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FCW Insider: Obama and the YouTube dilemma

So how does Section 508 fit into the world of social networking?


That is not a question we have considered in the past, despite all the articles we have written about Web 2.0. But it is definitely worth exploring.


On Friday, FCW (and everyone else who has an Internet connection) ran a story about President-elect Barack Obama announcing that he would turn his weekly Democratic addresses into YouTube videos and post them on his Change.gov Web transition Web site.


This is clearly a sign of things to come from the Obama administration, which also plans to record video interviews and to conduct online question-and-answer sessions.


But what about Section 508? This requires agencies to ensure that government electronics and equipment (including Web sites) are accessible to people with disabilities.


"When is the Obama transition team going to realize that the web site Change.gov and YouTube are not in compliance" one reader wrote this morning in a letter to the editor. "Either the Obama team is unaware or they just don't care."


Which makes me wonder: How difficult is it for agencies to keep in line with Section 508 rules while venturing into YouTube and other social networking applications?


But Section 508 is not the only obstacle to Obama's current and future YouTube projects. We also got this note from a reader:


"This is just great. As an SSA employee we are blocked from viewing YouTube so we can't see the president's weekly message.  Isn't this ironic?"


(Read and comment on these and other letters at our Letters page.)

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Nov 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM


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