Roles and Responsibilities

Effective enforcement of federal regulations

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education under grant number H133E110002. Our mission is to research, evaluate and develop innovative wireless technologies and products that meet the needs, enhance independence, and improve quality of life and community... more »

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Action Plan

No excuses for noncompliant purchases of basic products

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

It should be inexcusable to procure noncompliant basic products such as phone systems; photocopiers; security systems, blackberries/PDAs, and basic software (word processing, email, spreadsheet, time and attendance, travel, performance management, etc.) Find out what is 508 compliant and, for such basic products, require one of those options to be used.

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2 votes
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Product Accessibility

Contribute to Free Software Tools & Open Standards

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 »

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10 votes
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Product Accessibility

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

Community Member kudos icon + Community member
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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9 votes
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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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6 votes
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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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9 votes
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Strengthen Accountability

Metrics exist for Agency Procurement Compliance

Community Member kudos icon + Community member
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 »

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8 votes
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Action Plan

Establish an inter-agency hotline for accesibility issues.

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

I propose expanding the funding of the CAP office to implement a hotline for all accessibility issues. They are already the subject matter experts. This hotline could help disabled individuals with their technical questions, provide a clearing house to disseminate technical tips, and serve as a focal point for reporting/tracking non 508 compliant websites/applications.

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1 vote
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Roles and Responsibilities

Do Not Purchase if not Compliant

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

Some commenters mentioned that software purveyors say "we will fix the 508 issues in the next release." If the whole Federal government stood firm and refused to purchase products until they were 508 compliant, the whole industry would rise to the challenge and build that requirement into the system. OMB and GSA must levy fines on agencies that buy systems that are not compliant.

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7 votes
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Improve Capabilities

Section 508 Limitations

As someone who is mobility impaired and has difficulty using a keyboard, I have a real issue with Section 508. By requiring sites to be accessible only if a user has a screen reader in their computer, to many people with disabilities are excluded. Section 508 is the equivalent of saying if you bring your own ramp to my restaurant, you will be able to get in. I'm glad the DOJ is finally recognizing that it is more than... more »

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6 votes
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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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4 votes
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Action Plan

EPUB 3 publishing Standard should be encouraged and supported

EPUB 3 is the new Standard for digital publishing that was designed with accessibility in mind. Because it is new (approved October 2011) support in reading systems and authoring tools is developing. We should encourage this standard and track the progress of accessibility in content, reading systems, and authoring tools. EPUB 3 is based on HTML5 and MathML, hence there are many overlapping accessibility techniques that... more »

Vote Yes to this effort

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7 votes
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