Software Selection: AJG's old vendor question

Hi all!

Attached are the two documents I referred to during today's meeting.

  The first is "Accessibility of Web-based Information Sources Survey 
Form," developed by Axel Schmetzke, University of Wisconsin, Steven's 
Point. It is offered in Microsoft Word 97 and text only formats. It was 
tried out in Spring 2001 on vendors on the exhibit floor at the conference 
of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the 
American Library Association.  We hope to refine it and use it to approach 
vendors at the ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta in June 2002.  ALA Annual 
is the biggest library-related show in the world.  It draws over 26,000 
attendees and has over 1,000 exhibitors. We may also try a version of this 
document at one or two smaller library conferences.


The second document doesn't look as appropriate to our purposes as I'd 
hoped.  It is a procedure/checklist that I drafted for use by ALA units 
before I left, in response to questions they had about working with outside 
web developers.  I suggested that it could also be used to check the 
awareness level and expertise of internal developers. We may want to see if 
the basic concept fits elsewhere if not in "Selecting Software."  Here it 
is, in Microsoft Word 97 and text.  

More on the vendor questions later.


Audrey J. Gorman
Naperville, IL, USA
Accessibility of Web-Based Information Resources

Survey Form (ACRL 2001)




1. Is your product currently accessible for users with disabilities (esp. for those using screenreaders or talking browsers)?

2. If not, by when does your company plan to come out with an accessible version?

3. With which screenreaders/talking browsers has your product been tested? (JAWS, Window-Eyes, IBM Home Page Reader, etc.?)

4. Could you demonstrate this here?

5. Who would be a good contact person in your company to provide me with more information concerning your product's accessibility?
Axel Schmetzke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point,
Ask the designer/developer if they build accessible web pages.

If no, inform them that you are unable to use their services.

If yes, ask the following questions:
1. What guidelines or standards do you use?
Answer sought: Current W3C/WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [ALA needs to decide which priorities to require under the guidelines.  Suggestion: At least Priority 1 and Priority 2.]
2. What evaluation tools do you use and why did you choose them?
Answer sought: Minimum three or four, e.g. Bobby, The Wave, W3C HTML Validation Tool.  Should understand that no one tool does a full, exhaustive evaluation.  Choice of tools should be based on covering typical problems as thoroughly as possible.  See WAI list of current tools on web site,
3. Do you use repair tools?  Please explain.
Answer sought: Yes, with list that can be checked on WAI web site.  The reason should be greater accuracy plus greater speed in repairing problems and delivering product.
4. Do you test on assistive/adaptive software?
Answer sought: Yes, a minimum of three of the currently available software packages for alternative access to the Web, e.g. IBM Home Page Reader, JAWS, WindowEyes.
5. What else do you do to test accessibility, usability and performance?
Kinds of answers sought: Run the page on older versions of browsers and older hardware, turn off graphics, view on PDA or Web-enabled cell phone, use a slow connection.

Ask for a list of accessible web sites that they've designed, to be checked independently, either in-house or by another firm.

If you decide to engage the designer:
* Get the accessibility requirement and assurances in writing in the contract or letter of agreement.  [Develop boilerplate]
* Require that an early version of the basic design be tested by them and results, including actual copies of evaluation reports, shared and explained.
* Require that, when the web site is ready, you or your agent have opportunity to check the result for accessibility before accepting the product and paying the balance of the fee.
* Have a sign-off form attesting to the web site's accessibility.
* Be aware that, since designing for accessibility is still a developing art and a web site is not a static product, some minor accessibility problems may be encountered, especially as time goes on.  Accessibility is a journey, not a destination.

* Use this checklist. Get help from people with disabilities.  Review quarterly.
DRAFT Web Page Accessibility Checklist/Procedure

Created by agorman		Page 1 of 1

Received on Friday, 4 January 2002 16:26:39 UTC