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Teaming Up: How to Work with Tech Providers to Improve Accessibility Friday, March 6, 2015 9:00 AM PST.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaming Up: How to Work with Tech Providers to Improve Accessibility Friday, March 6, 2015 9:00 AM PST."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaming Up: How to Work with Tech Providers to Improve Accessibility Friday, March 6, 2015 9:00 AM PST

2 Presentation Outline  Changing the Way We do Business in the Federal Government  Adopting New Technologies  Tips for Working with Tech Providers  Examples in Action  Lessons Learned  Vendors are PEOPLE, Too

3 Changing the Way We Do Business  The New Federal Government: Open, Transparent and Participatory  BORPSAT  BORPSAVT  Why are we taking a seat at the Virtual table? ─Much bigger ─Less reliant on logistics ─More accessible ─Much cheaper ─Available all day ─Better data

4 Adopting New Technologies

5 Available Collaboration Tools  Blogs and Microblogs –WordPress, Twitter, etc.  Team Collaboration Workspaces – Microsoft SharePoint, Truonex, Igloo, Cloud HQ, Glasscubes, Weboffice, Teambox, etc.  Document Sharing/Collaborative Writing – Microsoft SharePoint, Google Docs, Microsoft Docs, Hackpad, Wikipedia, etc.  Group Communications – Google Hangouts, Yammer, Tibbr, Chatter, etc.  Instant Messaging/Chat – Skype, AOL IM, Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat, Jabber, Windows Live Messenger, etc.  Social Networking Platforms – Facebook, Googlegroups, Yahoogroups, Ning, etc.  Podcasts & Web Conferencing – Elluminate, Adobe Connect, Webex, etc.  Photosharing –Flickr, Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.  Crowdsourcing –, IdeaScale, Crowdhall, User Voice, Bright Idea, Idea Bounty, ChallengePost, etc.

6 Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Establish a line of communication with the vendor. Don’t be afraid to commit to a relationship. Present the vendor with solutions, not just issues. Go to bat with a full list, don’t nickel and dime them. Make it personal. Share “real” people’s experiences. Help them understand the impact of the solution – accessibility not only impacts your users, everyone can benefit. Give ‘em props –positive reinforcement is a proven effective management process. Share the story! It’s good for them, it’s good for you. Educate at every opportunity. Tips for Working with Tech Vendors

7 Challenge: SharePoint is Section 508-compliant (out-of-the box), but presented usability issues upon implementation. Reaching beyond the sales and support teams to the development team. Example in Action: SharePoint

8 1.Set “More Accessible” mode as the default 2.Created a Site Map that integrates functions, as well as links to pages (e.g., Add a calendar item, Add a discussion) 3.Improved site navigation and added help features 4.Added descriptive labels 5.Revised table formats 6.Added alt tags and removed non-tagable tool tips 7.Removed unreadable check boxes 8.Disabled pop up boxes 9.Removed disabled ribbon features 10.Simplified forms and limited mandatory fields 11.Created buttons for short cuts Actions & Accessibility Fixes:

9 More Accessible Mode

10 One-Touch Action Buttons

11 Example in Action: Bamboo Challenge: Finding an accessible web part to integrate into the ePolicyWorks online workspaces (SharePoint 2010) that would allow members to send emails directly to other members from within the workspace

12 1.Researched and identified possible solutions 2.Confirmed functionality and tested accessibility 3.Identified accessibility issues (graphic was not properly tagged) 4.Contacted Bamboo to alert them to the issue and collaborated with them to come up with a solution 5.Fast tracked update 6.Created an accessible product for all to use Example in Action: Bamboo Actions & Accessibility Fixes:

13 Accessible Bamboo Web Part

14 Challenge: Found that the crowdsourcing platform was inaccessible and presented many usability issues. Example in Action: IdeaScale

15 1.Increased font sizes and color contrast 2.Used CSS to hide unnecessary functionality within the IdeaScale template that hindered usability for those utilizing assistive technology 3.Improved the read order of the IdeaScale voting features for assistive technology 4.Added setting to turn "Events" off when not active 5.Simplified the URL in the “Reset Password email” to improve ease of use 6.Corrected keyboard focus when clicking “Forgot Password” 7.Removed unnecessary graphics 8.Added alt text to "Close Window" throughout the template 9.Improved dropdown menu behavior throughout the template 10.Inserted a success message for screen reader participants so that they know their action was performed successfully 11.Required numbers for all numeric form fields 12.Came up with an alternative to CAPTCHA Actions & Accessibility Fixes:

16 Remediation Plan

17 Accessible ePolicyWorks Template

18 New IdeaScale Template

19 Lessons Learned Most vendors are very willing to work with you. Accessibility issues are often lack of knowledge rather than negligence. Education is the key. Try working with smaller companies. They can be easier to work with and have less layers to work through. Try feeding with carrots. Come to the table with a positive attitude and with solutions to the issues. Commit to a relationship and take more of a team approach. We’re in this together! Make sure you have the right people the table. Connect with the development team to ensure the details are properly communicated and changes are made. Follow up. Make sure the changes are carried over and on to new products and templates. These changes should not just be for you, but for all. Sometimes you don’t win, but you still have an opportunity to educate. And be persistent, don’t give up. Push to include the changes in the next iteration. There’s always the next version!

20 Remember…Vendors are PEOPLE, Too  P atience  E mpathy  O utreach  P ersistence  L isten  E ducate

21 Questions

22  Subscribe to our newsletters & updates about online dialogues at  Follow us & engage with us on Twitter (@ePolicyWorks)  Contact us at Connect with ePolicyWorks

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