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Product Accessibility Assessment Prioritizing and Making Recommendations in an Imperfect World

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Presentation on theme: "Product Accessibility Assessment Prioritizing and Making Recommendations in an Imperfect World"— Presentation transcript:

1 Product Accessibility Assessment Prioritizing and Making Recommendations in an Imperfect World

2 Presenters Greg Kraus University IT Accessibility Coordinator North Carolina State University Mark Turner Director, Center for Accessible Media CSU, Office of the Chancellor

3 Accessibility Throughout the Procurement Process Two institutions process for incorporating accessibility at key points in the procurement process – North Carolina State University Synchronous Learning Management System – California State University System Digital Rentals

4 Topics Covered Prioritizing finite resources on key IT products Developing contract language Defining vendor responsibilities Conducting accessibility evaluations Factoring accessibility into vendor selection Implementation planning for inaccessible products

5 NC State University

6 Purchasing – Instructions to Bidders Language specifies “Enterprise-Level IT Systems or Technologies” Vendors must: – Assure all features, fully comply with Section 508 OR – Detail why and in what way any feature does not fully comply with Section 508 – If VPAT is submitted it must include compliance checklists for: Technical Standards, Function and Performance Criteria, Documentation and Support – The product is subject to an accessibility evaluation by the University. r/bid_instruct.pdf r/bid_instruct.pdf

7 The Problem Isn’t Policy, It’s Process

8 Starting the Process Three ways to incorporate accessibility into the procurement process – Business process – Personal Relationships – Listening (being nosy)

9 Prioritization – Learning About The Technology What does this software do? VPAT and other accessibility documentation? Is the technology part of a required academic or institutional purpose? How many people are expected to use this technology? What is the scope of access to this technology? Does the technology have any publicly available access or is it limited to a set of users? Is the primary audience going to include people with disabilities? Is the technology likely to be reused in the future or used for an extended period of time?

10 Prioritization – Digging Deeper List out all of the functions of this technology, indicating: – Other Commercial or Free Solutions? – Comparable Alternatives Already on Campus? – Essential to a Business Need (Yes or No)? – Accessibility Problems? Examples from SLMS – Video conferencing – Application sharing

11 Defining Your Business Needs What educational or business needs are you trying to meet? In other words, what problem are you trying to solve? Rank your needs as “Essential, High, Medium, and Low” Include accessibility as one of your Essential requirements regulation-faqs#procurement regulation-faqs#procurement

12 Accessibility is not the quintessential criterion in product assessment

13 Our Search For a New SLMS Had been an Elluminate Live! customer for years Moved to Blackboard Collaborate for the short term Time to reassess the market (This presentation is not a detailed overview of the accessibility of SLMS systems. It is a detail of the process we went through.)

14 Software Considerations From Users and Support Cross Platform Support (Help Desk) Similar features to those currently available/highly used in Elluminate Moodle plug-in Hosting Pricing/Cost (including $ and staff resources) Accessibility System wide licensing (unlimited users/access) Recording Migration of current recorded content Ease of transition (cost to us in staff hours) Mobile access

15 Essential Features Text chat Audio chat Present a PowerPoint presentation Recording Cross-platform/cross-browser support Does not require software installation for participants High or no limit on participants per session Accessibility Adoption at other universities

16 Initial Products Blackboard Collaborate DimDim Adobe Connect WebEx Meeting Center WebEx Training Center GoToMeeting Big Blue Button Saba Centra Microsoft LYNC (teleconference) iLinc Polycom CMA-D (teleconference) Skype (people may ask) Google+ CCC Confer LiveOn FastViewer omNovia Merit WebConnect Talking Communities

17 Passed the Initial Evaluation Largely using accessibility (brief testing) and usage at other campuses, we narrowed the list to – Blackboard Collaborate – Adobe Connect – WebEx Meeting Center – WebEx Training Center – Saba Centra – iLinc

18 How the Finalists Were Determined Survey of Elluminate users – what they use Accessibility options for users with disabilities Benchmarking from other regional universities’ SLMS search results

19 Three Finalists Blackboard Collaborate WebEx Training Center Saba Centra Accessibility was not the overriding factor in this step – One candidate with accessibility support was eliminated for other reasons

20 The Final Rubric 14 meta tasks we tested – Which was broken down to approximately 80 tasks Ranked each task in importance and frequency of use from 1 to 3 (3 being highest or most frequent)

21 Meta Tasks We Tested Create a meeting Join a meeting Audio Chat Tool Personal Response Tools Whiteboard Polling Web Tour Session Management Breakout Rooms File Transfer Video Application Sharing Other

22 Sample of Ranking of Task Importance 3 (Most Important) – Text chat – Audio chat 2 (Moderately important) – File transfers – Room timer 1 (Least Important) – Rearrange slides while in session – Participate in the session anonymously

23 Sample Detailed Tasks Chat Tool – Send a chat message – Read previous chat messages – Determine when a new chat message appears – Switch between chat rooms – Send a private chat – Read a private chat

24 Technology Used in Accessibility Testing Keyboard-only input JAWS screen reader VoiceOver screen reader ZoomText screen magnifier and reader Built-in OS contrast tools Dragon Naturally Speaking

25 At the end of the day… …nothing was perfect Every product had failures in the “Essential” category Do you just add up the number of successful functions and go with the product that was the most successful? No, this is where you earn your keep as an “accessibility expert”

26 Conclusion “Of the three products tested, Blackboard Collaborate provides the most accessible user experience. None of the products are perfectly accessible, and Saba Centra and WebEx Meeting Center are accessible to a degree, however, because of the level of accessibility support present in Collaborate, a strong business case would need to be made to choose either Centra or Meeting Center over Collaborate from an accessibility perspective.”

27 Elaborating on the Conclusion “It is noticeable that significantly more thought has gone into the user experience of Blackboard Collaborate than the other products from an assistive technology user’s perspective. Rather than finding an easy way for a user to simply achieve a basic level of functionality, Blackboard Collaborate seems to consider the optimal way for an assistive technology user to use the system.”

28 Final SLMS Report SLMSRecommendationReport.pdf SLMSRecommendationReport.pdf

29 Planning for Problems Optimizations Workarounds Accommodations

30 Optimizations And Workarounds? Optimizations – actions the author or institution can take to make the technology more accessible Workarounds – actions the end-user can take to make the technology more accessible

31 Emerging Technology “NC State will support the consideration of using emerging technologies as they become available or prior to purchase, while also advocating for their accessibility from their inception and as they are further developed.” You can use (potentially inaccessible) emerging technologies if – The learning objective can only be met by using the emerging technology, OR – No one in your group needs an accessible technology, BUT you must have a plan in place for providing an equally effective and integrated experience for all users (1.3) faqs#emerging-technologies faqs#emerging-technologies

32 Sample Optimization and Workaround Google Apps – Optimization Email notifications for new calendar events by default – Workaround Google Doc Download Tool

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