[nfbwatlk] [UACCESS-L] Blind baseball fans / MLB collaborate for increased accessibility on all MLB websites

Lainey Feingold LF at LFLegal.com
Thu Feb 11 20:00:53 UTC 2010

For all you baseball fans here...


Pasted into this email is a press release issued 
today by Major League Baseball and the American 
Council of the Blind about MLB's initiative to 
improve the accessibility of mlb.com and all 30 
team websites for people who are blind or 
visually impaired.  This release, and additional 
information about the Structured Negotiations 
that led to this announcement, is available on 
line at <http://lflegal.com>http://lflegal.com 
.  Direct link at 

For immediate release


NEW YORK, February 11, 2010 – Baseball fans with 
visual impairments will benefit from the 
implementation of functional improvements to 
MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League 
Baseball, and all 30 individual Club sites as a 
result of a joint collaboration between MLB 
Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the American Council 
of the Blind, Bay State Council of the Blind and 
California Council of the Blind. All three 
organizations applaud this fan initiative taken by MLBAM.

“MLBAM has undertaken groundbreaking work to make 
its web sites accessible and has assumed a strong 
leadership position among sports, media and 
entertainment properties in doing so,” said Mitch 
Pomerantz, President of the American Council of 
the Blind. “We certainly urge similar sites to 
make this level of commitment in following MLBAM’s lead.”

As part of its initiative, MLB.com launched an 
accessible media center for its MLB.com Gameday 
Audio™ subscribers, offering features such as 
volume control, ability to choose the home or 
away feed and access to archived games. 
Additionally, MLB.com has ensured that fans with 
visual impairments can continue to participate in 
the annual online voting programs associated with 
the All-Star Game and will be providing an 
accessibility page on its site detailing 
information on accessibility, usability tips and 
customer service resources. As it continues to 
deliver technological innovations for following 
baseball games, MLB.com will make additional 
accessibility enhancements available to fans with visual impairments.

Brian Charlson, a Boston baseball fan and 
Director of Computer Training Services at the 
Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, 
Massachusetts, described how MLB.com’s 
accessibility efforts have improved his enjoyment 
of the game: “As a member of the blind community, 
the kind of changes MLB.com was willing to make 
on its web sites keeps me coming back for more. 
It shows how much can be done when people with 
disabilities find willing partners. For example, 
with the changes in Gameday Audio, I find myself 
enjoying switching back and forth between the 
home and away broadcasters the same way my 
sighted friends do. And knowing my votes were 
counted in this year’s All-Star balloting made 
listening to the game much more meaningful. I’m 
excited about what MLB.com has done and about its 
commitment to further improvements.”

MLB.com utilized guidelines issued by the Web 
Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide 
Web Consortium (W3C). The web content 
accessibility guidelines are of particular 
benefit to blind baseball fans who use a screen 
reader, through which information on a page is 
read aloud, or magnification technology on their 
computers and who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.

Established in June 2000 following a unanimous 
vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners 
to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet 
operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the 
interactive media and internet company of Major 
League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official 
league site, <http://www.MLB.com>www.MLB.com,and 
each of the 30 individual Club sites to create 
the most comprehensive Major League Baseball 
resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the 
most complete baseball information and 
interactivity on the web, including up-to-date 
statistics, game previews and summaries, 
extensive historical information, online ticket 
sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated 
memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live 
full-game video webcasts and on-demand 
highlights, live and archived audio broadcasts of 
every game, Gameday pitch-by-pitch application, 
around-the-clock hosted and specialty video 
programming and complete blogging capabilities. 
MLB.com offers more live events on the Internet 
than any other website in the world.

About the American Council of the Blind (ACB), 
Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) and the 
California Council of the Blind (CCB)
The American Council of the Blind is a national 
consumer-based advocacy organization working on 
behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans 
throughout the country, with members organized 
through seventy state and special interest 
affiliates. The Bay State and California Councils 
are the Massachusetts and California affiliates 
of the ACB.  The ACB, BSCB and CCB are dedicated 
to improving the quality of life, equality of 
opportunity and independence of all people who 
have visual impairments. Their members and 
affiliated organizations have a long history of 
commitment to the advancement of policies and 
programs which will enhance independence for 
people who are blind and visually impaired.  Many 
members of ACB, BSCB and CCB are baseball 
fans.  More information about the organizations 
can be found by visiting ACB’s website, BSCB’s website, and CCB’s website.

# # #

Media Contacts

Matthew Gould
<mailto:matthew.gould at mlb.com>matthew.gould at mlb.com
(212) 485-8959


Brian Charlson (Bay State Council of the Blind)
<mailto:brian.charlson at carroll.org>brian.charlson at carroll.org

Mitch Pomerantz (American Council of the Blind)
<mailto:mitch.pomerantz at earthlink.net>mitch.pomerantz at earthlink.net

Jeff Thom (California Council of the Blind)
<mailto:ccotb at ccbnet.org>ccotb at ccbnet.org

This press release available on line at 

Lainey Feingold
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
<mailto:LF at LFLegal.com>LF at LFLegal.com

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