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1 Section 508 Cookbook How to Create a Section 508 Program From Scratch.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Section 508 Cookbook How to Create a Section 508 Program From Scratch."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Section 508 Cookbook How to Create a Section 508 Program From Scratch

2 2 Section 508 Cookbook Recipes for Creating a Section 508 Program

3 3 Ingredients – Agency Support Discuss with upper management their: Expectations of a program and goals Level of support they will provide Concept of your role and responsibilities Resources ($$ and personnel) Tip: Know what they will really do versus what they say they will do

4 4 Ingredients – 508 Coordinator Characteristics of a Coordinator Has authority base (either grade or management support) to be able to make decisions, take action, and enforce process and policy Understand the organization’s policies and constraints (e.g., funds) Have admin or program management skills. Tech support should be available as needed

5 5 Ingredients – 508 Coordinator Characteristics of a Coordinator Solution/customer oriented. Strive for win-win situations. Working relationship with: Office of General Counsel (OGC) Office of Procurement Office of CIO Believes in Section 504 and 508 Understands/involved with Section 504

6 6 Ingredients – 508 Coordinator Why understand and be involved with Section 508? Only way to truly understand 508 Grievance process for 508 should overlay 504 Many 508 issues overlay 504 (design to 508 and have 504 make it usable to employees) There are infinitely more legal action against 504 than 508

7 7 Ingredients – 508 Coordinator Why understand and be involved with Section 508? 504 can result in $300K compensatory damages. While 508 may not be funded, 504 must be. Many 508 claimed programs are actually 504. Need to know the difference. Efforts with 504 helps resolve 508 employee problems before they become a grievance

8 8 Ingredients – Team Members Team member characteristics Good grasp of their area’s processes, procedures and policies Can speak for their management If necessary, can make decisions Has experience or represents their area in either procurement, Section 504 and/or IT issues

9 9 Ingredients – Team Members Team members should represent Cost centers or major areas in agency OP OGC Area responsible for Electronic procurement

10 10 Ingredients – Team Members Team Members should represent Office of CIO Web services Software development Acquisition management Testing and evaluation Section 504 IT coordinator

11 11 Mixing – Current Process Flow chart each area’s procurement/ development process from conception to implementation. Identify critical areas and problems Identify areas that are similar, unique, and/or can be changed Identify roles and responsibilities throughout the process Develop a standardized process that will work in each area.

12 12 Mixing – Current Process Develop standardized roles and responsibilities Determine how 508 compliance will be determined, monitored, and enforced. Determine checks-and-balances in process to ensure compliance. Get team buy-in

13 13 Mixing - Proposed Process Tips: Keep as close to the current process as possible Have process flexible so areas can “personalize” for unique requirement Each team member should have vested interest in process (e.g., make them local 508 coordinators)

14 14 Mixing - Proposed Process Based the proposed process on: Awareness. Responsibility. Enforcement.

15 15 Mixing - Proposed Process Awareness Inform employees, contractors, and vendors of the program Concentrate on individuals who have a role/ responsibility in the program Create an easily accessible intranet site that outlines the process and includes the standards and checklists

16 16 Mixing - Proposed Process Awareness Intranet site should include: Outlines the process Includes standards as written in law Includes plain English version of standards Standards written as questions so they can be used to determine status of compliance Includes supporting docs (e.g., checklist)

17 17 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities USPTO checklist for Procurements

18 18 Mixing - Proposed Process

19 19 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities Lessons-learned on Procurement Checklist Only 508 coordinator approves exceptions Keeps coordinator in the loop on problems Reinforce who coordinator is Precludes abuse of exceptions

20 20 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities Lessons-learned 508 only initials checklist Two types of maintenance Updates of form for lessons learned Sole source Previously Emphasize that buyer is legally responsible

21 21 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities Lessons-learned Have buyer sign and certify 508 compliance Project Manager: _____________________ Date:_____ Signature required to certify accuracy and completeness of checklist and Section 508 compliance

22 22 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities Tips Importance of having buyer sign document Some has assumed in writing responsibility for compliance Most people unwilling to break law after they certified Strong argument for people willing to ignore law

23 23 Mixing - Proposed Process Responsibilities Lessons learned on Market Research/Vendor Checklist Use of “and how” have proven very effective Vendors can not compete for contract until they have completed the checklist and are proven to be compliant. Even sole source procurements require checklist. Completed checklist is official part of procurement process

24 24 Mixing - Proposed Process Enforcement Products can not be accepted without signed checklist Vendors not considered w/o checklist SW can not be deployed w/508 deficiencies Contractors resolve deficiencies at their own expense Non-compliant web pages pulled from Inter/intranet

25 25 Mixing - Proposed Process Finalizing Process Draft documents, checklists and instructions for processing products Have team members review Develop plan and schedule to implement process

26 26 Mixing - Proposed Process Finalizing Process Have the plan and process reviewed and approved by: Management OP OGC Other appropriate areas (e.g., OCR, OCIO)

27 27 Mixing - Proposed Process Finalizing Process Implement process Develop training packages for employees, contractors and vendors Schedule training and implementation date

