Product Accessibility

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Encourage transparancy regarding accessibility of electronic and information technology procurements.

Campaign: Product Accessibility

Enhance core product to meet section 508

One question for the producers of documents is how section 508 might limit the mainstream product--website, document, data sets, use of color, dynamic graphics and content, etc. There are reasons that information is conveyed in a variety of formats and media and section 508 should not limit how the core product is developed. Rather section 508 should address how accessible enhancements and supplments are added in. ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

MultiMedia Specialist

I was hired by the government to help make our videos and streaming webcast captioned. However, I realized our video equipment is out-dated and not able to work with our new captioning encoder (HD/SD compatible). To obtain new equipment, it takes months to years to get such equipment. Is there a way we can speed up this process within the government agencies?

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Improving federal websites dialogue

Building usability and accessibility into web design during the design phase was a recurrent theme during the dialogue on web reform. Read what others said during that dialogue. http://web-reform-dialogue.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Make-usability-testing-and-508-testing-required-PRIOR-to-launch/81928-4097

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Digital Signage needs to be compliant

Agencies seem to be deploying Digital Signage without thought of accessibility. Digital Signage content needs guidelines for accessibility as it is a delivery method for Electronic & Information Technology information. To many times have I seen inaccessible content displayed because the apathy of management thinking Digital Signage isn't governed by the law. Specific guidelines for content creation needs to be added ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

ADA Title IV - Captioning of PSAs funded by federal dollars

This is not exactly Section 508, but there is a lot of overlap since it has to do with captioning of media produced with federal funds. Title IV of the ADA mostly deals with Telecommunication Relay Services but one small part says that TV Public Service Announcements developed with federal funds must be captioned. This law has been on the books since 1990 but often overlooked.

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Scan the technology horizon

It's common to see a new kind of product emerge and upset the applecart of accessibility, usually without any warning. When the vendor is approached about accessibility, their answer may be, "We'll fix that in the next release." In the meantime, customers are stuck with an inaccessible product. To get out of this reactive mode, how about a project that identifies technologies that are 3-5 years away from the market? ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

The sole source

The sole source justification is often used as a loop hole to buy non compliant products in federal agencies. There are some genuine sole source products which are crucial to the functioning of the agencyand are not compliant. Even if they invoke the sole source justification agencies should work with the vendors and formulate a mitigation plan and a timeline to bring the product into compliance. So even if the product ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Specific location of accessability tools be in a set location

Accessibility tools should be required to be in one location all the time every time. It is unrealistic to expect a person with disabilities to to search a page they can not access to find out if the accessibility tools are their or not.

For example access ability tools will always be in the upper right hand corner of every web page so they can easily be found if they exist at all.

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Updating the Section 508 standards - 1194.2

Section 508 as it relates to technology (1194.21, 1194.22) should be evaluated and updated on a regular basis. Technology changes rapidly, and the standards are sorely outdated. This means meeting these standards as a software vendor while still enhancing and advancing the product is difficult and costly. It can also result in poor overall user experience by government employees because it may limit the advancements ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Use Only HTML Forms & Docs! Avoid Flash, PDF, Word, Excel, etc.

Avoid the use of these proprietary formats which require external plugins and are usually never accessible. HTML is always the most accessible and universal format that works on all devices from Cell Phones to Kindles to iPads. HTML is open source and does not require expensive tools like Adobe Acrobat Professional or Flash to develop. HTML is indexable by search engines and makes it easier for the public to find the ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

Use an Evaluation matrix instead of VPATS in procurement

VPATS as the name implies is voluntary and federal agencies cannot hold the the vendor to compliance based on a VPAT. Instead an evaluation matrix is more effective as you make the vendors respond to the applicable provisions for their products and score them based on their compliance. This ensure fair and open competition as per the FAR and also ensures the agency buys the most compliant product. When vendors respond ...more »

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Campaign: Product Accessibility

It all come back to Top down Agency awareness with Section 508

Very interesting conversation going on and from my perspective I see everything coming back to increased awareness. When we talk about Product Accessibility you have to first distinguish which “product” you are talking about. Put into the process of the current law it can be any product that we use, develop, maintain or procure. You’re talking about almost everyone within your organization needing to be aware of Section ...more »

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