The suggestions received thus far are generally pretty good, but in they are nibbling at the edges rather than attacking the core of the problem. What distinguishes the very few agencies or components that have been relatively successful in implementing Section 508? It is top level executive understanding and support. Most top level executives do not understand the scale and scope of Section 508 and the need for them ...more »
If EVERY agency followed the SAME set of 508 guidelines, it would help to streamline and consolidate 508 implementation. Currently, agencies treat and evaluate 508 differently.
Ask any contractor who works with multiple agencies and they will tell you the same thing....the agencies all intepret 508 it differently.
It's hard to design, write, code, etc. for people you don't know. One of the value of usability testing with people with a variety of disabilities is that it puts a human face on the goals of Section 508. I do NOT mean using people with disabilities as "accessibility QA testers." This is about observing - and understanding - why each requirement in Section 508 (or WCAG 2.0) exists: what human communication need it meets. ...more »
In my experience interacting with developers - few have a knowledge of Section 508 and even less knowledge of the WCAG. With the WCAG 2.0 being such an intergral part of the Section 508 refresh, it is imperative that all web deveopers have solid knowledge of the WCAG 2.0 and program ground up for Section 508. A study reports that the cost of revision is estimated to be one to six times greater during development than ...more »
A 508 test plan should be part of the acceptance criteria by Procurement and should be included as part of the deliverables for contractor services for software/web development. This will force vendors performing contractor services to incorporate Section 508 in the requirements and will make them code ground up for 508 from the beginning. This is not only cost effective and efficient but will ensure the vendor tests ...more »
How on Earth can we be having an online dialogue about improving implementation of Section 508 using a platform that, itself, is not compliant with Section 508? Those of us who use screen readers cannot even vote on the ideas! Giving us an inaccessible platform on which to cast our votes for aspects of an issue that is so vitally important to our ability to access information and participate in the federal workforce ...more »
While attending a class on computer and network security, I stated that in addition to securing the computers and networks we needed to also ensure the networks were in compliance with Section 508 directives. With a grimace on his face, the instructor stated compliance with Section 508 was not a security issue, therefore, it was not an inspection item -- however, he added, Section 508 guidelines could be used when possible. ...more »
As I understand it (and please correct me), including 508 in the paperwork for a given ICT procurement is not an absolute requirement, but more of an option on the part of whoever is doing the purchasing. It should go the other way -- 508 is part of the paperwork unless the purchaser can plausibly state a reason for exemption. Continuing on, every other 508 step should be documented as well, such as requesting a VPAT, ...more »
Currently each agency is making determinations as to whether a product is 508 compliant. A central location for sharing product testing for accessibility, by product name and version, would save each agency from having to replicate testing over and over again. We could start with major applications such as Windows and Lotus Notes. Most agencies are spending significant dollars to make some major procurements, such ...more »
Related to a few ideas already posted, the government needs to create a standardized testing methodology that federal and contracted staff can use for compliance testing. Such a methodology needs to include both automated testing tools and functional, usability testing. Once the government standardizes on a testing approach, the market will react and can provide clearer results as to what is compliant and what is not. ...more »
... because responsibility for accessibility, at some level, applies to all people working in federal government. There are lots of other trainings that are mandatory -- EEO or Civil Rights, Information Security, etc. -- across the various agencies and this might be approached in a similar way.
Government should support the development of Accessibility Professional Certification programs along with the education needed to support the certification process. This will build a larger pool of skilled accessibility experts and will drive the integration of accessibility training into other general IT development training programs and post-secondary educational programs.