Accessibility & Contracts / Procurement
Welcome & Introductions
Glenda the Goodwitch
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What is IT?
What is Accessibility?
508 defines EIT: Electronic & Information Technology as
Information technology and any equipment or interconnected system
or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the creation,
conversion, or duplication of data or information.
Examples of EIT: Electronic & Information Technology
Includes (but is not limited to)
- telecommunications products (such as telephones)
- information kiosks
- transaction machines
- web sites
- office equipment (such as copiers and fax machines)
- software application and operating systems
Source: Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (Section 508) 1194.4 Definitions www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm
what is accessibility?
When all users - regardless of disability - can obtain the
same information and perform the same functions.
Procurement Plan for Buying Accessible EIT
- Accessibility Expert(s)
- Determine IT Accessibility Laws, Policies and Guidelines for your institution
- Accessible IT Procurement Goals
- Accessible IT RFP Requirements
- Accessibility Review of bid(s) products
- Report to Purchasing & Vendor
Accessibility SME Subject Matter Expert
- accessibility work as 50% or more of their job
- experience in accessibility & remediation
- accessibility testing tools
- continuing accessibility training
Recommended job duties
- accessibility testing (proactive)
- accessibility training/consulting
- accessibility remediation
Objectives of Accessibility Laws
"For most people technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible." President's Council on Disabilities
Procurement Relevant Accessibility Laws Federal & State
Accessibility Laws: Federal
United States Federal Laws
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (Federal)
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States …shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance"
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (Federal)
National mandate to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities
Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (1998) (Federal)
Applies accessibility standards to procurement and development of electronic and information technologies by federal government agencies
Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 (WCAG) of 2008 (W3C)
The US Federal 508 standard is being rewritten/refreshed and will be released in about a year. It is expected that the refershed 508 standard will actually be based on the WCAG 2.0 international standard.
Accessibility Law: State
At least 21 states have explicit statutes or executive orders
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida,
Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, W. Virginia
At least 6 states have Accessibility Policies
- Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island
- Most reference Section 508
- All have procurement requirements
Accessibility Law: State of Texas
Texas Administrative Code
Chapter 206: State & Higher Ed Web Sites
TAC 206 B: State Agency Web Sites
206.50: Accessibility & Usability ("copy" of 508)
TAC 206 C: Higher Education Web Sites
206.70: Accessibility & Usability ("copy" of 508)
Chapter 213: Electronic & Information Resources
TAC 213 B: Accessibility Standards for State Agencies
TAC 213 C: Accessibility Standards for Higher Education
Texas Government Code
2054:456 Access to Electronic & Information Resources by State Employees w Disabilities
2054:457 Access to Electronic & Information Resources by Other Individuals w Disabilities
Target: Accessibility Settlement
Federal judge sustains discrimination claims against Target; precedent establishes that retailers must make their websites accessible to the blind under the ADA
Target Agrees to $6 Million Settlement over Accessiblity of target.com
Accessibility Laws, Policies & Guidelines
It can be overwhelming to consider all the laws and rules for accessibility. We have Organization Policies & Guidelines, State Laws and Federal Laws. But remember, all of these laws and guidelines are about creating access for real people. Stay focused on the peopel and their needs, and realize that the laws and guidelines exist to help us reach equal opportunity and access.
Accessible IT Procurement Goals
Insure equally effective access to EIT
Equally effective means:
- comparable in quality
- comparable in timeliness of delivery & availability
- appropriate manner and medium
The Reality: Validate Vendor's Output/ KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
- 508 compliance is a primary selection factor
- YOU should verify 508 compliance
- TRUST but VERIFY
- 508 verification adds
time to procurement process
- Vendor may need accessibility training
Accessible IT Requirements in RFPs
Insert language into "all" EIT RFPs stating:
- 508/TAC 206&213 - vendor products must conform with all applicable 508/TAC 206/213 standards. Applies to all electronic and information resources developed & procured.
- VPAT - vendors must provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)to disclose product conformance with 508 standards
- Test - authorizing YOU to perform product accessibility conformance testing prior to completion of purchase
Rare 508 Exceptions for RFP
- national security system
- incidental product
- only used by service personnel for maintenance, repair, or occasional monitoring of equipment
- undue burden
Accessibility & Legacy Systems in Statements of Work (SOW)
Accessibility for all EIT including
CSU Sample RFP Language
"Any acquisition considered electronic
and information technology (E&IT) as defined by Section 508 (36 CFR Part
1194) requires the submission
of a completed Voluntary Accessibility Product Template in order for the CSU to ascertain
conformance with the applicable E&IT standards developed by the U.S. Access
CSU Sample RFP Language
"The CSU reserves the right to perform real-world testing of a vendor's
product or service in order to validate vendor claims regarding Section 508
conformance. In order to facilitate this testing, the vendor shall,
upon request, provide to the CSU a copy of the product being considered
for purchase for a period of at least 30 calendar days. The version of the
product that is provided for testing purposes must be
equivalent in functionality and features to the commercial version that is
under consideration for purchase. The CSU in its sole discretion, will determine
the level of compliance with Section 508 on all products being reviewed.
Additional Suggestions for RFP
that the vendor describe their
capacity to respond to and resolve any complaint regarding accessibility of products or services. Require the name of a person and contact information
for addressing accessibility questions and issues with the product.
- For every E&IT product or service accepted under the
contract that does
not conform to the accessibility
standards (sole source, commercial non-availability, or a product that meets
some but not all of the standards) and for which an exception does not apply,
request from the vendor a plan and timeline by which accessibility standards will be incorporated
into the product.
The Importance of Testing
image of 5 panel comic strip.
- First panel. Image: A very fancy triple decker tree swing. Caption: "How the customer exlained it"
- Second panel. Image: A tree swing tied to brances on either side of the trunk. If you used the swing, you would slam into the tree trunk. Caption: "How the project leader understood it."
- Third panel. Image: A tree with the center of the trunk cut out, and the tree held up by two braces on either side of the branches, so the swing can be used without hitting the trunk Caption: "How the Analyst designed it."
- Fourth panel. A tree swing tied to the trunk of the tree. The seat of the swing is lying on the ground. The swing is not usable. "Cation: How the programmer wrote it."
- Fifth panel. A simple tire swing, hung with rope from a branch, fully functional. Caption: What the customer really needed.
If you don't test for accessibility, you should not be surprised when the product you buy is actually inaccessible."
Practical Testing Plan
- Code Validation
- Browser Testing
Online Accessibility Testing (representative
pages). Use more than one tool, example: Worldspace & Wave.
Screenreader Testing: JAWS
Enterprise Accessibility Report (like Worldspace by Deque or WebXM )
Hands-on Accessibility Testing
- Turn off images
- Don't use the mouse
- Increase font size
- Change window size
RFP Survivor Game
- Create a requirements metric (based on RFP)
- Set 508/TAC 206 & 213 Accessibility as a Primary Requirement
- Rate bids on RFP metric
- Vote bids "off your island"
Or what to do when there is no one left on the island
- Commercial Non-Availability
- Fundamental Alteration
- Undue Burden
Even if exception applies your organization must still
provide alternative access
Review Testing Results with Vendor
- Vendor understands results and makes changes
- Vendor needs minor technical education
- Vendor is unaware of web accessibility
- Vendor believes accessibility does not apply
Accessibility - It is up to YOU
Questions, Answers & Resources for Further Learning