28 28 Mixing - Proposed Process Finalizing Process Promote process Team members promote in their areas Use agency-wide announcement system Train…and train again…and again Promote positive points of program Ensure 508 is part of budget, development, procurement, deployment and web discussions

29 29 Mixing – General Tips Establish an accessibility tool (AT) baseline Allows for more effective and efficient use and maintenance of AT Less AT interface problems Creates more standardized and easier to implement accommodations Simplifies accessibility with each new AT revision Simplifies training requirements and documentation

30 30 Mixing – General Tips Know the law: Only way you can develop legal solutions to problems. Be part of the solution and not the problem with 508 issues. You are your agency’s expert and incorrect info can have major impact on people and money When confronted when unique exemptions, make sure you totally understand requirement Questions on interpretation, call fellow coordinators, working group or Access Board

31 31 Mixing – General Tips Exceptions and Disclaimers Establish well-defined standards for exemptions and disclaimers. Avoid exceptions to the standards Define “back office.” Often challenged Very limited use of disclaimers. Easily overused and abused. Monitor web sites and training modules for disclaimers

32 32 Mixing – General Tips Team Members Ensure each everyone feels like they have contributed to the process Have all team members’ buy-in Make them part of process and give them responsibilities Officially recognize them for their role

33 33 Baking –Product Procurement Certification: Individual buying the product signs checklist to certify that the product is compliant Responsibilities. Person buying the product: Performs all 508 requirements (e.g., market survey, vendor checklist) Completes the checklist and certifies compliance Obtains the EIT Coordinator’s initials on the checklist

34 34 Baking –Product Procurement Process. Person buying the product: Determines functional requirements Conducts market survey on vendors who meets functional requirements Has vendors who meet functional requirements complete 508 standards checklist Determines which vendor meets the most 508 standards

35 35 Baking –Product Procurement Process. Person buying the product: Completes 508 Procurement checklist and include appropriate documentation (e.g., sole source justification, vendor checklists, market survey results, requisitions) Has EIT Coordinator review and initial checklist. Initials show that the checklist has been reviewed, but does not mean that Coordinator is responsibility for compliance. Submit package to OP

36 36 Baking –Product Procurement Checks and Balances EIT Coordinator will not initial checklist unless it has been completed and appropriate documentation is attached. EIT Coordinator is only person authorized to approve exceptions/exemptions OP will only process IT purchase request with a completed checklist. If they do not, OP assumes responsibility for ensuring 508 compliance

37 37 Baking –Product Procurement Checks and Balances Products that run on the USPTO enterprise architecture must be successfully tested for compatibility and 508 compliance by a testing office in the OCIO. Products that fail are returned to the vendor.

38 38 Baking –Product Procurement Lessons-learned Much opposition from employees until they understood the process. Emphasize functional requirements drive procurement, not accessibility Prove to management and employees that you are part of the solution, not the problem. Buyer signing/certify compliance is very effective Only had to threatened to stop procurement one time on vendor who would not complete checklist and the word got out to employees, OP and vendors.

39 39 Baking –Product Procurement Lessons-learned Ensured that procurement requests were quickly processed by the EIT Coordinator Whenever there was a major issue or problem, immediately scheduled meeting with OGC and buyer. Meetings sometimes lasted more than an hour, but always found solution. Spot check of FY2003 end-of-year IT procurements showed that every one was processed according to the Section 508 procedure

40 40 Baking –Software Development Certification: Project manager for creating new or revising existing software. Signs checklist in beginning to make the product compliant. Responsibilities. Project Manager: Completes the checklist and certifies compliance Ensure final product is compliant

41 41 Baking –Software Development Process: Developer meets with EIT Coordinator, determines appropriate 508 standards and completes checklist EIT Coordinator reviews and initials EIT Coordinator is the only person authorized to grant exemption

42 42 Baking –Software Development Process: If there is a contractor involved, the USPTO uses the following statement on the contract to ensure 508 compliance: In accordance with Section 508, the USPTO requires that all IT products delivered under this Contract comply with the applicable EIT accessibility standards issued by the Architecture and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board set forth at 36 CFR part 1194.

43 43 Baking –Software Development Process: Define functional requirements Determine which Section 508 standards are applicable Provide requirements to testing area (TA) TA generates testing methodology TA tests and passes or fails package

44 44 Baking –Software Development Checks and Balances Technical Review Board ensures 508 is in Life Cycle Management process. If not, development does not proceed System can not go into production until it has been successfully tested for 508 compliance. No exception for going into production and correcting deficiencies later

45 45 Baking –Software Development Checks and Balances When a project manager challenges test results, the EIT coordinator independently test the product and makes final determination

46 46 Baking –Software Development Lessons-learned Developers must have in depth knowledge of 508 standards Software standards are mostly and simply good coding practices Always develop to the standards and not the assistive technology (e.g., JAWS) Need independent and periodic evaluation of 508 standards during the development cycle.

