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State of Connecticut Web Site Accessibility Committee Our Approach to Making Online Government Accessible State of Connecticut Web Site Accessibility Committee Our Approach to Making Online Government Accessible

History of the State of Connecticut’s Web Site Accessibility Policy l Version 3. 1 History of the State of Connecticut’s Web Site Accessibility Policy l Version 3. 1 – December 1996 – l http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/policies/accesspolicy 31. html Version 4. 0 – July 2000 – http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/policies/accesspolicy 40. html

Version 3. 1 l l l Written in August 1996 Adopted in December 1996 Version 3. 1 l l l Written in August 1996 Adopted in December 1996 Based on the TRACE Center Unified Web Site Accessibility Guidelines No training given to state webmasters Not rigorously enforced No compliance date set

Version 4. 0 l l l Committee formed in October, 1999 All Committee members Version 4. 0 l l l Committee formed in October, 1999 All Committee members are volunteers Policy written by Committee members in the Spring of 2000 Adopted on July 26, 2000 Incorporates the W 3 C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – Priority 1 Checkpoints – – l Encourages the use of valid HTML Requires a valid DOCTYPE declaration Target date for compliance was January 2002

Timeline – or “Why not Section 508? ” l Version 3. 1 – December Timeline – or “Why not Section 508? ” l Version 3. 1 – December 1996 – l Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1. 0 – May 1999 – l http: //www. w 3. org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/ Version 4. 0 – July 2000 – l http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/policies/accesspolicy 31. html http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/policies/accesspolicy 40. html Section 508 Rules – February 2001 – – http: //www. access-board. gov/sec 508/guide/1194. 22. htm http: //www. section 508. gov/index. cfm? Fuse. Action=Content&ID=12#Web

Version 4. 0 Implementation l Communications – Web Site: http: //www. cmac. state. ct. Version 4. 0 Implementation l Communications – Web Site: http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/ – Listserv: Access-CT http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/listserv/subscr ibeform. htm – Monthly face-to-face meetings open to all state webmasters

Version 4. 0 Training l Training provided to state webmasters – External – New Version 4. 0 Training l Training provided to state webmasters – External – New Horizons – Fall, 2000 – Funded by the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) – Internal – All day “Refresher course” taught by Committee members – Fall, 2001 – Resources, Tools and Tutorials available on web site

Version 4. 0 Testing l l l Testing Center set up All hardware and Version 4. 0 Testing l l l Testing Center set up All hardware and software donated by state agencies Test Center Hardware: – – PC running Windows 98 Power Mac G 4

Version 4. 0 Testing (Continued) l Test Center Software – Browsers/Emulators l l l Version 4. 0 Testing (Continued) l Test Center Software – Browsers/Emulators l l l – – Internet Explorer Netscape(s) Opera Lynx Web. TV Viewer Bobby Worldwide JAWS (PC), Out. Spoken (Mac)

Compliance l Tutorials written by Committee members – – – Six Steps to Accessibility Compliance l Tutorials written by Committee members – – – Six Steps to Accessibility Certification How to run Bobby against large web sites How to install the Lynx browser How to code a default DOCTYPE in Front. Page How to create Accessible Power. Point presentations How to create Accessible PDF documents

How to obtain Compliance Certification l l l Agency webmaster writes to the Committee How to obtain Compliance Certification l l l Agency webmaster writes to the Committee Chair requesting a site review Chair posts the request to the listserv A committee member volunteers to do the review The process is then taken off-list All communication is private, between the reviewer and the reviewee

Compliance Negotiation l Occasionally, the Chair is called in during the process as an Compliance Negotiation l Occasionally, the Chair is called in during the process as an arbitrator, by either the reviewer or the reviewee: – – l Some webmasters use the compliance certification request as a way of finding out what’s wrong with their site, instead of doing a preliminary assessment themselves Differences of opinion – “spirit of the law” Most reviews have a successful outcome

Compliance Certification l l Site is certified to be compliant with the policy Webmasters Compliance Certification l l Site is certified to be compliant with the policy Webmasters place a compliance statement and a link to the policy on their site Webmaster and their agency head are presented with certificates at quarterly statewide webmaster meetings A list of all compliant (and non-compliant) web sites is available on our web site for all to see

The Pros and Cons of Policy vs. Law l l Funding Buy-in Training Compliance The Pros and Cons of Policy vs. Law l l Funding Buy-in Training Compliance

Funding l l No funding for a Policy All goods and services are donated Funding l l No funding for a Policy All goods and services are donated – – – l Hardware Software Time Like Blanche Du. Bois, we depend on the kindness of strangers

Buy-in l l l A Law leaves no doubt whether or not to comply Buy-in l l l A Law leaves no doubt whether or not to comply A Law normally has funding attached Provides an avenue and redress for complaints

