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Thread: Accessible Applications

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Number of posts in this thread: 21 (In chronological order)

From: Kara Zirkle
Date: Mon, May 12 2008 1:50PM
Subject: Accessible Applications
No previous message | Next message →

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

From: Travis Smith
Date: Mon, May 12 2008 2:20PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi,

I read your list, and the only one that I use is Blackboard. Well, that is my reader uses it for me. I am a student at the community college in Lafayette La, and my school uses blackboard. A large part of the program is accessible sort of. I mean I can navigate it ok. I can read links and headers and things like that. However, a large problem is that the forms that are used to submit assignments, e-mails, discussion board responses is not readable by screen readers. This is a real problem as I am taking two online classes this semester and that is how I am supposed to submit assignments. I have sent an e-mail to the company, and never received a response, and the problem has slipped my mind, but I will have to get after them about this because I have another online class next semester. If you have any further questions about blackboard, feel free to contact me @ = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 2:01 PM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J Singleton
Subject: [WebAIM] 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

From: Darian Glover
Date: Mon, May 12 2008 3:50PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
varies within the government, but is increasing.

Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)

Example VPATs:
http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx

Information on the VPAT for vendors:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessibility_template_vpat.php


Darian.



On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Kara Zirkle < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> 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
>
>

From: Karl Groves
Date: Mon, May 12 2008 4:20PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Darian,

Can you please cite a source which states that a VPAT is mandatory?

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


> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Darian Glover
> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 5:27 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; lyris-confirm-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J Singleton
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications
>
> The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
> hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a
> Voluntary
> Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor.
> Yes,
> it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
> varies within the government, but is increasing.
>
> Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
> their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible.
> The
> job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most
> people
> acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with
> Section 508
> or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
> Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)
>
> Example VPATs:
> http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
> http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx
>
> Information on the VPAT for vendors:
> http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_ac
> cessibility_template_vpat.php
>
>
> Darian.
>
>
>
> On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Kara Zirkle < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> > 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
> >
> >

From: Karl Groves
Date: Mon, May 12 2008 4:50PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
>
>

From: Darian Glover
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 8:30AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> > On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> > Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> > To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
> >
> >

From: Kara Zirkle
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 8:40AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Thank you,

I'm very familiar with VPAT's, I worked in the government for 3 years
prior to moving to higher education. However, that is half of my
battle. Either most of the companies don't have a VPAT because they
have not been asked or state they meet all state, university and federal
mandates while all the same they don't even know what half of them are.
Or I'm still so new in my position and Commonwealth of VA is still so
new in adopting the same rules and regulations no one has really been
made aware yet, unlike the federal government where it was mandated in
2001. So while I'm in the process of doing what I need to do here with
policy, awareness, language, etc. I was hoping to get some feedback from
other individuals using some of these products. In my experience with a
VPAT I will never trust just the documentation itself until I get to
either see the product or speak to a subject matter expert. However,
most of these applications are things that are already running and I
have no control over them until an update or contract renewal are due.
I understand that a product or company is not going to change their
software just b/c a university asked them. So I thought I would ask the
question to those hoping that perhaps other universities would speak up
so that those universities using the software could unite in an
accessibility "forum" if you will to exchange ideas, problems, concerns,
etc. about the softwares in which they are using. Together there should
be enough pull to contact a company and ask for some revisions. By all
means I'm still up for ideas, suggestions, etc.

Thank you,

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



Karl Groves 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>> On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
>> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
>> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
>>
>>

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 10:20AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> > On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> > Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> > To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
> >
> >

From: bj
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 12:40PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Hey Kara,

I work extensively with WordPress, and (nearly) all html is generated
by the templates/ theme files, so all control over the accessibility
of the frontend is within the templating of the theme or in the
plugins. That's not to say it's 100% accessible "out of the box",
though it isn't bad, compared to others. But it can be templated and
tweaked to meet accessibility guidelines without being overly
demanding of time.

Though it's in alpha right now, I know that the Habari blog platform
will be paying a lot of attention to Accessibility, since Chris (head
dev) is accessibility aware.

Another open source ap that allows accessible front end templating
is ModX, which is more of a CMS than a blog platform. Some
universities have used ModX as their platform of choice for a lot of
reasons, accessibility being one of them.

I hope that helps.

--
Ciao for now,
bj mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =



Monday, May 12, 2008, 3:01:18 PM, you wrote:

> 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,


From: Sean Keegan
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 2:00PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

-----Original Message-----
From: Darian Glover [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 2:27 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J
Singleton
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications

The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
varies within the government, but is increasing.

Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)

Example VPATs:
http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx

Information on the VPAT for vendors:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessi
bility_template_vpat.php


Darian.



On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Kara Zirkle < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> 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
>
>

From: Sean Keegan
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 3:20PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Sorry for the previous blank message - still getting used to Outlook 2007
(Ugh).

> The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology,
> software and hardware, be accessible with Section 508.

I believe it was just "electronic and information technology" (E and IT).
And the Federal Government did not mandate such technology be accessible,
but rather E and IT that the government procured (and there are exceptions).

