Thread Subject: Re: was FAQ info and URL; now "Process"
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From: Jim Tobias
Date: Fri, Aug 17 2007 11:55 AM
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Not that any of this will result in provisions, but I think there
is a fundamental misunderstanding here.
> I don't think you want to go back to 255 process provisions.
> That would entail companies having to document the process
> that they went through.
I'm not aware of any company that addresses accessibility without
using a process of some sort, and all of them document that process.
The question is, do they have to reveal that documentation at any
> The Access-Board (I believe wisely) has take the stance that
> companies should be able to use what process they want as
> long as the outcome is accessible.
No one is trying to force fit a particular process. I think we'd
be comfortable with an ISO-9000 type approach, which lets the
enterprise create it own process as long as the results of that process
can be evaluated.
In fact, you could say that the current situation is that VPATs are
a required part of the process, so it's not entirely new to propose
something else along the same lines. Many stakeholders are not
satisfied with the VPAT, and for good reason, in my opinion.
> And the process isn't
> really that important if the product isn't. it doesn't help
> people with disabilities.
Look at it another way: there are surely some processes that are
more effective at resulting in accessible products, such as ones
that look at competing accessible products, or do certain kinds
of AT testing, or consult with users with disabilities, or provide
certain kinds of staff training. At the end of the day, none of
these guarantees accessibility, but it's illogical to assume that there
is no connection between process and product. When Trace evaluates
a new product for accessibility, doesn't it proceed according to a
process built up over years of experience? We need to use the scarce
mental capital we have in the most efficient manner, and expertise about
accessibility is pretty darn scarce.
Looked at another way, "accessibility" is a new or different way of
thinking about products, so it's an innovation. The literature on
adoption of innovations points to the tendency of organizations to
innovate by bureaucratizing. They really can't get up to speed on
something new without nailing down who's gonna do what, and where the
innovation fits into the org chart and the client contact report and
the market analysis readout, etc.
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