Thread Subject: Re: Texas IT Access Lawsuit
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From: Mike Paciello
Date: Thu, Feb 22 2007 11:45 AM
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Thanks for this insight and update Diane. We sincerely appreciate it.
Mike Paciello, TPG
Cell: +1 603.566.7713
e-mail: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Diane Golden
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 1:42 PM
To: TEITAC SubPart A listserv (E-mail)
Subject: [teitac-subparta] Texas IT Access Lawsuit
Everyone may already be aware, but I thought I'd share some information
about the lawsuit filed under Texas state IT access statutes. The lawsuit
was filed February 5, 2007 by three blind state employees claiming violation
of state information technology access statutes (Â§2157.005 and
Â§2054.451) by the purchase of software that is inaccessible to blind
employees. The software is used by employees for purposes such as
timekeeping, leave tracking, obtaining personal payroll information, and
performance appraisals. It is important to note that this case has been
filed solely under Texas IT access law; it does not include any claims under
federal law such as the ADA or more general anti-discrimination state laws.
The specific complaint is that the state violated the state IT access
A) failing to require the sellers software to make the system accessible,
B) expending state funds for the purchase of inaccessible software, and
C) failing to VERIFY ACCESSIBILITY PRIOR TO EXPENDING FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE
AND IMPLEMENTATION of the software. (emphasis added)
Attached to the case filing is a copy of the software license agreement
between Texas and the seller which does contain a ?Technology Access
Warranty?. Part of that warranty reads:
The seller "represents and warrants . . . that the technology provided . . .
is capable, either by virtue of features included with the technology or
because it is readily adaptable by use with other technology of (1)
providing equivalent access for effective use by both visual and nonvisual
means; (2) presenting information, including prompts used for interactive
communications, in formats intended for nonvisual use: and (3) being
integrated into networks for obtaining, retrieving, and disseminating
information used by individuals who are not blind or visually impaired.?
This warranty language appears to be at least one of the mechanisms (a
contractual obligation) used by Texas to require conformance to the state IT
access provisions before expending state funds to purchase (see allegations
A and B above). Allegation C, "failure to verify accessibility", seems
likely to require processes and procedures beyond a contractual obligation
and go to the heart of application of the accessibility requirement.
I thought this was important to share given all our discussions about
"application" under Subpart A, the "best meets" langauge, how do you verifiy
conformance to the access standards, and how do you use the degree of
accessibility conformance along with other factors to make purchasing
Diane Cordry Golden, Ph.D., Director
Missouri Assistive Technology
816/350-5280 (direct voice)
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