CAST Releases Bobby (fwd)
fpennell at u.washington.edu
Thu Aug 22 08:22:49 PDT 1996
Here is an announcement of interest from the Center for Applied Special
Technology. We haven't tried Bobby and would appreciate feedback from
anyone who has! Francie Pennell
Frances E. Pennell
Policy & Funding Specialist
Washington Assistive Technology Alliance
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195-7920
(206) 685-4181 V
(206) 616-1395 TTY
(206) 543-4779 FAX
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 07:00:41 -0500
From: David Clark <dmclark at cast.org>
Reply-To: uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu
To: Multiple recipients of list <uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu>
Subject: CAST Releases Bobby
CAST Announces Bobby, The Free Web Disability Access Test Page
CAST is pleased to announce the official release of Bobby, a web-based
program designed to help developers more easily evaluate the extent to which
their web pages meet suggested guidelines for disability access.
Bobby is made available to help prevent problems before they occur. CAST
hopes to further the discussion regarding disability web access while
increasing the likelihood that web page designers will consider access
What does Bobby do?
In brief, Bobby is a graphical web-based program designed to help web site
designers and graphic artists make their web pages accessible to the largest
number of people. Bobby will help web page developers find design problems
which prevent a page from being displayed correctly on different web browsers
(i.e. America On-Line, Netscape Navigator, Mosaic, Microsoft Explorer)
without having to individually test the page on each of those programs. In
addition, Bobby performs a series of tests to determine the ways in which a
web site is inaccessible to those with disabilities like blindness, deafness
or physical challenges. A load time analysis is also provided for graphic
elements of the web page to help inform developers about the combined impact
of large graphics and relatively slow modems.
What about a large testing initiative?
For those interested in testing a complex or large web site rather than a
small selection of pages, directions are provided for downloading the Bobby
source code which may be run on your site. The method for accomplishing this
is described in the Bobby manual. As you would expect, this may require a
bit of technical support from your web master.
If you are interested in using the Bobby source code, please note that CAST
distributes the source code "free" under the following two stipulations of
the Artistic License agreement:
1. Derivative works to Bobby can be created, but cannot be redistributed
without written permission from CAST.
2. Any use of the Bobby source code that leads to the sale of products or
services will require that a reasonable royalty be paid to CAST. We hope to
generate a modest level of funding to support our web access work. Please
email cast at cast.org for further information regarding this option.
Let others know about Bobby and offer feedback!
We hope you find Bobby useful and that you will pass the word along to your
friends and colleagues. We also hope that you will provide feedback so that
we can continue to improve Bobby. As noted above, Bobby has undergone a
recent overhaul based upon feedback provided by those who conducted the first
round of testing. Additional feedback will help make Bobby even more useful
to webmasters who have limited experience making their pages accessible.
Please send your feedback regarding Bobby via email to bobby at cast.org.
The feedback which is provided by testing a selected URL is based on web
access guidelines which have been developed over many years by experts in
this field. Links to a number of web access information sources are provided
in the Bobby Manual and on the Resources page available from the CAST home
page. We realize that the guidelines are constantly changing and that
proposed features and standards for browsers and HTML are also being revised
and improved. Bobby does not break new ground in establishing access
guidelines nor is it intended to. Bobby simply makes it easy for web page
developers to test their pages against currently accepted guidelines.
What is CAST?
CAST is a not-for-profit research and development organization that
concentrates on expanding opportunities for people with disabilities through
the innovative development and application of technology. CAST is dedicated
to the concept of Universal Design, building access and support directly into
products and curriculum from the beginning rather than retrofitting special
technologies at a later stage of development. If you want to learn more
about CAST and the work that we do, please visit our home page at
In addition to continuing our regular work developing new products that
support inclusive learning environments, consulting with publishers,
co-developing universally designed curriculum products like WiggleWorks
(published by Scholastic) and conducting core research within our Universal
Design Lab, CAST will devote resources to improve its own web site over the
next few months. We then plan to initiate work on a new project that we have
been calling Joyce. Joyce is for the individual who needs to have web pages
reconfigured on the fly for personal access purposes. The proxy program will
be designed to filter HTML in a way consistent with the access needs and
preferences of each individual user.
CAST has a few additional modest web access projects on its plate. When they
have been completed and posted to our web site, we plan to move quickly to
code Joyce. Any thoughts you may have with regard to these efforts and our
point of view will be much appreciated.
Other recent CAST work.
CAST recently completed and released the ULTimate Reader, a reading support
program that uses text-to-speech and provides customizable highlighting and
navigation supports for digital text. We will soon release ULTimate
CaptionWorks, a multimedia video captioning program developed in conjunction
with the National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH in Boston.
CaptionWorks and a Windows-based captioning product developed by WGBH will
soon be released by Universal Learning Technology, LLC (ULT) of Peabody, MA.
Should you wish to receive additional information about these products,
please contact ULT directly by email at unilearn at aol.com.
Thank you in advance for your support and encouragement,
Universal Design Lab
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)
39 Cross Street
Peabody, MA 01960
508 531-8555 voice
508 531-0192 fax
508 538-3310 TTY
email: chitchcock at cast.org
or chitchcock at aol.com
More information about the Wash-at