FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2016
Edie Surtees, Disability Rights Texas Communications Director:
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Media Hotline:
HOUSTON—Consistent with its commitment to all of its riders, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (“METRO”) today announced an initiative to make its affiliated websites, mobile applications, and print formation more accessible and inclusive.
METRO is taking the lead in the public transportation field regarding online accessibility for individuals with visual impairments. The organization adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 level AA as its accessibility standard and is making enhancements to work toward meeting this standard. METRO will also continue providing braille, large print, electronic, and audio versions of print information to riders with visual impairments upon their request within a reasonable time after the request has been made.
METRO worked with blind riders and with Disability Rights Texas**, a non-profit legal advocacy agency serving Texans with disabilities, on its accessibility initiative.
Lisa Batist is a METRO rider with a visual impairment who worked with METRO on its initiative for riders with visual impairments. “With this announcement, Houston Metro has assumed an important leadership role across the Houston area and Harris County in serving its riders who are visually impaired,” said Batist.
George Battiste, a Texas resident who is a regular Houston Metro rider and has been blind since birth, agreed. “I applaud Houston Metro’s significant efforts in ensuring that I and other people with visual impairments will be able to independently read important transportation information,” said Battiste.
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The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. The guidelines ensure that websites and mobile applications are developed and designed to be accessible to persons with visual and other disabilities. More information is available at w3.org/WAI.
About Disability Rights Texas
Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit www.DRTx.org for more information.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on a New Bus Network, METRORail‘s expanded system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR Vanpool, METROLift, HOV/HOT lanes, Bike & Ride program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at ridemetro.org where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, and METRO’s Next Bus Arrival texting.