Script Level Accessibility

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Mark

What I'm trying to figure out is as we build out our accessibility evaluation rubric, is there perhaps a place for both testing using common AT tools, as well as evaluating rather things are written to programming standards so that they're fundamentally available to AT software. Rather or not a particular version of that AT software actually takes advantage of it or not.

Doug

I think it's an extremely good point and I think you can be very practical about it. You can state from the ground of OK, we've got these different products; these were coded so they're accessible. These are coded so they're not accessible out of the box. Next question is there any other product out there that will do the job and be accessible that this inaccessible one won't do, or sometimes it's also an in-house written program that will cause the problem and there is no other. So then, you have to say, OK, what is the impact of just saying we're not going to use, cause if it's not accessible without scripts, the absolute law would say that it shouldn't be purchased in the first place. This is taking the hard nose approach. But, you have a lot of legacy software that is designed that does a very specific job that you need. And I think then you have to say, OK, this is not 508, but we bought it because not doing it would actually have caused an undue burden, meaning that we would have had to spend a fortune to have something reprogrammed or customized for us, or making it accessible out of the box would have been a fundamental alteration. But you have to justify why is this product being used and it's not 508 compliant, but from a usability and accommodation, you say OK, university is going to use this product, but what do we do to make sure that people have the best possible access, and that's when you call in, you know I don't know who you call in, accessibility folks, Steve Clark or whoever, to do the scripting.

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