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Hi All, We spent much of the Constituent Group meeting today talking about this issue, so I thought I'd take a moment to report out from that discussion. California State University's Accessible Technology Initiative seems to have had some success in this area. By refusing to purchase certain learning management systems due to their accessibility problem, CSU stimulated at least a couple of those vendors, Blackboard and Desire2Learn, into action to improve their accessibility. CSU had similar positive effect with Apple regarding iTunesU. There was no one from CSU on the call, but others noted that CSU's success was as much about collaborating with the vendors and being willing to share their expertise as it was about refusing to purchase. That said, it still seems to be imperative that vendors have a business incentive for creating accessible products. By including accessibility in RFP's, and demanding that accessibility problems be addressed as a condition of purchase, we can help to create a demand for accessibility. Also, Greg Kraus mentioned that in our interactions with vendors we can help them to recognize accessibility as a marketing advantage over their competition. Smaller companies might be especially receptive to this, and Greg mentioned TurningPoint as an example of a vendor that has started using their accessibility features in their marketing strategy. I didn't mention this in the meeting, but the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges recently did an exemplary job of including accessibility in their RFP process for a new LMS. They required vendors to submit VPATs, but also asked vendors to respond to some very specific questions about accessibility. They also did accessibility testing of each the finalists. The RFP Technical Requirements are here (in PDF): http://sbctc.edu/college/dl/LMS_RFP_Requirements.pdf Lisa Caid of West Texas A&M pointed out Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 213, which establishes accessibility standards for electronic and information resources at Texas state agencies and higher education institutions. It allows for exemptions, but those require approval from an institution's president or chancellor. West Texas A&M is currently in the process of building purchasing procedures around this: http://tinyurl.com/tac213 We also discussed the question: Even if we can get accessibility language in the RFP, how do we verify vendors' claims and evaluate products for accessibility with little in-house expertise? I think we all agreed that developing that in-house expertise is necessary. If that's not immediately feasible, perhaps we can establish collaborative relationships with other institutions that do have that expertise. I mentioned that there's quite a bit of knowledge-sharing among Washington state institutions through channels such as the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. This EDUCAUSE discussion list can also help to serve that need, as can the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN): http://athenpro.org I probably overlooked some details from our conversation. Those who were present please chime in. And those who weren't - your thoughts are welcome as well. Terrill Terrill Thompson Technology Accessibility Specialist DO-IT, Accessible Technology UW Information Technology University of Washington tft@uw.edu

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Hello Good people, I apologize for not being able to attend as well. just read through the conversational notes and my regrets are compounded by having the CSU mentioned and no one there. The topics or RFP language, Vender and Campus Buyer (including Faculty) education is something we have been chipping away at. Borrowing from resources that others across the nation and Agencies within the Federal government. Lately, I'm diving into Statutes, Policy and other guidelines that the 10 hardcore States have on the books and attempting to aggregate commonalities of language and programmatic strategies into something that may be generally applied and/or custom catered to individual State, regional and local educational institutions. The fun part (aside from just being able to) is talking with you-all and gleaning FAQs with equally touche retorts. Like; "Why are you the only campus that asks me these questions"? Retort, Really who have you talked to"- and while listening draw down the quick check list of colleague campuses to call that bluff". ' Buy-in-large', the 'old guard' Venders will begin and try to maintain the 'let's accommodate' ('we'll do this one special, just for you') model; while fresh developers get and/or catch on quickly to the'"making what is needed by everyone, available to everyone" model of choice, not special arrangement. Get it as the way to expedite a course akin to a punctuated equilibrium for product development or as may be coined in the blogosphere -going viral. Viral (so to speak) because when our ubiquitously human tenants of accessibility manifest in common commercial products, application of previously ghettoized 'special' finds users of all ilk. This showed up in the look I received from a Copy machine Mfg Rep when expanding on how OCR software may open a world of wonder to folks who have tapped in to doing business via mobile phone. Currently working on an OCR copy-machine pilot that may really jump start obtaining a local goal of archiving legacy documents accessibility and accommodate a percentage of haphazard documents that are created within Academic and Administrative offices. Hope to have quantitative case studies completed in 6 to 9 months. Fingers crossed. I'm afraid I need to apologize again because I feel somewhat estranged to the protocol of discussion and exchange within Educause ITACT Group. Guidance is appreciated. Bill Office. 