> During procurement a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
> (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes, it's labeled voluntary
> but is required.

Perhaps this is a department by department implementation, but I do not
believe this requirement is stated in the law. Am I mistaken?

Take care,
Sean















-----Original Message-----
From: Darian Glover [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 2:27 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J
Singleton
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications

The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
varies within the government, but is increasing.

Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)

Example VPATs:
http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx

Information on the VPAT for vendors:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessi
bility_template_vpat.php


Darian.



On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Kara Zirkle < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> 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
>
>

From: Spruill Kevin
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 3:30PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:45 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> > On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> > Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> > To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
> >
> >

From: Katie Haritos-Shea
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 3:40PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

I think the FAR says that documentation (a VPAT) *can* be made mandatory by an agency, if they so chose.

Katie Haritos-Shea

-----Original Message-----
>From: Sean Keegan < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>Sent: May 13, 2008 5:07 PM
>To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications
>
>Sorry for the previous blank message - still getting used to Outlook 2007
>(Ugh).
>
>> The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology,
>> software and hardware, be accessible with Section 508.
>
>I believe it was just "electronic and information technology" (E and IT).
>And the Federal Government did not mandate such technology be accessible,
>but rather E and IT that the government procured (and there are exceptions).
>
>> During procurement a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
>> (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes, it's labeled voluntary
>> but is required.
>
>Perhaps this is a department by department implementation, but I do not
>believe this requirement is stated in the law. Am I mistaken?
>
>Take care,
>Sean
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Darian Glover [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 2:27 PM
>To: WebAIM Discussion List
>Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J
>Singleton
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications
>
>The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
>hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
>Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
>it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
>varies within the government, but is increasing.
>
>Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
>their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
>job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
>acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
>or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
>Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)
>
>Example VPATs:
>http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
>http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx
>
>Information on the VPAT for vendors:
>http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessi
>bility_template_vpat.php
>
>
>Darian.
>
>
>
>On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Kara Zirkle < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
>> 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
>>
>>

From: Kara Zirkle
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 3:50PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:45 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>>> On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
>>> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
>>> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
>>>
>>>

From: Spruill Kevin
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 4:10PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Darian,

While they're required by State, that's the Agency's internal policy.
VPATs are not mandatory. For procurment purposes, they are an acceptable
means of providing Market Research as per the FAR, part 10. But aside
from internal requirements - they're not mandatory.



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: Darian Glover [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:08 AM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> > On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> > Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> > To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
> >
> >

From: Karl Groves
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 4:20PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 9:08 AM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: Kara Zirkle; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> On Behalf Of Kara Zirkle
> Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:01 PM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS 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
>
>

From: Darian Glover
Date: Tue, May 13 2008 10:40PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

There is has been a very thoughtful discussion on what I previously wrote
(see below). I did not intend to imply that VPATs themselves were required
by law. This is not the place to discuss the finer details between Federal
law, regulations, policy, mandates, guidance, etc. and I am no lawyer. But
I will try to break it down if only academic purposes.

As some have pointed out the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has
language that requires agency heads to ensure "acquisition
planners...address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
Standards." The FAR goes on to state a policy to "assess the availability
of electronic and information technology." The FAR requirement for "market
research" cites a subpart that states "The requiring official must document
in writing the nonavailability, including a description of market research
performed and which standards cannot be met, and provide documentation to
the contracting officer for inclusion in the contract file." (Full text of
all of this is below.)

We have the law (Section 508). We have a regulation (FAR) that provides
related policy and requirements. The key piece to take away is that during
the procurement process documentation is required on "which standards cannot
be met."

This is where VPATs come in. Or more specifially an industry group and the
General Services Administration:

"The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to helping
the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In
2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to
create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements
contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template(TM), or VPAT(TM)."

Who is this ITI? According to their web site they are "the premier group of
the nation's leading high-tech companies and widely recognized as the tech
industry's most effective lobbying organization in Washington, in various
foreign capitals, and the WTO." Their membership includes the likes of
Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and even eBay.

So documentation on how procured Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)
is not accessible is required. An industry group worked with the GSA to
produce a standard way of documenting this, the VPAT. Other forms of
documentation will do, but why reinvent the wheel?

Now there may be a question as to what exactly is EIT. That's defined in:

36 CFR Part 1194
Subpart B — Technical Standards

1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
1194.23 Telecommunications products.
1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.


All of this is only a small amount of the paperwork we have here in
Washington, DC. Some very well intentioned red tape. Again, I'm not a
lawyer nor am a procurement official. I'm a cog that tries to keep things
moving forward.


Darian.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Section 508

"In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal
agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to
people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an
individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to
make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to
encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508
(29 U.S.C. ' 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the
public access to information that is comparable to the access available to
others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed
below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can
support implementation."


"Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Prohibits discrimination and
ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state
and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities,
and transportation. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be
provided in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Additional
technical assistance regarding the ADA is available through the ADA
Technical Assistance Program."

