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Re: Accessible Applications

for

From: Karl Groves
Date: May 13, 2008 4:20PM


Stating that a VPAT is mandatory, simply because the State Dept. requires
it, is misleading. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act does not mandate a
VPAT for procured E & IT.



Karl Groves
AIM/YIM: karlcore
Skype: eight.pistons
www.WebAccessStrategies.com




From: Darian Glover [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:08 AM
To: <EMAIL REMOVED> ; WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: Kara Zirkle; <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



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
>
>