Standards and Requirements
Evolving technology Means Evolving Standards and Compliance
Keeping up with the ever-expanding world of accessibility standards and conformance requirements can be a challenge for many organizations. Tech for All (TFA) helps its partners identify which standards are applicable to their products or services and provides the technical assessments and guidance necessary to achieve conformance and a truly accessible experience for all users.
As the knowledge leader in accessibility, usability, and compliance we are at the forefront by helping to write and clarify the guidelines as they are evolving with the use of technology and the demands of users.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the primary regulation in the US for assuring that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed. TFA can help you understand and navigate your technology’s compliance with the ADA. For example, the ADA specifies some design standards, but does not include technical standards for web and mobile technologies. Instead, other widely used existing technical standards are heavily relied upon, specifically the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Guidelines described below.
- The WCAG are the most comprehensive and widely recognized web accessibility standards, and are referenced in other laws, guidelines, and standards.
- WCAG 2.1 technical documents are developed by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
- WCAGWeb Content Accessibility Guidelines also serve as a benchmark for evaluating non-web content, such as desktop and mobile applications and electronic texts, including EPUB and PDF.
- TFA’s website and web application evaluations follow the WCAG structure and reference the applicable standards when accessibility barriers are detected.
- WCAG 2.1 specifies three levels of accessibility conformance – A, AA, and AAA. TFA can advise you when you’re deciding which level of compliance your web site or technology will need, and can test and report on that level in error reports and remediation recommendations.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is commonly known in the field simply as Section 508. Tech for All team members have been involved with the Section 508 Technical Standards since the beginning. In fact, Tech for All’s President, Caesar Eghtesadi, was part of the group that authored the standard.
TFA continues to maintain a high level of expertise in all facets of this important accessibility law.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage the development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. In 2018, the Access Board undertook a major revision of Section 508 and released an update.
To facilitate effective communication between producers of products and services and government agencies, an information template, theVoluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), was created by a joint government and industry effort Information Technology Industry Council. Its purpose is to assist agencies and other purchasers in making preliminary assessments regarding the availability of commercial ICT products and services with features that support accessibility standards.
We helped write the book
For his contributions to creating the Standards for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, Caesar is honored by June I. Kailes, Chairwoman of the Access Board, in May 1999.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
The 2010 passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (21st CVAA) established new requirements for Internet and broadcast services, including requirements for provision of audio description on selected television programming and accessible user interfaces on television and video display devices. The 21st CVAA ensures that accessibility laws are brought up to date for 21st century technologies, including new and future digital, broadband, and mobile innovations. The TFA team has completed many multimedia and video technology projects conforming with the 21st CVAA requirements.
AIR CARRIERS ACCESS ACT
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in its ongoing effort to ensure equal access to air transportation for all travelers, requires airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities. Under the websites-and-kiosks rule, airlines are required to make automated airport kiosks and all pages of their websites accessible to persons with disabilities. Websites are required to meet the standards for accessibility contained in the widely accepted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Tech for All worked in partnership with several national and international air carriers to help their web and kiosk teams meet the standards by the deadline in 2016. In the course of doing so, Tech for All developed innovative solutions that allow passengers with disabilities to navigate airport kiosk transactions through the use of audio-assisted interfaces and tactile keys.
We also have significant experience in the design of an accessible Inflight Entertainment & Communication System. Our work with Inflight Entertainment/Communications (IFE/IFC) Systems allows TFA to help clients respond to the DOT requirements to address IFE/IFC accessibility.
Tech for All is currently working with several airline clients to help them meet the ACAA guidelines for website and airport kiosk accessibility.
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