"Assistive Technology Act of 1998 - The Assistive Technology Act establishes
a grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, to
provide Federal funds to support State programs that address the assistive
technology needs of individuals with disabilities."

"Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Section 255 of the
requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of
telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are
accessible to persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. The Federal
Communications Commission's Report and Order Implementing Section 255 was
released in September 1999."

"Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 501 of this act prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in Federal employment and requires
Federal agencies to establish affirmative action plans for the hiring,
placement, and advancement of people with disabilities in Federal
employment. Additional information and definitions related to Section 501
can be found at theEEOC website."

"Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 504 prohibits
discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally
conducted programs or activities in the United States, including employment
programs.Additional information and definitions related to Section 504 can
be found at the Department of Labor website."

"Section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 505 establishes the
enforcement procedures for title V of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 505
(a) (1) provides that the procedures and rights set forth in Section 717 of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall be available with respect to any
complaint under Section 501. Section 505 (a)(2) provides that the remedies,
rights and procedures set forth in title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
shall be available to any person alleging a violation of Section 504.
Section 508 is also enforced through the procedures established in Section
505 (a)(2)."

"The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access
Board) issued final guidelines for accessibility, usability and
compatibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises
equipment covered by Section 255 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996."

"Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Congress significantly strengthened
section 508 in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Its primary purpose is
to provide access to and use of Federal executive agencies' electronic and
information technology (EIT) by individuals with disabilities. "


Source: http://www.section508.gov/

36 CFR Part 1194
Subpart B — Technical Standards

1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
1194.23 Telecommunications products.
1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.

Source: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

FAR

7.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

The agency head or a designee shall prescribe procedures for—

(o) Ensuring that acquisition planners specify needs and develop plans,
drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions
that address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
(see 36 CFR Part 1194) in proposed acquisitions (see 11.002(e)) and that
these standards are included in requirements planning, as appropriate (see
Subpart 39.2).



10.001 Policy.
(2) Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances—
(vii) Assess the availability of electronic and information technology that
meets all or part of the applicable accessibility standards issued by the
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part
1194 (see Subpart 39.2).



11.002 Policy.
(e) Some or all of the performance levels or performance specifications in a
solicitation may be identified as targets rather than as fixed or minimum
requirements.

(f) In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29
U.S.C. 794d), requiring activities must prepare requirements documents for
electronic and information technology that comply with the applicable
accessibility standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation
Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part 1194 (see Subpart 39.2)


Subpart 12.2—Special Requirements for the Acquisition of Commercial Items

12.202 Market research and description of agency need.

(d) Requirements documents for electronic and information technology must
comply with the applicable accessibility standards issued by the
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part
1194 (see Subpart 39.2).



39.201 Scope of subpart.

(a) This subpart implements Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
(29 U.S.C. 794d), and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers
Compliance Board Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility
Standards (36 CFR Part 1194).

(b) Further information on Section 508 is available via the Internet at
http://www.section508.gov.

(c) When acquiring EIT, agencies must ensure that—

(1) Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of
information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal
employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and

(2) Members of the public with disabilities seeking information or services
from an agency have access to and use of information and data that is
comparable to the access to and use of information and data by members of
the public who are not individuals with disabilities.
39.202 Definition.

Undue burden, as used in this subpart, means a significant difficulty or
expense.
39.203 Applicability.

(a) Unless an exception at 39.204 applies, acquisitions of EIT supplies and
services must meet the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part
1194.

(b)(1) Exception determinations are required prior to contract award, except
for indefinite-quantity contracts (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section).

(2) Exception determinations are not required prior to award of
indefinite-quantity contracts, except for requirements that are to be
satisfied by initial award. Contracting offices that award
indefinite-quantity contracts must indicate to requiring and ordering
activities which supplies and services the contractor indicates as
compliant, and show where full details of compliance can be found (e.g.,
vendor's or other exact website location).

(3) Requiring and ordering activities must ensure supplies or services meet
the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part 1194, unless an
exception applies, at the time of issuance of task or delivery orders.
Accordingly, indefinite-quantity contracts may include noncompliant items;
however, any task or delivery order issued for noncompliant items must meet
an applicable exception.

(c)(1) When acquiring commercial items, an agency must comply with those
accessibility standards that can be met with supplies or services that are
available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the agency's
delivery requirements.

(2) The requiring official must document in writing the nonavailability,
including a description of market research performed and which standards
cannot be met, and provide documentation to the contracting officer for
inclusion in the contract file.

39.204 Exceptions.

The requirements in 39.203 do not apply to EIT that—

(a) Is purchased in accordance with Subpart 13.2 (micro-purchases) prior to
April 1, 2005. However, for micro-purchases, contracting officers and other
individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3 are strongly encouraged to
comply with the applicable accessibility standards to the maximum extent
practicable;

(b) Is for a national security system;

(c) Is acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract;

(d) Is located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for
maintenance, repair or occasional monitoring of equipment; or

(e) Would impose an undue burden on the agency.