47 47 Baking –Software Development Lessons-learned Testing Software Current no SW testing tools Use of screen reader can be effective eval tool when used by experienced individual JAWS and compliance When testing, use two different tools

48 48 Baking –Web Documents Certification: Individual creating document to be posted Responsibilities. Individual creating document: Completes the checklist and certifies compliance Obtains the Webmaster’s initials on the checklist.

49 49 Baking –Web Documents Process. Individual coding document: Checks document to ensure it is compliance. If there are questions, have the Accessibility Team evaluate document Completes Section 508 Web checklist Has webmaster review and initial checklist Submits document to webmaster for posting

50 50 Baking –Web Documents Checks and Balances Webmaster will not initial checklist unless it has been completed signed Webmaster is only person authorized to approve exceptions/exemptions Webmaster will only post a web document that has a completed checklist. If the webmaster doesn’t obtain a completed checklist, then the webmaster assumes responsibility for ensuring 508 compliance Noncompliant posted documents must be corrected in a specific time frame or they will be pulled off the web

51 51 Baking –Web Documents Lessons-learned Most web authors do not understand Section 508. Must have the webmaster as the focal point in the process and must hold them responsible. Prove to management and web authors that making a product compliant is not that difficult or time consuming. Best way to accomplish this is set a precedent by quickly correcting a web-site problem. Publicize the event as a win-win situation. Publicly recognize outstanding compliant web-sites. We made it a quarterly award that was posted so everyone in PTO could read about it.

52 52 Baking –Web Documents Lessons-learned Web authors signing document to certify compliance is not as effective as signature certification in other area. Most effective tool was to threaten a couple times to not post noncompliant documents or to pull noncompliant documents from the web. Most government agencies have more web-site requirements than just Section 508. All the requirements needs to be posted so web authors are aware of them and don’t just address Section 508.

53 53 More General Tips The only way to determine compliance is by reading code Accessibility tools were not designed as test tools Always use two different testing tools when evaluating compliance Most sighted people are not proficient enough in JAWS to accurately evaluate compliance

54 54 Baking – Credit Cards Certification: Card holder who signs for the credit card purchase Responsibilities. Credit card holder: For purchases under $2500, completes the checklist and certifies compliance For purchases over $2500, completes the checklist and ensures a completed Procurement checklist is attached. Card holder still signs the form, but 508 compliance is responsibility of buyer.

55 55 Baking – Credit Cards Background. Management thought everyone was using the same worksheet. In fact, everyone had modified it to fit their own needs. The worksheet was outdated and time consuming to complete. Created standardized worksheet that was quicker to complete and had space for individual modifications

56 56 Baking – Credit Cards Background. Credit card purchases in the PTO fell into one of three areas: PC, printers, scanner could only be purchased from an agency-wide, 508 compliant contract Many IT items were exempt (e.g., PDAs) or not IT (e.g., paper, office supplies, travel, conference fees) All other IT items had to be tested before they could be used on the enterprise architecture. If it wasn’t 508 compliant, it had to be returned to the vendor. This made it easy for the credit card holder to certify compliance

57 57 Baking – Credit Cards Process. Credit card holder: Reviewed the purchase request and ensured 508 documentation was attached for purchases over $2500 Completed and signed the worksheet. Processed the request once the Approving Official signed the form All paperwork was retained for end of month reconciliation with OP and Office of Finance

58 58 Baking – Credit Cards Checks and Balances If the card holder did not require the buyer to include 508 documentation for purchases over $2500, then the credit card holder was responsible for compliance The Approving Official reviewed the worksheet for justification and documentation before signing and authorizing the purchase OP and Office of Finance reviewed monthly all credit card transactions

59 59 Baking – Credit Cards Lessons Learned With the proper training, not one of the 140+ credit card holders objected to the process It is difficult to enforce compliance to the process. Near term goal should be to raise level of awareness. Compliance will follow, Having a standardized yet flexible worksheet worked well and resulted in everyone adopting it Much confusion on what is and isn’t an IT purchase (e.g., office supplies, paper)

60 60 Baking – Credit Cards Lessons Learned The under $2500 procurements represent probably the largest number of procurements and probably the ones with the most questions Some resistance on IT purchases for specific individuals who were not disabled. Common sense should prevail. Many managers concerned that 508 will hinder their ability to quickly purchase small items. Have not found that to be the case.

61 61 And Even More General Tips Strike “undue burden” from your 508 vocabulary. Not an acceptable solution plus it has demanding requirements. Visit agencies with operational 508 programs and benchmark their processes Offer training for several years. It is the second year that everyone starts to believe you are serious about 508 and they had better listen in class.

62 62 General Tips Participate in high-level meetings, working groups, and conference to better understand 508 at higher level and have access to people who can answer questions Have ability to evaluate products to determine if they are compliant or have problems. Best if you act as an independent source.

63 63 General Tips There are no current evaluation tools to evaluate software. Remember that accessibility tools were not designed to evaluate products for compliance. Enforce small, easy to make compliant issues first. Build employee/management expectations that 508 is not difficult nor expensive. Constantly look for ways to promote 508. It is amazing how easily get can get overlooked.

64 64 …enjoy your cooking

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