Section 508 Evaluation Repair Tool : Southwest Airlines commits to the accessibility of its web site
Southwest Airlines will use Deque's evaluation and repair tool RAMP, Robust Accessibility Management and Production, to improve web site accessibility for their blind and low vision customers. Deque is able to offer software products and also a full breadth of services to organizations in need of an accessibility process that is repeatable and measurable.
Deque makes an organization's web content accessible to people with disabilities. Although not yet required to by law, commercial companies are beginning to notice the value of providing accessible technology to meet the needs of a diverse set of people. With forward-thinking, well-run companies like Southwest Airlines making the commitment to making its online information accessible, removing the barriers to the World Wide Web is sure to become as prevalent as the ramps that exist for physical spaces today.
"Southwest Airlines values the importance of an accessible web site and has committed to provide one to their customers," says Cheryl Holmes, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Deque Systems. "Southwest also understands this is an ongoing commitment and vigorously examined the many avenues and solutions before choosing Deque."
"This product will enable Southwest Airlines to provide affordable air travel to customers who need assistive technology to navigate the World Wide Web," said Kevin Krone, Southwest's Vice President of Interactive Marketing. "We will be working with Deque to develop and implement this solution."
"We are very proud that Southwest Airlines has partnered with Deque to enhance the accessibility of its web site and recognizes our role as a leading player in providing Web Accessibility Solutions," added Preety Kumar, Chief Technical Officer of Deque. "It is a perfect example of our capability to provide an integrated product and services solution to accelerate our customer's delivery of an accessible web presence."
Southwest elected to receive on-site training to efficiently use the key strengths provided by RAMP. This will enable Southwest developers to gain the knowledge necessary to develop and maintain an accessible web site. Recognizing that functional testing is an essential step, Southwest Airlines will rely on the Deque Assistive Technology Lab for testing with the Screen Readers and other Assistive Technology on the market today.
"Southwest's commitment became quite evident to me during my functional review of their site. It also became clear that they would benefit from our expertise in ensuring its site was coded for accessibility," said Senior Accessibility Engineer with Deque, Sailesh Panchang who lost his sight ten years ago. "A core value of the American society is independence. Information technology accessible using my Screen Reader is what allows me to be independent. I will be able to make reservations online myself, which may not seem to be a big deal, but it truly improves my quality of life."
Deque Systems is a pioneer in the field of information accessibility. Deque's software solution, RAMP, with its unparalleled product depth, automates analysis and remediation of Section 508 rules and W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and provides efficiencies of over 95% as compared to a manual effort. In addition, RAMP is written in Java for platform independence and is also accessible to people with disabilities.
In 2002, the Jupiter Media Metrix named Southwest Airlines the airline that best utilizes the Internet and provides brand synergy between its main line and online presence. According to Jupiter Airline CORE (Composite Rating of Online Effectiveness) Index, Southwest Airlines ranks among the top companies in online sales performance. The Online Sales Index is based on self-reported ticket sales data, and represents the percentage of tickets sold from a specific airline's web site for 2001. The award embodies those U.S. airline carriers that best leverage the assets of the Internet to boost business and paramount in moving their Customers to the online channel.
|May 12, 2003||© Yenra ®|