(1) Basis. In determining whether compliance with all or part of the
applicable accessibility standards in 36 CFR Part 1194 would be an undue
burden, an agency must consider—

(i) The difficulty or expense of compliance; and

(ii) Agency resources available to its program or component for which the
supply or service is being acquired.

(2) Documentation.

(i) The requiring official must document in writing the basis for an undue
burden decision and provide the documentation to the contracting officer for
inclusion in the contract file.

(ii) When acquiring commercial items, an undue burden determination is not
required to address individual standards that cannot be met with supplies or
service available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the agency
delivery requirements (see 39.203(c)(2) regarding documentation of
nonavailability).


Source: http://acquisition.gov/far/

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

VPAT

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to helping
the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In
2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to
create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements
contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
Voluntary Product Accessibility TemplateTM, or VPATTM.

Source:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessibility_template_vpat.php

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Darian Glover wrote:

>
> The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
> hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
> Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
> it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
> varies within the government, but is increasing.
>
> Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
> their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
> job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
> acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
> or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
> Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)
>
> Example VPATs:
> http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
> http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx
>
> Information on the VPAT for vendors:
>
> http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessibility_template_vpat.php
>
>
> Darian.
>
>
>

From: Karl Groves
Date: Wed, May 14 2008 8:30AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

> So documentation on how procured Electronic and Information Technology
> (EIT)
> is not accessible is required.

Actually, the required documentation is to show that the procuring official
has done their market research to ensure that what they've purchased is the
most accessible product which meets business needs.

> An industry group worked with the GSA
> to
> produce a standard way of documenting this, the VPAT. Other forms of
> documentation will do, but why reinvent the wheel?

There are so many reasons why. First and foremost, vendor-supplied VPATS are
often insufficiently informative and often inaccurate. I've seen VPATS where
the vendor has marked "fully supports" for every provision - even ones which
don't even apply to the product! Secondly, procuring officials will take a
VPAT at face value without any further inquiry into the product just so they
can buy the product they want to buy. Third, a VPAT has no teeth. All it
does is fulfill a FAR Part 10 requirement for market research. Nothing
anywhere says that the VPAT (or any other documentation) defines acceptance
criteria for a procurement.

Don't get me wrong. Neither of these is a fault of the VPAT itself. I agree
that it can be a great tool if used correctly. In my opinion, VPATs should
be created by an independent third party who has actually performed an
assessment on the product. For instance, whenever my company creates a
VPAT, we have criteria defined for how much review is required before we'll
do one. It includes manual review as well as use case testing. This ensures
that we're sufficiently familiar with the product to make well informed
statements about the conformance level. Any areas where the product does
not fully support is described clearly in the document. Then a procuring
official has information in their hands which is accurate, reliable, and
based on thorough review.


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

> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Darian Glover
> Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:07 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; lyris-confirm-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J Singleton
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications
>
> There is has been a very thoughtful discussion on what I previously
> wrote
> (see below). I did not intend to imply that VPATs themselves were
> required
> by law. This is not the place to discuss the finer details between
> Federal
> law, regulations, policy, mandates, guidance, etc. and I am no lawyer.
> But
> I will try to break it down if only academic purposes.
>
> As some have pointed out the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has
> language that requires agency heads to ensure "acquisition
> planners...address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
> Standards." The FAR goes on to state a policy to "assess the
> availability
> of electronic and information technology." The FAR requirement for
> "market
> research" cites a subpart that states "The requiring official must
> document
> in writing the nonavailability, including a description of market
> research
> performed and which standards cannot be met, and provide documentation
> to
> the contracting officer for inclusion in the contract file." (Full
> text of
> all of this is below.)
>
> We have the law (Section 508). We have a regulation (FAR) that
> provides
> related policy and requirements. The key piece to take away is that
> during
> the procurement process documentation is required on "which standards
> cannot
> be met."
>
> This is where VPATs come in. Or more specifially an industry group and
> the
> General Services Administration:
>
> "The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to
> helping
> the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
> In
> 2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
> to
> create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
> procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research
> requirements
> contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
> Voluntary Product Accessibility Template(TM), or VPAT(TM)."
>
> Who is this ITI? According to their web site they are "the premier
> group of
> the nation's leading high-tech companies and widely recognized as the
> tech
> industry's most effective lobbying organization in Washington, in
> various
> foreign capitals, and the WTO." Their membership includes the likes of
> Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and even eBay.
>
> So documentation on how procured Electronic and Information Technology
> (EIT)
> is not accessible is required. An industry group worked with the GSA
> to
> produce a standard way of documenting this, the VPAT. Other forms of
> documentation will do, but why reinvent the wheel?
>
> Now there may be a question as to what exactly is EIT. That's defined
> in:
>
> 36 CFR Part 1194
> Subpart B - Technical Standards
>
> 1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
> 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and
> applications.
> 1194.23 Telecommunications products.
> 1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
> 1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
> 1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.
>
>
> All of this is only a small amount of the paperwork we have here in
> Washington, DC. Some very well intentioned red tape. Again, I'm not a
> lawyer nor am a procurement official. I'm a cog that tries to keep
> things
> moving forward.
>
>
> Darian.
>
>
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
> Section 508
>
> "In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal
> agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible
> to
> people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an
> individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily.
> Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information
> technology, to
> make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to
> encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these
> goals.
> The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure,
> maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section
> 508
> (29 U.S.C. ' 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members
> of the
> public access to information that is comparable to the access available
> to
> others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations
> listed
> below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can
> support implementation."
>
>
> "Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Prohibits discrimination and
> ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment,
> state
> and local government services, public accommodations, commercial
> facilities,
> and transportation. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be
> provided in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities.
> Additional
> technical assistance regarding the ADA is available through the ADA
> Technical Assistance Program."
>
> "Assistive Technology Act of 1998 - The Assistive Technology Act
> establishes
> a grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, to
> provide Federal funds to support State programs that address the
> assistive
> technology needs of individuals with disabilities."
>
> "Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Section 255 of the
> requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of
> telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services
> are
> accessible to persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. The
> Federal
> Communications Commission's Report and Order Implementing Section 255
> was
> released in September 1999."
>
> "Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 501 of this act
> prohibits
> discrimination on the basis of disability in Federal employment and
> requires
> Federal agencies to establish affirmative action plans for the hiring,
> placement, and advancement of people with disabilities in Federal
> employment. Additional information and definitions related to Section
> 501
> can be found at theEEOC website."
>
> "Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 504 prohibits
> discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally
> conducted programs or activities in the United States, including
> employment
> programs.Additional information and definitions related to Section 504
> can
> be found at the Department of Labor website."
>
> "Section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 505 establishes the
> enforcement procedures for title V of the Rehabilitation Act. Section
> 505
> (a) (1) provides that the procedures and rights set forth in Section
> 717 of
> the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall be available with respect to any
> complaint under Section 501. Section 505 (a)(2) provides that the
> remedies,
> rights and procedures set forth in title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
> 1964
> shall be available to any person alleging a violation of Section 504.
> Section 508 is also enforced through the procedures established in
> Section
> 505 (a)(2)."
>
> "The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access
> Board) issued final guidelines for accessibility, usability and
> compatibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises
> equipment covered by Section 255 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996."
>
> "Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Congress significantly strengthened
> section 508 in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Its primary
> purpose is
> to provide access to and use of Federal executive agencies' electronic
> and
> information technology (EIT) by individuals with disabilities. "
>
>
> Source: http://www.section508.gov/
>
> 36 CFR Part 1194
> Subpart B - Technical Standards
>
> 1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
> 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and
> applications.
> 1194.23 Telecommunications products.
> 1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
> 1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
> 1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.
>
> Source: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
> FAR
>
> 7.103 Agency-head responsibilities.
>
> The agency head or a designee shall prescribe procedures for-
>
> (o) Ensuring that acquisition planners specify needs and develop plans,
> drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product
> descriptions
> that address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
> Standards
> (see 36 CFR Part 1194) in proposed acquisitions (see 11.002(e)) and
> that
> these standards are included in requirements planning, as appropriate
> (see
> Subpart 39.2).
>
>
>
> 10.001 Policy.
> (2) Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances-
> (vii) Assess the availability of electronic and information technology
> that
> meets all or part of the applicable accessibility standards issued by
> the
> Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR
> Part
> 1194 (see Subpart 39.2).
>
>
>
> 11.002 Policy.
> (e) Some or all of the performance levels or performance specifications
> in a
> solicitation may be identified as targets rather than as fixed or
> minimum
> requirements.
>
> (f) In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
> (29
> U.S.C. 794d), requiring activities must prepare requirements documents
> for
> electronic and information technology that comply with the applicable
> accessibility standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation
> Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part 1194 (see Subpart 39.2)
>
>
> Subpart 12.2-Special Requirements for the Acquisition of Commercial
> Items
>
> 12.202 Market research and description of agency need.
>
> (d) Requirements documents for electronic and information technology
> must
> comply with the applicable accessibility standards issued by the
> Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR
> Part
> 1194 (see Subpart 39.2).
>
>
>
> 39.201 Scope of subpart.
>
> (a) This subpart implements Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of
> 1973
> (29 U.S.C. 794d), and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers
> Compliance Board Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)
> Accessibility
> Standards (36 CFR Part 1194).
>
> (b) Further information on Section 508 is available via the Internet at
> http://www.section508.gov.
>
> (c) When acquiring EIT, agencies must ensure that-
>
> (1) Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of
> information and data that is comparable to the access and use by
> Federal
> employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and
>
> (2) Members of the public with disabilities seeking information or
> services
> from an agency have access to and use of information and data that is
> comparable to the access to and use of information and data by members
> of
> the public who are not individuals with disabilities.
> 39.202 Definition.
>
> Undue burden, as used in this subpart, means a significant difficulty
> or
> expense.
> 39.203 Applicability.
>
> (a) Unless an exception at 39.204 applies, acquisitions of EIT supplies
> and
> services must meet the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR
> Part
> 1194.
>
> (b)(1) Exception determinations are required prior to contract award,
> except
> for indefinite-quantity contracts (see paragraph (b)(2) of this
> section).
>
> (2) Exception determinations are not required prior to award of
> indefinite-quantity contracts, except for requirements that are to be
> satisfied by initial award. Contracting offices that award
> indefinite-quantity contracts must indicate to requiring and ordering
> activities which supplies and services the contractor indicates as
> compliant, and show where full details of compliance can be found
> (e.g.,
> vendor's or other exact website location).
>
> (3) Requiring and ordering activities must ensure supplies or services
> meet
> the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part 1194, unless an
> exception applies, at the time of issuance of task or delivery orders.
> Accordingly, indefinite-quantity contracts may include noncompliant
> items;
> however, any task or delivery order issued for noncompliant items must
> meet
> an applicable exception.
>
> (c)(1) When acquiring commercial items, an agency must comply with
> those
> accessibility standards that can be met with supplies or services that
> are
> available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the agency's
> delivery requirements.
>
> (2) The requiring official must document in writing the
> nonavailability,
> including a description of market research performed and which
> standards
> cannot be met, and provide documentation to the contracting officer for
> inclusion in the contract file.
>
> 39.204 Exceptions.
>
> The requirements in 39.203 do not apply to EIT that-
>
> (a) Is purchased in accordance with Subpart 13.2 (micro-purchases)
> prior to
> April 1, 2005. However, for micro-purchases, contracting officers and
> other
> individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3 are strongly
> encouraged to
> comply with the applicable accessibility standards to the maximum
> extent
> practicable;
>
> (b) Is for a national security system;
>
> (c) Is acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract;
>
> (d) Is located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for
> maintenance, repair or occasional monitoring of equipment; or
>
> (e) Would impose an undue burden on the agency.
>
> (1) Basis. In determining whether compliance with all or part of the
> applicable accessibility standards in 36 CFR Part 1194 would be an
> undue
> burden, an agency must consider-
>
> (i) The difficulty or expense of compliance; and
>
> (ii) Agency resources available to its program or component for which
> the
> supply or service is being acquired.
>
> (2) Documentation.
>
> (i) The requiring official must document in writing the basis for an
> undue
> burden decision and provide the documentation to the contracting
> officer for
> inclusion in the contract file.
>
> (ii) When acquiring commercial items, an undue burden determination is
> not
> required to address individual standards that cannot be met with
> supplies or
> service available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the
> agency
> delivery requirements (see 39.203(c)(2) regarding documentation of
> nonavailability).
>
>
> Source: http://acquisition.gov/far/
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
> VPAT
>
> The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to
> helping
> the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
> In
> 2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
> to
> create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
> procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research
> requirements
> contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
> Voluntary Product Accessibility TemplateTM, or VPATTM.
>
> Source:
> http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_ac
> cessibility_template_vpat.php
>
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
>
>
> On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Darian Glover wrote:
>
> >
> > The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software
> and
> > hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a
> Voluntary
> > Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor.
> Yes,
> > it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this
> requirement
> > varies within the government, but is increasing.
> >
> > Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs
> for
> > their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible.
> The
> > job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most
> people
> > acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with
> Section 508
> > or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter
> of
> > Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)
> >
> > Example VPATs:
> > http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
> > http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx
> >
> > Information on the VPAT for vendors:
> >
> >
> http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_ac
> cessibility_template_vpat.php
> >
> >
> > Darian.
> >
> >
> >
>

