Did you know that the BuyAccessible site has tools to help you test products to see how well they meet Section 508 provisions? One approach is to evaluate products for conformance to the applicable section 508 provisions. GSA helped develop a document that can make this process easier.
Years ago GSA facilitated the Accessibility Forum. Over 960 individuals from more than 600 companies, associations for people with disabilities, research and standards institutes, and government agencies from throughout the US and Canada registered interest and contributed in the work of the Forum. One of the documents that came out of the Forum was the Quick Reference Guide, which lists every Section 508 provision, defines terms, explains the provision, and answers, “How can I tell if this provision is met?”
In addition, if you are buying a macro purchase, i.e. IT valued above $3,000, then your BuyAccessible Wizard Guest User session will produce an Acceptance Guide tailored for that product. The Acceptance Guide includes a list of provisions that are relevant as well as the answer to the question, “How can I tell if this requirement is met?” (The Wizard also give you a GPAT to include in your solicitation, as well as an Evaluation Guide that helps you assess responses to the GPAT.)
Example from an Acceptance Guide: Provision 1194.21 (h)
When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.
How can I tell if this requirement is met?
Identify the set of occurrences where animation is displayed by the product. Methods for determining the full set of controls that display animation include review of the product interface and the product documentation (e.g. user manuals plus online help).
Inspect the application.
- Check for option turning on redundant information for animated presentations.
- Check for a method of turning off animation in the display. If available, inactivate animation. For each animated element verify animation is not displayed and alternate information is provided.
Note: Satisfying this requirement may involve interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers. The non-animated presentation mode must be accessible to assistive technology. Moving text and animation is a particular problem for screen magnification AT and other technologies.
The BuyAccessible team will be at the 2012 Interagency Disability Educationl Awareness Showcase (IDEAS), Wednesday, January 18, and Thursday, January 19, 2012 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. IDEAS is the federal government’s premier conference on Section 508 compliance and accessible workplace technology for people with disabilities.
We will have an exhibit table for the Buy Accessible Wizard. Our team is also giving a presentation on Thursday at 2 pm:
Session B5: The Buy Accessible Wizard, A Free Tool for Generating Section 508 Compliant Solicitations.
Panelists will discuss the GSA established Buy Accessible Wizard and how it is used as a market research tool to find 508 compliant and accessible products and services for purchase. Learn how to use the Wizard and discover how the tool will provide the appropriate 508 language to include in your acquisition documentation.
The Hearing Loss Association of America hosted their Convention 2011 on June 16-19. Many speaker’s presentations are available on their website. One presentation related to electronic and information technology was: The Wireless Industry: Finding the Cell Phones or Mobile Devices to Meet Your Needs.
Do you need to make a Flash video for your website? If you do, it needs to be accessible to people with disabilities. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs recently created a on-line course called, “Creating Accessible Flash” to help you apply Section 508. It is available for free on the VA website. VA discussed Flash in their presentation during the 2010 IDEAS conference in December.
Are conferences Electronic and Information Technology and subject to Section 508? On one hand, accommodation for attendees with disabilities is not Section 508. Those accommodations are covered by ADA. On the other hand, websites and presentations, webinars, and other electronic information distributed as part of the conference are subject to Section 508. For example if you have a website for registration and publishing the agenda, that website needs to be Section 508 compliant. Also if you publish presentations on the web after the conference, those documents need to be Section 508 compliant.
Here is a past post we wrote about accessible presentations. Some key points are: to ask attendees about accommodation needs and provide for them; remind speakers to repeat what is displayed on any screen in case any audience member can’t see it; and requiring everyone to use a microphone.
Accessibility of buildings, while not covered by Section 508, is also important. You can learn more about it from the Access Board website.
There is free training available on accessible conferences through the Section 508 Universe. You can register for a Section 508 Universe account here.
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make a presentation, and you want to make sure it is accessible to everyone? Here is an outline of topics from an article by W3C titled, “How to Make Presentations Accessible to All.”
- Plan the Event
- Provide Accessible Material
- Planning Your Session
- Preparing Slides and Projected Material
- During the Presentation
- Be Open to Accessibility Issues
- Providing Recording Afterwards
- Known and Unknown Audiences
For more information go to the W3C article. (Note: This link is not a official government site.)
We have talked before about the importance of making PDFs that you post on-line accessible, but how do you do that?
Here is a link to some presentations by some government members and Adobe on, “Making Documents Accessible with Adobe PDF” from Oct 20, 2010. The first link includes a panel of government speakers: Kareem Dale, Terry Weaver and David Capozzi. The second link is a presentation by Greg Pisocky on using Adobe PDF.
(Note that these links go to non-government sites, and by posting them we are not endorsing any company. See our Blog Use Policy for more info. )
Adobe Accessibility Event – Morning Panel Discussion
Adobe Accessibility Event – Adobe Acrobat Presentation
Adobe’s main accessibility page.
If know of any other resources for making PDF accessible, please let us know about them by submitting a comment below.
Next week some of our team is heading to the Section 508 Coordinators Conference. We will be giving a presentation called, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Observations from over 9,000 EIT Solicitation Assessments.” We hope to see the Section 508 Coordinators there! Watch next week for our updates from the conference.