Thread Subject: Re: AT Interoperability
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From: Randy Marsden
Date: Tue, Aug 14 2007 1:45 PM
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I'm sorry, but I don't concur.
I may have missed the meeting where the "consensus" Peter refers to
was reached, but this definitely is not the way AT sees things. If
you remove the the requirement for IT to actually work with AT, then
what's the point? You will end up with IT products that meet Section
508, but that people with disabilities still can't use.
We agreed that we can't make lists of AT products that IT must be
compatible with, nor can we create an API as part of Section 508.
But that doesn't mean we're saying interoperability between AT and IT
is not a requirement. Until we have actual technical
interoperability standards that we can point to and test against,
references to the interaction between IT and AT must necessarily
remain vague. But that vagueness should not be extended to the point
where IT is only required to design what they consider to be an
interoperability gateway, but not be required to ensure that their
products actually work with AT.
Someday, I hope we will be able to change the wording of Section 508
to say something like "AT and IT products must conform to the
ABC123XXX interoperability standard". But until that technical
standard(s) exists, all we can do is express the notion in general
terms that AT and IT must work together, but not spell out how that
is done. From AT's standpoint, we hope it is done through mutual
cooperation between AT and IT companies, through developing
standards, and through the prodding of laws such as Section 508 that
should encourage (not discourage) such cooperation. Section 508
doesn't have to tell the AT and IT industries how they should
cooperate - only that it is necessary. Let the two industries work
it out from there.
Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)
On Aug 14, 2007, at 11:22 AM, Hoffman, Allen wrote:
> Thanks Peter, you summarized this better than I and I concur with
> all of
> Allen Hoffman -- = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; v: 202-447-0303
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Peter
> Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 1:21 PM
> To: TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee
> Subject: Re: [teitac-websoftware] AT Interoperability
> Hi Gregg,
> We have more or less come to the consensus that we don't want to write
> specific provisions for assistive technologies (e.g. requiring that AT
> purchased by the government must implement support for platform
> accessibility services, let alone any API that any application chooses
> to invent and use). Unless that changes, we cannot insist that AT
> and IT
> must work together. Further, we cannot tell IT that it has the sole,
> unshared burden of working with AT.
> I feel this provision is nearly the best that is possible within those
> constraints. Pushing IT to use platform accessibility services where
> they exist (and by implication encouraging platforms to define and
> promulgate such services) will go a long way to improving AT-IT
> But at AT and IT typically come from different companies, there is no
> way one can control the other. And since government-wide regulations
> like 508 must be technology neutral, 508 itself cannot say "your IT
> work with the Gregorian Screen Reader". Individual agencies can (and
> do!) do that, but that is part of how they define their business need.
> Peter Korn
> Accessibility Architect,
> Sun Microsystems, Inc.
President, Madentec Limited
Tel: 780-450-8926 Ext. 223
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =