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Encourage usability testing with people with disabilities

It's hard to design, write, code, etc. for people you don't know. One of the value of usability testing with people with a variety of disabilities is that it puts a human face on the goals of Section 508.

I do NOT mean using people with disabilities as "accessibility QA testers." This is about observing - and understanding - why each requirement in Section 508 (or WCAG 2.0) exists: what human communication need it meets.... more »

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29 votes
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Agency Web Application Metric

Collect and post data for external web applications on an agency and/or OMG/GSA web site and post a similar data set on an agency’s intranet. Present it as a quarterly or yearly report by Providing a table which lists: 1) the agencies web applications (link to splash screen), 2) has/when accessibility testing occurred, 3) a compliance determination, 4) known accessibility defects (link), 5) work around or accommodation... more »

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5 votes
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Department of Vet. Affairs Off Topic

The Rating System For Vets. Is Flawed, Rating is Designed For The GOV. Not THE VET?? The Doctors, Discount The Patent ON,ON,ON,AND,DOWN,Until there is NOTHING LEFT, DEGRADED? Humbled,Abused? The Rating System For Vets, Should be removed from the Military? There should be one RATING SYSTEM? NOT MILITARY? The Military is A Dictatorship! Should not be putting just $$$on Vets CARE?? Bobby Gean Russum

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CASE STYDY FOR TRAINING PURPOSE? Off Topic

We Challenge the Department of Vets Affairs To use My Case As an Example for how, "NOT TO HANDLE A CASE", My case was never allowed to come to the forefront until President Obama, was elected! Even today there are so many,many, "AGENTS",Will Not HELP,"US", The "Government",Should Provide "ATTORNEYS" For Service Members That have been (RAPED),By another member of the Military, The Military, Intel.,Was Directly responsible... more »

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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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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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"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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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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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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Concrete Consequences

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.

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