Thread Subject: Re: FW: "Best Meets" example
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From: Hoffman, Allen
Date: Tue, Nov 21 2006 6:00 AM
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I think what you are describing is that we don't live in a perfect
world. However, what, as standards definers here, can we do to clarify
this requirement so that when conducting an acquisition, requiring
officials, and acquisitions officials both understand how this
particular issue should be applied to desktop phone purchases. I agree
with you that "best meets" does need clarification in the standard. The
approach we use here is to evaluate the item with applicable technical
standards, and then for those that have gaps, identify what functional
performance criteria are not met. By evaluating the functional
performance criteria gaps based upon gaps in technical standards, for
the critical functionalities of the item, such as for a phone can
someone with limited hearing "hear" the phone, does it work, we are
getting to the intent of Section 508, which is to provide comparable
access to, and use of, information and data for people with
disabilities. the concept of "best meets" as far as Section 508
compliance goes, is not generally so difficult, the problems come into
play when we are broadening this into such things as security, other
functional performance/business requirements, etc. What does "best
meet" really mean, and what should we require be documented or what
process be used to get there? Basically it isn't ever going to get
accepted that accessibility trumps everything else, and this is how the
"best meets" requirement is often interpreted.
I think the right answer here is somewhere in the available best
practices in Federal acquisitions, as they regularly weigh many
requirements and do "best meets" tasks. how this is normally done is
probably the place to start to figure out how we can best craft our
refinements to subpart A to address this seemingly simple problem.
I wonder if we would, as a group, perform a few scenarios and come to an
answer for ourselves, if we would learn more about this process. I know
many of us have experience doing this, but as a whole we may bring more
knowledge to the task and find better answers?
Allen Hoffman -- 202-447-0303
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