Training l l l Training needs to be funded Training needs to be mandatory Training l l l Training needs to be funded Training needs to be mandatory Training needs to be offered on an on-going basis – – New hires New technologies

Compliance l l A Law mandates compliance A Policy mandates compliance; however, – Scope Compliance l l A Law mandates compliance A Policy mandates compliance; however, – Scope is unclear l l l – – different branches of government Internet vs. Intranet vs. Extranet Physical location of server (state server or vendor server) Not a priority for agencies in an era of budget cuts No penalty for non-compliance

External Issues l l l Vendors Training Software External Issues l l l Vendors Training Software

Vendors l l Difficult to find qualified consultants already on state contract Proposals submitted Vendors l l Difficult to find qualified consultants already on state contract Proposals submitted by vendors were unrealistic in terms of: – – – l Hours Scope of work Dollar amount of the proposal Raised the questions: – – Did the vendors really know what they were being asked to do? Did they think we didn’t know what we were asking for?

Vendor Training l l Problem solved in Connecticut by requiring vendors to be trained Vendor Training l l Problem solved in Connecticut by requiring vendors to be trained in how to make Accessible web sites Training was provided by the State at no cost to vendors Test center made available for use by vendors Committee web site and listserv available as resources for follow-up

Vendor Training Issues l Billable hours – – l Vendors thought the State should Vendor Training Issues l Billable hours – – l Vendors thought the State should pay for the time the consultant was in class We said: “We don’t pay for your database training, accessibility training isn’t any different – it’s a skill set required to qualify for a state contract” Attitude – – Some consultants walked into class with a “low enthusiasm level” 99% walked out “getting it” and thanking us for the learning opportunity

Keys to Training Successes l Webmasters must experience the barriers in a hands-on environment Keys to Training Successes l Webmasters must experience the barriers in a hands-on environment – – l Take them out of their comfort zone (out of their office, away from their PC) Take away the mouse Turn off the speakers Turn off images Training can be effective in either a classroom environment or online

How did we do? l Summer 2002 – l 81 consultants representing 35 companies How did we do? l Summer 2002 – l 81 consultants representing 35 companies were trained in less than 3 months Winter 2004 – – Vendors are asking for training for new hires so they can remain qualified They are given a choice of Acceptable courses to choose from

Universal Web Site Accessibility Acceptable Training Programs l HTML Writers Guild – Online Classes Universal Web Site Accessibility Acceptable Training Programs l HTML Writers Guild – Online Classes – – l Accessible Web Design: http: //www. hwg. org/services/classes/accessibility design. html Web Accessibility Techniques: http: //www. hwg. org/services/classes/accessibilityt echniques. html Key-Logic: Universal Web Site Accessibility Training – http: //www. key-logic. com/

Universal Web Site Accessibility Acceptable Training Programs l New Horizons Computer Learning Center – Universal Web Site Accessibility Acceptable Training Programs l New Horizons Computer Learning Center – l http: //www. computertrainingschools. com/newhori zons/hartford/windsor/ State of Connecticut – Universal Web Site Accessibility Training – – Email: kathleen. [email protected] state. ct. us Phone: (860) 622 -2159

Software l “It is just as important that all people be able to author Software l “It is just as important that all people be able to author content as it is for all people to have access to it. ” – l W 3 C Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1. 0 http: //www. w 3. org/TR/2000/REC-ATAG 1020000203/ Questions to ask – – Does the web page authoring tool create accessible web pages? Is the web page authoring tool itself accessible to people with disabilities?

How to choose an Accessible Authoring Tool Conformance Reviews done by the WAI Authoring How to choose an Accessible Authoring Tool Conformance Reviews done by the WAI Authoring Tools Working Group: http: //www. w 3. org/WAI/AU/2002/tools l Section 508 Buy Accessible: http: //www. section 508. gov/index. cfm? F use. Action=Content&ID=2 l

What factors contributed most to our success? l Committee participation is voluntary – – What factors contributed most to our success? l Committee participation is voluntary – – – l Policy development Writing tutorials Web site reviews Support from DOIT: – – – Agreement to adopt a statewide IT policy Funding for state webmaster training Mandating vendor training

And, strange as it sounds … l Change in the way state agencies communicate And, strange as it sounds … l Change in the way state agencies communicate (email, web, listservs, etc. ) – – – Information available faster and accessible to more people Discussions held (and decisions made) online instead of waiting for a meeting Greatly reduces bureaucracy – and things get done!

For more information l l l Visit our web site: http: //www. cmac. state. For more information l l l Visit our web site: http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/ Subscribe to the Access-CT listserv: http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/listserv/subscribe form. htm Come to a meeting: http: //www. cmac. state. ct. us/access/meetings/2003 m eetings. html Send me an email: kathleen. [email protected] state. ct. us Call me: (860) 622 -2159