Thread Subject: Re: FPCs
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From: Jim Tobias
Date: Wed, Sep 19 2007 10:50 AM
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I'd say that the Technical Provisions (TPs) do not monopolize 508, nor do
they "outweigh" the FPCs. One way to visualize this is to say that a
product that meets all the FPCs but fails all the TPs passes 508. That's
certainly the social goal, and we are free to put that into our
From: Phill Jenkins [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 12:20 PM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: Re: [teitac-general] FPCs
> Equivalent facilitation means that you didn?t do the provision but you
provided access another way. How is
> >1. If any of the technical provisions are not met, to see if access
is provided in another way (i.e. through equivalent facilitation).
> different than:
>> 3. When the technical provisions are not met, but through AT
customization access is provided - does it meet 508?
> Not sure I see. Equiv facil can be anything at all. Not just AT.
so you're saying that 'access provided in another way (i.e. through equiv
facil)' can be anything? including AT customization? OK, I understand, In
other words you're viewing my #3 as a special case of #1 equiv facilitation.
So I think we agree that the FPC has a role to be used as a test if equiv
facil has been met.
But do we agree that equiv facil is not the same as meeting 508? In my
opinion if a VPAT says the product fails a technical provision, but provides
an equiv facil for that one provision, it still fails overall. Maybe we can
agree that equiv facil use to not mean meeting 508, or that many folks use
to interpret it as not meeting 508, but that there are new proposal for the
role of the FPC to clarify that? Are you saying that equiv facil is a means
of meeting 508?
> We have both direct and AT technical provisions.
Yes, we have both direct (such as keyboard) and AT technical (support for
AT, such as name & role of object) provisions.
> I would think that both are covered by technical and FPC similarly. No?
No not similarly, but if, then. Quoting from the preamble:
- - - - -
Subpart C -- Functional Performance Criteria
Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria
This section provides functional performance criteria for overall product
evaluation and for technologies or components for which there is no specific
requirement under other sections. These criteria are also intended to ensure
that the individual accessible components work together to create an
accessible product. This section requires that all product functions,
including operation and information retrieval, be operable through at least
one mode addressed in each of the following paragraphs. . . .
Paragraph (a) provides that at least one mode of operation and information
retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support
for assistive technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired
shall be provided. It is not expected that every software program will be
self-voicing or have its own built-in screen reader. Software that complies
with Â§1194.21 would also satisfy this provision. (See Â§1194.27(a) in the
NPRM.) No substantive comments were received regarding this provision and no
changes were made in the final rule. . . .
- - - -
So in my opinion, since the technical provisions cover software products,
and IF the product is software and it complies with all provisions (both
direct and AT support) in 1194.21, THEN it satisfies the FPC paragraph (a).
IF the software product is self-voicing and doesn't require support from AT
but still provides one mode of operation that doesn't require vision, THEN
it satisfies FPC paragraph (a).
In my opinion the old 508 FPC and technical provisions placed no
responsibility on the AT to support the product; only the product to support
the AT - or - for the product not to require AT support but still be
operable with out vision, without hearing, etc.
I think you've told me that you have an issue if/when the product is
software and complies with the technical provisions but that it does not
automatically satisfy the FPC because there may be times when the AT doesn't
support the product. Case #4 is when the AT doesn't support the product
except when customized specifically for the product. In other words the
product is fully compliant with the technical provisions, but the AT is
lacking in its support such that there isn't really an accessible solution
until the AT is customized.
So is it the agency's, vendor's, or AT's responsibility to provide the AT
customization to fully support the product that is fully compliant with the
Or is this outside the current 508 legislation as I believe it is? There is
no guidance about purchasing the best supporting AT, or about requiring AT
to support the technical provisions that the product meets. I believe we
should just document this in the report.
IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center