415.405.4132 TTY 415.338.2472 Bill Grubaugh MS HF/E Disability Access Compliance Analyst San Francisco State University phone 415.405.4132 TTY 415.338.2472 email grubaugh@sfsu.edu Note: Comments within the is communication are viewpoints of the sender and may not express the viewpoints of the SF State Bill Grubaugh MS HF/E Disability Access Compliance Analyst San Francisco State University Disability Programs & Resource Center 1600 Holloway San Francisco CA 94132 phone 415.405.4132 TTY 415.338.2472 email grubaugh@sfsu.edu ________________________________________ From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Terrill Thompson [tft@UW.EDU] Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4:00 PM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: [ITACCESS] Vendors, Procurement, & Universal Design (was: this morning's meeting) Hi All, We spent much of the Constituent Group meeting today talking about this issue, so I thought I'd take a moment to report out from that discussion. California State University's Accessible Technology Initiative seems to have had some success in this area. By refusing to purchase certain learning management systems due to their accessibility problem, CSU stimulated at least a couple of those vendors, Blackboard and Desire2Learn, into action to improve their accessibility. CSU had similar positive effect with Apple regarding iTunesU. There was no one from CSU on the call, but others noted that CSU's success was as much about collaborating with the vendors and being willing to share their expertise as it was about refusing to purchase. That said, it still seems to be imperative that vendors have a business incentive for creating accessible products. By including accessibility in RFP's, and demanding that accessibility problems be addressed as a condition of purchase, we can help to create a demand for accessibility. Also, Greg Kraus mentioned that in our interactions with vendors we can help them to recognize accessibility as a marketing advantage over their competition. Smaller companies might be especially receptive to this, and Greg mentioned TurningPoint as an example of a vendor that has started using their accessibility features in their marketing strategy. I didn't mention this in the meeting, but the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges recently did an exemplary job of including accessibility in their RFP process for a new LMS. They required vendors to submit VPATs, but also asked vendors to respond to some very specific questions about accessibility. They also did accessibility testing of each the finalists. The RFP Technical Requirements are here (in PDF): http://sbctc.edu/college/dl/LMS_RFP_Requirements.pdf Lisa Caid of West Texas A&M pointed out Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 213, which establishes accessibility standards for electronic and information resources at Texas state agencies and higher education institutions. It allows for exemptions, but those require approval from an institution's president or chancellor. West Texas A&M is currently in the process of building purchasing procedures around this: http://tinyurl.com/tac213 We also discussed the question: Even if we can get accessibility language in the RFP, how do we verify vendors' claims and evaluate products for accessibility with little in-house expertise? I think we all agreed that developing that in-house expertise is necessary. If that's not immediately feasible, perhaps we can establish collaborative relationships with other institutions that do have that expertise. I mentioned that there's quite a bit of knowledge-sharing among Washington state institutions through channels such as the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. This EDUCAUSE discussion list can also help to serve that need, as can the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN): http://athenpro.org I probably overlooked some details from our conversation. Those who were present please chime in. And those who weren't - your thoughts are welcome as well. Terrill Terrill Thompson Technology Accessibility Specialist DO-IT, Accessible Technology UW Information Technology University of Washington tft@uw.edu
The first step is getting good language in the RFP and procurement process. Some of the administrative control issues that I have discovered: 1. Most software and IT purchases do not met the threshold of a formal RFP. So accessibility is dependent on the person or department with the pot of money to ask, inquire or require accessibility 2. Most companies have little understanding of accessibility, so unless their is some verification process, vendors accessibility claims of accessibility can fall short of actual accessibility. Companies usually provide very little if any details on what they mean by the term they usually use including "ADA complaint" or "Section 508 complaint". But the first step is have good RFP and procurement policies, without this first step any other steps on verification of vendor claims or working with vendors to improve accessibility are less likely to happen. The decentralized nature of most universities, it is often difficult to get all the people who make purchasing decisions to understand what they need to do, even when policies are in place. Jon Gunderson University of Illinois On 5/2/12 6:00 PM, "Terrill Thompson" wrote: >Hi All, > >We spent much of the Constituent Group meeting today talking about >this issue, so I thought I'd take a moment to report out from that >discussion. > >California State University's Accessible Technology Initiative seems >to have had some success in this area. By refusing to purchase certain >learning management systems due to their accessibility problem, CSU >stimulated at least a couple of those vendors, Blackboard and >Desire2Learn, into action to improve their accessibility. CSU had >similar positive effect with Apple regarding iTunesU. There was no one >from CSU on the call, but others noted that CSU's success was as much >about collaborating with the vendors and being willing to share their >expertise as it was about refusing to purchase. > >That said, it still seems to be imperative that vendors have a >business incentive for creating accessible products. By including >accessibility in RFP's, and demanding that accessibility problems be >addressed as a condition of purchase, we can help to create a demand >for accessibility. Also, Greg Kraus mentioned that in our >interactions with vendors we can help them to recognize accessibility >as a marketing advantage over their competition. Smaller companies >might be especially receptive to this, and Greg mentioned TurningPoint >as an example of a vendor that has started using their accessibility >features in their marketing strategy. > >I didn't mention this in the meeting, but the Washington State Board >for Community and Technical Colleges recently did an exemplary job of >including accessibility in their RFP process for a new LMS. They >required vendors to submit VPATs, but also asked vendors to respond to >some very specific questions about accessibility. They also did >accessibility testing of each the finalists. The RFP Technical >Requirements are here (in PDF): >http://sbctc.edu/college/dl/LMS_RFP_Requirements.pdf > >Lisa Caid of West Texas A&M pointed out Texas Administrative Code >(TAC) 213, which