From: Sean Keegan
Date: Wed, May 14 2008 11:40AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

> 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).

As someone who is in California (and dealing with 508 in the higher
education space), could you please post your findings to the list?

There were some interpretations by various individuals early on (circa
2001-2002) that specified that 508 did apply to California - and educational
entities - because of the acceptance of Federal funding. However, several
representatives from DOJ that I spoke with commented that this was a
misinterpretation and 508 did not "follow the money".

In any case, California did pass a bill back then that adopted the
accessibility requirements of the US Section 508 Standards as part of CA
Government Code (Sec. 11135). Any additional information on recent case
laws would be appreciated though as that provides further insight as to how
the laws are being applied.

Thanks,
Sean



From: Spruill Kevin
Date: Wed, May 14 2008 1:00PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | Next message →

Sean,

Been digging around the archives looking for the information - as soon
as I find it I'll pass it along to everyone, thanks for the reminder


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: Sean Keegan [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 1:21 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [SEC508] Accessible Applications

> 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).

As someone who is in California (and dealing with 508 in the higher
education space), could you please post your findings to the list?

There were some interpretations by various individuals early on (circa
2001-2002) that specified that 508 did apply to California - and
educational entities - because of the acceptance of Federal funding.
However, several representatives from DOJ that I spoke with commented
that this was a misinterpretation and 508 did not "follow the money".

In any case, California did pass a bill back then that adopted the
accessibility requirements of the US Section 508 Standards as part of CA
Government Code (Sec. 11135). Any additional information on recent case
laws would be appreciated though as that provides further insight as to
how the laws are being applied.

