EIR Accessibility Policy, Chapter 3 - Exceptions

In This Chapter

Legal Reference

TAC Rule: §213.17

Effective September 1, 2006, all EIR developed, procured or changed by a state agency shall comply with the standards and specifications of Chapter 206External site and/or Chapter 213External site of Title 1, Texas Administrative Code, unless an exception is approved by the executive director of the agency, or an exemption is granted by the department.

  1. In its accessibility policy, an agency shall include standards and processes for handling exception requests for all EIR, including those subject to exceptions for a significant difficulty or expense contained in §2054.460, Texas Government CodeExternal site.
  2. Exceptions for a significant difficulty or expense under§2054.460, Texas Government Code must be approved in writing by the executive director of an agency for each EIR development or procurement, including outsourced development, which does not comply with the standards and specifications described in Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, pursuant to§2054.460, Texas Government Code.
  3. An approved exception for a significant difficulty or expense under§2054.460, Texas Government Code shall include the following:
    1. a date of expiration or duration of the exception;
    2. a plan for alternate means of access for persons with disabilities;
    3. justification for the exception including technical barriers, cost of remediation, fiscal impact for bringing the EIR into compliance, and other identified risks; and
    4. documentation of how the agency considered all agency resources available to the program or program component for which the product is being developed, procured, maintained, or used. Examples may include, but are not limited to, agency budget, grants, and alternative vendor or product selections.
  4. Agencies shall maintain records of approved exceptions in accordance with the agency’s records retention schedule.
  5. The department shall establish and maintain a list of electronic and information technology resources which are determined to be exempt from the standards and specifications of all or part of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title.
  6. The list of exempt EIR will be posted under the Accessibility section of the department’s website.
  7. The following information shall be provided for each exemption listed:
    1. a date of expiration or duration of the exemption;
    2. a plan for alternate means of access for persons with disabilities;
    3. justification for the exemption including technical barriers, cost of remediation, fiscal impact for bringing the EIR into compliance, and other identified risks; and
    4. written approval of the department’s executive director.
  8. The department shall establish and publish a policy under the Accessibility section of its website which defines the procedures and standards used to determine which electronic or information resources are exempt from the standards and specifications described in Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title.

3.1 Approval Process for Exceptions at HHS

When EIR is identified as being non-compliant with the provisions of this policy, then the following information is reported to the EIR Workgroup by the Civil Rights Office Accessibility Compliance Unit.

3.1.1 Documents and Forms

  • Can document or form be remediated?
    • If yes, what is the timeline for remediation?
    • If no, specify the reason:
      • Statute requires publication in a format that is inaccessible.
        • Contracts
        • Items produced through mandated external systems that do not produce accessible content (LBB Budget and LAR system)
        • Requires inclusion of scanned content (Example: State Plan)
      • Document was supplied by external entity and cannot be unlocked for editing.
  • Alternative means of access to the information:
    • Transcription upon request
    • Alternative means of submitting information collected through the form

3.1.2 Websites

  • Name and base URL of site
  • Is site actively maintained?
  • What is the timeline for remediation?
  • % of pages affected
  • Number of defects and severity
  • Internal or external
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Severity of the issue(s)
  • Does this impact access to mission critical information?
  • Alternative means of access

3.1.3 Web Applications

  • Name and base URL of application
  • Date site was released for production
  • Date of accessibility report
  • % of interface pages impacted by the defects
  • Severity of the defects
  • Any work-arounds for the issue(s)
  • Approximate number of users
  • Proposed alternative means of access
  • Is application maintained by HHS/DSHS?
    • If yes:
      • Are accessibility defects documented in defect tracking system?
      • What are the severity levels of the defects?
      • What is the timeline for remediation?
      • Name of the project manager
    • If no:
      • Name of entity who maintains the site
      • Date entity who maintains the site was informed of the defects
      • Timeline provided by the entity to correct the defect

3.1.4 Software and Software as a Service

  • Software title
  • Classification (COTS, Shareware, Freeware, Custom)
  • Date software will be put in use
  • Vendor or supplier name
  • Vendor or supplier documentation of compliance defects (VPAT or other)
    • If a VPAT or other documentation is not available, then the software must be considered to be non-compliant.
  • Number of users
  • Is other software available to perform the same function?
  • Is function that is performed an essential task or function for staff?
  • How is function currently performed?
  • Is there another/accessible method for performing the task or function?
  • Is HHS/DSHS required to use the software by an external entity either by contract or statute?

3.1.5 Hardware

  • Name of hardware
  • Vendor
  • Type of hardware (telephone system, MDO device, laptop, etc.)
  • Accessibility requirements included in RFP and/or contract
  • Details of non-compliance
  • Length of contract if leased
  • Alternative means of access
  • Contract manager

The EIR Accessibility Workgroup will review the information for completeness at regularly scheduled meetings and forward recommendations for exceptions to the EIR Accessibility Steering Committee.

The EIR Accessibility Steering Committee will make the final determination of whether an exception is required and grant provisional approval of the exception. An action memo will be prepared for the approval of the Executive Commissioner for all exceptions granted provisional approval and the recommended duration or expiration of the exception.