FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Federation of the Blind Announces
Agreement with Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster Makes Website Fully Accessible and Fan-Friendly to Blind Users
Baltimore, Maryland (April 26, 2011): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, today announced a cooperative agreement with Ticketmaster, the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five eCommerce sites, to make its website fully accessible to the blind. Under the agreement, Ticketmaster will make its website (www.ticketmaster.com) fully accessible to blind users utilizing screen access technology by December 31, 2011. Screen access technology converts what is on the computer screen into synthesized speech or Braille.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “An increasing number of goods and services are now offered primarily over the Internet and Ticketmaster’s extremely popular ticket sales website is a prime example of this trend. Ticketmaster customers gain many of the company’s valuable benefits and services, including access to special pre-sales and promotions, through its website. The National Federation of the Blind is pleased that Ticketmaster has recognized the importance of providing equal access to its website for its blind customers, and we look forward to working with the company to achieve that goal. The National Federation of the Blind will continue to work tirelessly until the blind have equal access to the full range of products and services available to the public through the Internet and other information technologies.”
“For Ticketmaster, the future is all about the fans. We want to participate wherever and however so that fans can have the best possible fan-friendly experience,” said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster. “Partnering with the National Federation of the Blind is enabling us to address the needs of our blind fans, so that they can have the same positive experience when purchasing tickets for their favorite artists’ performance or any live event. We are committed to working with NFB to enhance the Ticketmaster website so that it’s accessible and usable by all of our fans out there.”
Pursuant to the agreement, Ticketmaster will develop a comprehensive accessibility program that will include the development of an accessibility guidelines manual, as well as the appointment of both an accessibility coordinator and an accessibility committee.
Additionally, Ticketmaster will continue to work with officials of the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that the Ticketmaster services remain accessible to the blind. Ticketmaster will submit its website to the NFB Nonvisual Accessibility (NFB-NVA) Web Certification program, a rigorous procedure by which websites and applications that have made efforts to be accessible to the blind can be identified and recognized. The NFB-NVA Web Certification program continuously monitors participating sites to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria. If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual or a version basis. If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind will work with the site developers to remedy them.