Thread Subject: Re: FPC - USERS' AT
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From: Tom Brett
Date: Sun, Jun 03 2007 7:25 AM
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I see the 508 standards as allowing assistive technology to work with E&IT.
I believe it is important to take the view that as long as the information
and data is capable of working with the AT the Government has met the letter
of the law. Since it is unreasonable to ask the government to buy AT for
the public they must supply their own assistive technology. If a person
with disabilities does not have AT to access information and data I do not
think that was the original intent of the Rehab Act modifications for 508.
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Gregg
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:05 AM
To: 'TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee'
Subject: [teitac-general] FPC - USERS' AT
Functional performance criteria
There were two aspects of our new wording that the TEITAC commented on and
wanted us to work on.
This email has to do with the SECOND one (only)
RE Use of the phrase "Users' AT"
This discussion highlighted a few things
1) there is a big difference between E&IT for use by government
employees and that for use by the public
2) for government employees it is usually possible to identify or
predict what AT would be used and therefore to determine what "users' AT"
would be. So there does not appear to be a problem here.
3) for the public however
a. it not only is very hard to predict what AT users will have or use
b. the AT that many of them have is very poor - making it hard to
design E&IT (public use devices and Web Content) that would be accessible
with everyone's AT.
Thus the language is not much of a problem for government employees, but
since these provisions apply to public use devices and Web Content, this
language begs the question of
Which users' AT?
If "users' AT" means ALL users' AT it sets unreasonable limitations on
technologies that can be used.
If "users' AT" means only the best AT out there it unreasonably limits
access to government information to just the small percentage with the best
So the problem seems to be threefold.
1) what do we do about people who have completely inadequate AT
a. This question seems to be completely outside of our scope and not a
question for us to even debate though it is a good topic for hallway
b. SUGGESTION: That we just leave this one off the table for
discussion here. Though it considerably complicates our work it is beyond us
and our charge.
2) What is a reasonable target to set for "works with users' AT" for
public access to government E&IT.
a. If it is not "Assume they all have the best AT"
b. And it is not "Build to the worst AT"
c. What should be sufficient?
3) What wording do we use in the provision - and how do we define the
term/phrase to address question #2?
So - leaving #1 off the table
How do we answer Questions #2 and # 3 so we can replace "users' AT' with
something reasonable and sufficiently defined that designers can work with
Thought: What if we think of a term or phrase and in the definition we
make it clear that for government employee use E&IT it can be considerably
higher (or even highest) AT compared to Public Use E&IT.
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
< <http://trace.wisc.edu/> http://trace.wisc.edu/> FAX 608/262-8848
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