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Re: Accessible Applications

for

From: Kara Zirkle
Date: May 13, 2008 3:50PM


Thanks Kevin,

I do know that the Commonwealth of Virginia has adopted some of the same
rules and regulations similar to Section 508 for state agencies and
state Universities, so we do therefore apply. However, the applications
I had mentioned before are all applications that are currently being
used and though I completely understand the use of the VPAT my
experience is they aren't very accurate and since the applications are
already implemented I'm not quite sure how they may help in this case
unless we are up for a renewal or something with the applications.

Thanks,

Kara Zirkle
IT Accessibility Coordinator
Assistive Technology Initiative
Thompson Hall RM 114 Mail Stop: 6A11
Fairfax Campus
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-9815
Fax: 703-993-4743
http://www.gmu.edu/accessibility/ati/home.html



Spruill Kevin wrote:
>
> Cliff,
>
> As Dept. of State is a government agency, they are required by law
> (Section 508) to be compliant w/ those standards not the more stringent
> WCAG rules. A quick test reveals provisional failures there as well. You
> should send the webmaster an email noting that.
>
> Which reminds me, Kara I vaguely recall seeing something in recent case
> law that stated that Organizations receiving funds from the govt. had to
> meet the 504 requirements, and by extension 508 - this might just be a
> limited finding (California I believe). Not sure, but I'll dig around.
> That might be useful in contacting the vendors and asking them to fill
> out a detailed VPAT for your institution.
>
> Kevin Spruill
> IT Specialist
> Information Resources Accessibility Program
> OS:CIO:ES:BI:CS:IRAP:IT
> Phone: (202) 283-7059
> IRAP Web site: http://irap.web.irs.gov
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cliff Tyllick [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:45 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Cc: <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ; Korey
> J Singleton
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [SEC508] Accessible Applications
>
> Darian points us to http://www.state.gov/m/irm/impact/52675.htm, where
> the State Department states that it requires VPATs of its vendors. Of
> course, the State Department's requirements have no direct impact on
> vendors in their business relationship with Kara's employer, GMU.
>
> I find it interesting that this page fails validation and violates all
> versions of WCAG in a number of ways (it lacks meaningful text in links,
> for one; its headings are not coded as such, for another). No doubt
> every government agency has a lot of work to do in making its Web site
> accessible, but State might wish to address this page quickly if it
> wants to show that it's serious about requiring accessibility.
>
>
>>>> "Darian Glover" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 5/13/2008 8:07 AM >>>
>>>>
> Karl,
>
> I cannot cite every Department's and Agency's procurement rules within
> the Federal Government, mostly because government procurement is such a
> mess.
> Here is one Department that does require VPATs:
>
> http://www.state.gov/m/irm/impact/52675.htm
>
>
> Darian.
>
>
> On 5/12/08, Karl Groves < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>
>> That's quite a list you have, Kara.
>> One step that may help you in finding what you seek is to look for a
>> VPAT for these products. Contrary to Darian's response, VPATs are not
>>
>
>
>> mandatory (what is mandatory is that the FAR Part 10 requires market
>> research, for which VPATs help.).
>>
>> The other thing about VPATs is that, in my experience, they're often
>> inaccurate. I don't want to say that vendors lie on their VPATs
>> (though they could) but that sometimes it seems like the person
>> filling them out doesn't seem to understand 508 or that the version of
>>
>
>
>> the application currently in release is not the same as the version
>>
> discussed in the VPAT.
>
>> There seems to be a lot of reasons why a VPAT could be inaccurate. The
>>
>
>
>> bottom line is, be skeptical. In cases where a VPAT was supplied by a
>> 3rd party, accuracy seems to increase (because those 3rd parties don't
>>
>
>
>> want to be grilled about inaccuracies).
>>
>> A VPAT is NOT a legal document and does not, in and of itself, prevent
>>
>
>
>> or permit any acquisition.
>>
>>
>>> Also, has anyone contacted vendors directly asking for changes to be
>>>
>
>
>>> made in response to accessibility if contract language wasn't
>>> originally in the picture
>>>
>> In practice: Your chances are relatively slim and directly
>> proportional to your purchasing power. For example, let's say GMU is
>> purchasing something from Microsoft. The chance of them remediating
>> something for GMU is nonexistent compared to the chance they'd do it
>> for a major government agency such as IRS or SSA and, unless it is in
>> the original contract is already slim-to-none. A contract is a
>> contract and must clearly define the work to be performed, including
>> adherence to any standards for
>> accessibility. It would be like trying to take a car back to the
>> dealership because it came with the wrong engine when you didn't tell
>> the dealer which engine you wanted in the first place. The best you
>> can do is learn from mistakes and make sure they're not made again.
>>
>>
>>
>> Karl Groves
>> AIM/YIM: karlcore
>> Skype: eight.pistons
>> www.WebAccessStrategies.com
>>
>>
>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: <EMAIL REMOVED>
>>> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
>>> On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
>>> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
>>> To: <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; <EMAIL REMOVED> ;
>>> <EMAIL REMOVED> ; Korey J Singleton
>>> Subject: [SEC508] Accessible Applications
>>>
>>> Is anyone using any of the following applications or products and if
>>>
>
>
>>> so could you please give me some input on whether or not they are
>>> accessible to individuals with disabilities or meet Section 508
>>> Compliance? Also, if anyone has done research on similar
>>> applications and chose not to go with one of the following
>>> applications what application did you go with that was more
>>>
> accessible?
>
>>> Applications such as:
>>>
>>> Adobe Breeze; Townhall; Blackboard; Respondus; CMS' Droople,
>>> Paperthin, Commonspot and Figleaf; Luminous; Hawkeye software assets
>>>
>
>
>>> tracking; Email applications GoogleApps, Microsoft Live or Exchange
>>> Labs; various Blog Platforms (ex. Wordpress); various Survey
>>> Software; Banner and other Sunguard applications; SkillPort; iTunes
>>> U Podcasting; Accordent Capture; SharePoint 2007; Microsoft VISTA;
>>> ILLiad (interlibrary loan management system); VuFind; Basecamp;
>>> GMPLS (generalized multiprotocol label switching); AppWorx; and
>>> Touchnet software
>>>
>>> Also, has anyone contacted vendors directly asking for changes to be
>>>
>
>
>>> made in response to accessibility if contract language wasn't
>>> originally in the picture? Can anyone make any suggestions about
>>> this?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> --
>>> Kara Zirkle
>>> IT Accessibility Coordinator
>>> Assistive Technology Initiative
>>> Thompson Hall RM 114 Mail Stop: 6A11 Fairfax Campus 4400 University
>>> Drive Fairfax, VA 22030
>>> Phone: 703-993-9815
>>> Fax: 703-993-4743
>>> http://www.gmu.edu/accessibility/ati/home.html
>>>
>>>