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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: April 18, 2000

Law center helps design Web site for persons with disabilities

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Law, Health, Policy and Disability Center was recently credited with helping a national company in New York create a text-only version of the company's Web site that gives small business owners with disabilities full access to traditional financing sources.

BLC Financial Services, Inc., launched the accessible version of www.BLCLoans.com early this month and says the UI joint effort with the center reaches out "to those people who would otherwise not have full access" to its already interactive Web site.

Peter Blanck, UI law professor and director of the center, has previously said providing Web access to persons with disabilities through speech and other assistive devices would help the disabled population and businesses. Blanck was an expert panelist at congressional subcommittee hearings last February on the Internet and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

BLC Chairman and CEO Robert F. Tannehauser said in a company press release that the implementation of the text-only version of its Web site helps the company reach "a segment of the population that has been underserved by the lending community and by the Internet in general."

The site now will allow persons to complete loan applications online via a secure server. The site also provides investor information and the ability to e-mail questions to the company.

For more information about the accessibility and Web site's design, contact Peter Blanck (319) 335-9043 or Len Sandler, UI Law professor and co-director of the center at (319) 335-9030. Or visit the center's Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~lhpdc