Thanks,
Sean




From: Mark D. Urban
Date: Thu, May 15 2008 3:00AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Applications
← Previous message | No next message

It should be noted that many agencies, such as the Social Security
Administration (http://www.ssa.gov/oag/acq/oagacq_508.htm) and the
Department of Health and Human Services (http://508.hhs.gov/vendors.htm)
require a specific "VPAT", filled out in a specific way, for consideration
of any EIT product or service.





Mark D. Urban

Vice-Chair, ICDRI

( <http://www.icdri.org/>; The International Center for Disability Resources
on the Internet)



Past Chair, NC Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities

Member, Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council

Member, Statewide Independent Living Council







From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On
Behalf Of Darian Glover
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:07 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ;
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; Korey J Singleton
Subject: [SEC508] Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Applications



There is has been a very thoughtful discussion on what I previously wrote
(see below). I did not intend to imply that VPATs themselves were required
by law. This is not the place to discuss the finer details between Federal
law, regulations, policy, mandates, guidance, etc. and I am no lawyer. But
I will try to break it down if only academic purposes.

As some have pointed out the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has
language that requires agency heads to ensure "acquisition
planners...address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
Standards." The FAR goes on to state a policy to "assess the availability
of electronic and information technology." The FAR requirement for "market
research" cites a subpart that states "The requiring official must document
in writing the nonavailability, including a description of market research
performed and which standards cannot be met, and provide documentation to
the contracting officer for inclusion in the contract file." (Full text of
all of this is below.)

We have the law (Section 508). We have a regulation (FAR) that provides
related policy and requirements. The key piece to take away is that during
the procurement process documentation is required on "which standards cannot
be met."

This is where VPATs come in. Or more specifially an industry group and the
General Services Administration:

"The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to helping
the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In
2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to
create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements
contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template(TM), or VPAT(TM)."

Who is this ITI? According to their web site they are "the premier group of
the nation's leading high-tech companies and widely recognized as the tech
industry's most effective lobbying organization in Washington, in various
foreign capitals, and the WTO." Their membership includes the likes of
Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and even eBay.

So documentation on how procured Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)
is not accessible is required. An industry group worked with the GSA to
produce a standard way of documenting this, the VPAT. Other forms of
documentation will do, but why reinvent the wheel?

Now there may be a question as to what exactly is EIT. That's defined in:

36 CFR Part 1194
Subpart B - Technical Standards

1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
1194.23 Telecommunications products.
1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.


All of this is only a small amount of the paperwork we have here in
Washington, DC. Some very well intentioned red tape. Again, I'm not a
lawyer nor am a procurement official. I'm a cog that tries to keep things
moving forward.


Darian.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Section 508

"In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal
agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to
people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an
individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to
make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to
encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508
(29 U.S.C. ' 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the
public access to information that is comparable to the access available to
others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed
below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can
support implementation."


"Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Prohibits discrimination and
ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state
and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities,
and transportation. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be
provided in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities. Additional
technical assistance regarding the ADA is available through the ADA
Technical Assistance Program."

"Assistive Technology Act of 1998 - The Assistive Technology Act establishes
a grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, to
provide Federal funds to support State programs that address the assistive
technology needs of individuals with disabilities."

"Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Section 255 of the
requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of
telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are
accessible to persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. The Federal
Communications Commission's Report and Order Implementing Section 255 was
released in September 1999."

"Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 501 of this act prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in Federal employment and requires
Federal agencies to establish affirmative action plans for the hiring,
placement, and advancement of people with disabilities in Federal
employment. Additional information and definitions related to Section 501
can be found at theEEOC website."

"Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 504 prohibits
discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally
conducted programs or activities in the United States, including employment
programs.Additional information and definitions related to Section 504 can
be found at the Department of Labor website."

"Section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act - Section 505 establishes the
enforcement procedures for title V of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 505
(a) (1) provides that the procedures and rights set forth in Section 717 of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall be available with respect to any
complaint under Section 501. Section 505 (a)(2) provides that the remedies,
rights and procedures set forth in title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
shall be available to any person alleging a violation of Section 504.
Section 508 is also enforced through the procedures established in Section
505 (a)(2)."

"The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access
Board) issued final guidelines for accessibility, usability and
compatibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises
equipment covered by Section 255 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996."

"Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Congress significantly strengthened
section 508 in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Its primary purpose is
to provide access to and use of Federal executive agencies' electronic and
information technology (EIT) by individuals with disabilities. "


Source: http://www.section508.gov/

36 CFR Part 1194
Subpart B - Technical Standards

1194.21 Software applications and operating systems.
1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
1194.23 Telecommunications products.
1194.24 Video and multimedia products.
1194.25 Self contained, closed products.
1194.26 Desktop and portable computers.

Source: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

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FAR

7.103 Agency-head responsibilities.

The agency head or a designee shall prescribe procedures for-

(o) Ensuring that acquisition planners specify needs and develop plans,
drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions
that address Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
(see 36 CFR Part 1194) in proposed acquisitions (see 11.002(e)) and that
these standards are included in requirements planning, as appropriate (see
Subpart 39.2).



