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 »
Holding the federal government accountable is an important component in ensuring consistent implementation of Section 508 standards and policies throughout the Government.
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 »
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 »
IF it is true that the Blackberry phones are not 508 compliant, why are Federal agencies allowed to buy them? Why isn't GSA prohibiting the purchase of items that are not 508 compliant?
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.
Use uniform Section 508 assessment criteria and score agency procurement, IT, HR, and civil rights executives on Section 508 compliance. Maintain federal website with information on what is truly 508-compliant, what is not, and how to fix noncompliant products.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
This 508 strategic plans seems to want to look forward, without really understanding successful or unsuccessful Section 508 implementation has been in the past. With regard to Federal Agency compliance on EIT procurements, there is over 5 years of data that indicate the government is still struggling to include appropriate and detailed Section 508 requirements into solicitations. In fact government-wide compliance rates... more »
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 »
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 »
There should be oversight at least of what's available to the public electronically -- perhaps by an extended office of the Access Board -- and agreed-upon penalties for failure. Currently there is nothing to deter an agency from scoffing at 508, except fear of a lawsuit from the National Federation of the Blind. The NFB should not be the government's police force on 508.
Many agencies have old "grandfathered" systems that are not 508 compliant. This creates problems because assistive technologies do not work with these systems. There needs to be a time limit that requires agencies to replace/scrap these non-compliant systems by a certain date. We need to put some teeth into the 508 requirements.