FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Public Relations Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Granted to GE

Web Site Certified As Equally Accessible to Blind and Sighted Users

Baltimore, Maryland (July 3, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, has awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to GE.  The NFB applauds GE’s commitment to ensuring equal access to their Web site to blind consumers and commends GE’s leadership in Web accessibility.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Internet has become integrated into every aspect of daily living, from working to shopping to entertainment.  The blind population, which stands at 1.3 million and is growing as Americans age, must have access to Web sites and new Web applications if we are to participate fully in modern society and the information economy.  We commend GE for making their Web site fully accessible and therefore giving the blind independent access to GE’s valuable information and services.”

The NFB Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Program, in collaboration with Deque Systems, Inc., connects Web site and application developers with leading experts on blindness and accessibility to ensure that their Internet sites or applications are fully accessible to and usable by blind people employing screen access software.  Applicants go through a rigorous evaluation and testing procedure and work with a web accessibility consultant (WAC) to address any accessibility issues discovered during the evaluation.  Once the site or application has addressed all accessibility issues, it is granted the right to display an NFB-NVA seal of approval on its site.  Sites are continuously monitored to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria.  If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual basis.  If accessibility National Federation of the Blind Nonvisual issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind and the WAC will work with the site developers to remedy them.

 “We are honored to be recognized by the National Federation of the Blind for our work on accessibility,” said Jen Walsh, GE’s digital media director.  “When we redesigned GE.com, we wanted to make sure that the site really embodied ‘imagination at work,’ in terms of message and technology.  So, we took on the added challenge of ensuring that GE.com was accessible to people with disabilities.  Web site accessibility is an important and ongoing commitment that our team is making.”

For more information on the NFB-NVA Certification, please visit http://www.nfb.org/certification-intro. To learn more about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit www.nfb.org.