10.001 Policy.
(2) Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances-
(vii) Assess the availability of electronic and information technology that
meets all or part of the applicable accessibility standards issued by the
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part
1194 (see Subpart 39.2).



11.002 Policy.
(e) Some or all of the performance levels or performance specifications in a
solicitation may be identified as targets rather than as fixed or minimum
requirements.

(f) In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29
U.S.C. 794d), requiring activities must prepare requirements documents for
electronic and information technology that comply with the applicable
accessibility standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation
Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part 1194 (see Subpart 39.2)


Subpart 12.2-Special Requirements for the Acquisition of Commercial Items

12.202 Market research and description of agency need.

(d) Requirements documents for electronic and information technology must
comply with the applicable accessibility standards issued by the
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR Part
1194 (see Subpart 39.2).



39.201 Scope of subpart.

(a) This subpart implements Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
(29 U.S.C. 794d), and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers
Compliance Board Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility
Standards (36 CFR Part 1194).

(b) Further information on Section 508 is available via the Internet at
http://www.section508.gov.

(c) When acquiring EIT, agencies must ensure that-

(1) Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of
information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal
employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and

(2) Members of the public with disabilities seeking information or services
from an agency have access to and use of information and data that is
comparable to the access to and use of information and data by members of
the public who are not individuals with disabilities.
39.202 Definition.

Undue burden, as used in this subpart, means a significant difficulty or
expense.
39.203 Applicability.

(a) Unless an exception at 39.204 applies, acquisitions of EIT supplies and
services must meet the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part
1194.

(b)(1) Exception determinations are required prior to contract award, except
for indefinite-quantity contracts (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section).

(2) Exception determinations are not required prior to award of
indefinite-quantity contracts, except for requirements that are to be
satisfied by initial award. Contracting offices that award
indefinite-quantity contracts must indicate to requiring and ordering
activities which supplies and services the contractor indicates as
compliant, and show where full details of compliance can be found (e.g.,
vendor's or other exact website location).

(3) Requiring and ordering activities must ensure supplies or services meet
the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part 1194, unless an
exception applies, at the time of issuance of task or delivery orders.
Accordingly, indefinite-quantity contracts may include noncompliant items;
however, any task or delivery order issued for noncompliant items must meet
an applicable exception.

(c)(1) When acquiring commercial items, an agency must comply with those
accessibility standards that can be met with supplies or services that are
available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the agency's
delivery requirements.

(2) The requiring official must document in writing the nonavailability,
including a description of market research performed and which standards
cannot be met, and provide documentation to the contracting officer for
inclusion in the contract file.

39.204 Exceptions.

The requirements in 39.203 do not apply to EIT that-

(a) Is purchased in accordance with Subpart 13.2 (micro-purchases) prior to
April 1, 2005. However, for micro-purchases, contracting officers and other
individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3 are strongly encouraged to
comply with the applicable accessibility standards to the maximum extent
practicable;

(b) Is for a national security system;

(c) Is acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract;

(d) Is located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for
maintenance, repair or occasional monitoring of equipment; or

(e) Would impose an undue burden on the agency.

(1) Basis. In determining whether compliance with all or part of the
applicable accessibility standards in 36 CFR Part 1194 would be an undue
burden, an agency must consider-

(i) The difficulty or expense of compliance; and

(ii) Agency resources available to its program or component for which the
supply or service is being acquired.

(2) Documentation.

(i) The requiring official must document in writing the basis for an undue
burden decision and provide the documentation to the contracting officer for
inclusion in the contract file.

(ii) When acquiring commercial items, an undue burden determination is not
required to address individual standards that cannot be met with supplies or
service available in the commercial marketplace in time to meet the agency
delivery requirements (see 39.203(c)(2) regarding documentation of
nonavailability).


Source: http://acquisition.gov/far/

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VPAT

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is committed to helping
the Federal Government implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In
2001, ITI partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to
create a simple, Internet-based tool to assist Federal contracting and
procurement officials in fulfilling the new market research requirements
contained in the Section 508 implementing regulations. The result: the
Voluntary Product Accessibility TemplateTM, or VPATTM.

Source:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessi
bility_template_vpat.php

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On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Darian Glover wrote:


The U.S. Federal Government mandated that all technology, software and
hardware, be accessible with Section 508. During procurement a Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is required from the vendor. Yes,
it's labeled voluntary but is required. Adherence to this requirement
varies within the government, but is increasing.

Most vendors who deal with the government comply by producing VPATs for
their products. This does not mean the products are 100% accessible. The
job of the VPAT is to identify how accessible the product is. Most people
acknowledge we are a ways off from having everything comply with Section 508
or be accessible. (Just because something complies with the letter of
Section 508 does not mean it is accessible in spirit or practice.)

Example VPATs:
http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/
http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.mspx

Information on the VPAT for vendors:
http://www.itic.org/archives/articles/20040506/faq_voluntary_product_accessi
bility_template_vpat.php


Darian.