at the end of this message, for your convenience. We ask that if you encounter a problem, you also let us know; the most helpful step would be to send a brief email to Louise Gruenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling her what the issue was.
(2) We know that the housing site is NOT accessible and will not be until we open for the 2014 Midwinter meeting in fall 2013. The vendor involved does have an accessible site, but an internal (ALA) decision was made to use a different (not accessible) version because of issues with browser compatibility. This is a consequence of A and B not communicating clearly – and we will correct this prior to opening for Midwinter 2014. There is a complex interface between registration and housing – and we simply do not have the capacity to redo that in time for Annual 2013 registration opening. As a result, a message at the end of registration will direct individuals using screen readers to call the phone number provided to complete the housing reservation process. Again, that number is also at the end of this message, for your convenience.
(3) Housing information – hotel names, locations, rates and amenities – is available on the website. It has been a complex information package to put together. We are reviewing that data to check that it is all in accessible formats.
We are contacting you in advance because (1) we do not want you surprised , (2) we need your assistance in working through this both by making colleagues who use screen readers aware of the problem and by communicating directly with us so we can move as quickly as our resources permit to address any issues. Thank you for your assistance and your patience. Please feel free to contact me at any point – 800-545-2433 x2518. Sherri Vanyek, Louise Gruenberg and Jenny Levine in ALA ITTS are copied on this message, as are Paul Graller and Alicia Babcock in ALA Conference Services.
Telephone numbers: For problems with registration – 866-513-0760
For housing – 800-584-9047