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 »
Encourage transparancy regarding accessibility of electronic and information technology procurements.
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?
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
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Do not support the broad use of alternate conforming websites. Support the narrow use of alternate conforming websites only as a last resort and preferably as a temporary measure on the way to full accessibility of the non-conforming version. It is the Rehabilitation Act’s stated policy that “all programs, projects, and activities receiving assistance under this Act shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the... more »
There's a great deal of benefit in contributing to the accessibility of Open Source tools like Drupal, jQuery, WordPress & OpenLayers. Aside from benefiting many government departments by improving the core tools available to every government department, the investment benefits everyone. It is a benefit to business, NPO's & educational institutions when government invests in and contributes back to open source tools.... more »
The problem with the language of the rules and regulations is that they are open for interpretation and each company implementing a new application or site can interpret differently. I think an official site that contains a running archive of compliant vs. non compliant examples of actual implementations for each rule/regulation (and why they have that status) would be helpful. That way, you could check your implementation/idea... more »