establishes accessibility standards for electronic >and information resources at Texas state agencies and higher education >institutions. It allows for exemptions, but those require approval >from an institution's president or chancellor. West Texas A&M is >currently in the process of building purchasing procedures around >this: >http://tinyurl.com/tac213 > >We also discussed the question: Even if we can get accessibility >language in the RFP, how do we verify vendors' claims and evaluate >products for accessibility with little in-house expertise? I think we >all agreed that developing that in-house expertise is necessary. If >that's not immediately feasible, perhaps we can establish >collaborative relationships with other institutions that do have that >expertise. I mentioned that there's quite a bit of knowledge-sharing >among Washington state institutions through channels such as the >Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. This >EDUCAUSE discussion list can also help to serve that need, as can the >Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN): >http://athenpro.org > >I probably overlooked some details from our conversation. Those who >were present please chime in. And those who weren't - your thoughts >are welcome as well. > >Terrill > >Terrill Thompson >Technology Accessibility Specialist >DO-IT, Accessible Technology >UW Information Technology >University of Washington >tft@uw.edu > > >
Hadi Rangin wrote an excellent blog article about how to talk with vendors about accessibility a few years ago. http://blog.bargirangin.com/2010/08/how-to-talk-and-discuss-about.html Janna Janna Cameron Sr. Usability Specialist Desire2Learn Incorporated -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Gunderson, Jon R Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 10:22 AM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Vendors, Procurement, & Universal Design (was: this morning's meeting) The first step is getting good language in the RFP and procurement process. Some of the administrative control issues that I have discovered: 1. Most software and IT purchases do not met the threshold of a formal RFP. So accessibility is dependent on the person or department with the pot of money to ask, inquire or require accessibility 2. Most companies have little understanding of accessibility, so unless their is some verification process, vendors accessibility claims of accessibility can fall short of actual accessibility. Companies usually provide very little if any details on what they mean by the term they usually use including "ADA complaint" or "Section 508 complaint". But the first step is have good RFP and procurement policies, without this first step any other steps on verification of vendor claims or working with vendors to improve accessibility are less likely to happen. The decentralized nature of most universities, it is often difficult to get all the people who make purchasing decisions to understand what they need to do, even when policies are in place. Jon Gunderson University of Illinois On 5/2/12 6:00 PM, "Terrill Thompson" wrote: >Hi All, > >We spent much of the Constituent Group meeting today talking about this >issue, so I thought I'd take a moment to report out from that >discussion. > >California State University's Accessible Technology Initiative seems to >have had some success in this area. By refusing to purchase certain >learning management systems due to their accessibility problem, CSU >stimulated at least a couple of those vendors, Blackboard and >Desire2Learn, into action to improve their accessibility. CSU had >similar positive effect with Apple regarding iTunesU. There was no one >from CSU on the call, but others noted that CSU's success was as much >about collaborating with the vendors and being willing to share their >expertise as it was about refusing to purchase. > >That said, it still seems to be imperative that vendors have a business >incentive for creating accessible products. By including accessibility >in RFP's, and demanding that accessibility problems be addressed as a >condition of purchase, we can help to create a demand for >accessibility. Also, Greg Kraus mentioned that in our interactions >with vendors we can help them to recognize accessibility as a marketing >advantage over their competition. Smaller companies might be especially >receptive to this, and Greg mentioned TurningPoint as an example of a >vendor that has started using their accessibility features in their >marketing strategy. > >I didn't mention this in the meeting, but the Washington State Board >for Community and Technical Colleges recently did an exemplary job of >including accessibility in their RFP process for a new LMS. They >required vendors to submit VPATs, but also asked vendors to respond to >some very specific questions about accessibility. They also did >accessibility testing of each the finalists. The RFP Technical >Requirements are here (in PDF): >http://sbctc.edu/college/dl/LMS_RFP_Requirements.pdf > >Lisa Caid of West Texas A&M pointed out Texas Administrative Code >(TAC) 213, which establishes accessibility standards for electronic and >information resources at Texas state agencies and higher education >institutions. It allows for exemptions, but those require approval from >an institution's president or chancellor. West Texas A&M is currently >in the process of building purchasing procedures around >this: >http://tinyurl.com/tac213 > >We also discussed the question: Even if we can get accessibility >language in the RFP, how do we verify vendors' claims and evaluate >products for accessibility with little in-house expertise? I think we >all agreed that developing that in-house expertise is necessary. If >that's not immediately feasible, perhaps we can establish collaborative >relationships with other institutions that do have that expertise. I >mentioned that there's quite a bit of knowledge-sharing among >Washington state institutions through channels such as the Washington >Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability. This EDUCAUSE >discussion list can also help to serve that need, as can the Access >Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN): >http://athenpro.org > >I probably overlooked some details from our conversation. Those who >were present please chime in. And those who weren't - your thoughts are >welcome as well. > >Terrill > >Terrill Thompson >Technology Accessibility Specialist >DO-IT, Accessible Technology >UW Information Technology >University of Washington >tft@uw.edu > > >
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