Strengthen Accountability

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Holding the federal government accountable is an important component in ensuring consistent implementation of Section 508 standards and policies throughout the Government.

Strengthen Accountability

Accessibility thru the eyeglasses of a FISMA framework

Conformance to Section 508 isn't a "one and done." Technology, and user needs change over time. Just like in the InfoSec community, systems (aka EIT) change and with each change induces or reduces risk (aka Section 508 conformance). Why not look at "conformance" to Section 508 as Risk Management. Over 350 million users in the USA have the capability of accessing our ICT/EIT, 35 million are known to have disabilities,... more »

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3 votes
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More Emphasis on Agency Implementation and Less on Procurement

More metrics that emphasize sound internal accessibility requirements are needed. Today's model agencies have trained developers, trained and deployed accessibility testers, implemented project life cycle accessibility requirements, posted accessibility acceptance gates (for internal applications and contract acceptance criteria), and other important agency governance measures to ensure an improving environment. The... more »

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2 votes
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Build 508 into procurement processes

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 »

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19 votes
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Improve product accessibility reporting tools

Poor VPAT, nobody loves ya. You need a makeover! The refreshed 508 provisions deserve a refreshed reporting tool, one developed by all stakeholders. It could feature: - live, online creation, indexing, and searchability - real-time training for vendors and buyers alike on the meaning of the provisions and any product-category-specific guidance - room to report testing results and workarounds - AT compatibility info,... more »

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6 votes
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Post 508 Audit Reports

I love the idea of the posting the VPAT forms, but it would be great to see the audit reports of sites that have been through a 508 audit. Not only does it show the agency responsible, but also the contractor who did the work.

 

Not to mention those audit reports give a wealth of information from the people doing the actual site auditing for 508.

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4 votes
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Aim for continuous improvement

The few longitudinal studies that have been done are pessimistic -- backsliding on accessibility beginning just a few months after an intervention or campaign is the norm, not the exception. New technologies are introduced to sites, breaking their accessibility. The 508 Strategy should include an ongonig evaluation and reporting scheme. Being reviewed every 2 years by DoJ is not going to work, especially when the survey... more »

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9 votes
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A Metric with No Measure

In the Metrics section of the plan, more specificity is needed for electronic content. It simply states “Agencies will review and evaluate electronic content for 508 compliance.” We need simple metrics, common across most agencies, that can be used to evaluate an agency’s commitment and effectiveness in implementing accessibility. The Section 508 refresh is increasing the scope of electronic content and the strategic... more »

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11 votes
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"Beautiful Language" in the base contract on acquisitions

Our constant challenge with acquisitions and 508 compliance is that Section 508 is not part of requirements. The largest impediment to the implementation of Section 508 in the current requisition process is the absence of Section 508 clauses in base contracts. The most critical action required is to make sure the correct applicable Section 508 clauses are in the Contract/Requests for Proposals and Statements of work.... more »

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9 votes
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508 compliance testing plan should be part of the deliverables

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 »

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23 votes
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Executive Support Needed for 508 to Succeed

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 »

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34 votes
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Integrating Accessibiity Strategically

Accountability, accessibility in procurement, developer training, etc…each is relevant and necessary for accessibility, but all of these components can be somewhat tactical if each is simply considered autonomously. What should be clearly articulated is that accessibility needs to be woven into the fabric and culture of an organization through: policy and governance, integration into key processes (procurement and development,... more »

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8 votes
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Enforcement

I understand that this is not what was wanted by the Plan committee, but regardless, after 11 years of experience in this arena, I feel that the one most effective way to attain complaince is through visible, actionable enforcement from with-in the Government, through a government-wide CIO.

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7 votes
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Self Assessment

Self-Assessment Self-Assessment Exemplary Practices: 1.Comprehensive Evaluation of Internal and External Technologies and 2. Priorities and Goals Comprehensive Evaluations: Make a list of all ICT used or offered, including all platforms, devices and applications; Evaluate the accessibility of each item; Can include formal testing of ICT applications with automated accessibility testing tools; Consider the user experience... more »

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Continuous Improvement and Accountability

Continuous Improvement Continuous Improvement Exemplary Practices: 1. Methods for ensuring continuous improvement and 2. Accountability mechanisms. Three key methods for ensuring continuous improvement: designate responsible persons/offices, encourage participation by individuals with disabilities and outside experts, and establish measurable objectives and benchmarks. Designate responsibility: Example-Chief Technology... more »

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8 votes
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Federal Employees Performance Plan

In order for Section 508 to become integrated into the culture of the Federal Government, Section 508 has to be a part of all employees performance plan. Especially Senior Management. By having Section 508 as part of their performance plan, Section 508 will get the attention it needs from upper management and everyone will be concerned or aware of 508 and how it would impact their job area.

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11 votes
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