SSB BART Group and TecAccess Announce Strategic Partnership – Press Release

McLean, Virginia – April 7, 2011 – SSB BART Group (SSB) and TecAccess are pleased to announce a strategic partnership that allows SSB to expand.

Our strategic partnership with TecAccess

Earlier today we had the pleasure of announcing a strategic partnership we developed between SSB and TecAccess – another leading firm in the accessibility space..

Testing Accommodations – Enyart v. The National Conference of Bar Examiners

Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals made a ruling on Enyart v. The National Conference of Bar Examiners that upheld the right of a blind law school graduate student to use specific assistive technology – in this case JAWS and ZoomText – when taking a licensing exam. The impact of the ruling is that users with disabilities have a clear right to take a test using assistive technology they are directly familiar with when preventing this would make the test accessible. This ensures the examination is administered in a fashion that allows an accurate gauge of the individual’s efficacy and domain knowledge not their disability.

An overview of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 focuses on ensuring that communications and media services, content, equipment, emerging technologies, and new modes of transmission are accessible to disabled users. The bill is primarily targeted at communications and video equipment manufacturers, video service providers and producers of video content. The act requires that all communications and video programming service or equipment providers must provide services and equipment in an equally accessible manner to ensure compliance with government regulations for accessibility. The act builds on a variety of current pieces of legislation relating to accessibility including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act amending and extending them as needed.

Google Web Toolkit and Accessibility

Google’s Web Toolkit (GWT) and enhanced version GXT provides a framework for creating Ajax enabled sites and applications. Beginning with version 1.5 (the current version.

Why We Don’t Test Skip Links Automatically

The other day a customer was evaluating AMP and asked a question about how we were testing for skip links. The question went something like the following:

We were evaluating AMP and performed an automatic scan of a test site. We noticed that the scan did not flag the issue “Provide a mechanism for skipping past repetitive navigation links” even though this clearly is a violation. This seems like a pretty glaring omission in the tool and something we would have expected AMP would have caught. Can you explain the testing method AMP uses, and why this might not have been reported?

Here was our answer:

Actually, SSB does provide an automatic test for link group detection and skip links in InFocus – the automatic testing engine provided in AMP. This link detection algorithm is quite advanced and is currently in patent pending status with the US Patent Trademark Office. By default, however, this test is disabled and AMP instead requires that users test conformance for this best practice as part of global system tests.

This raises a particularly interesting question – If your test is so great, why do you turn it off by default? As noted above, that would seem to be a glaring omission. The short answer to this question is that automatic tests for skips links – and this include our tests and those of our competitors – are unsafe and yield an exceptionally high number of false negatives. In practice this means that they falsely indicate a non-compliant page is compliant which is very dangerous. Given this, since 2006 SSB has opted to deactivate this automatic test and, by default, require a global test to be executed to validate the accessibility of a given page.

Section 503 Updates – How to keep your US Federal Government Contracts

The ANPRM issued by the OFCCP indicates a strong increase in the strength of the regulations relating to Section 503 and their application to Federal contractors and suppliers. A conservative stance should assume that US Federal contractors and sub-contractors will be required to make both applicant facing systems and internal IT systems accessible to people with disabilities or face the loss of all public sector contracts.

The OFCCP and You

The OFCCP is a program within the US Department of Labor that enforces the contractual requirements placed on US Federal government contractors and sub-contractors relating to the equal employment of individuals with disabilities. The activities of the OFCCP are principally driven by the requirements of Section 503 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you generate revenue directly or indirectly from the US Federal Government you should be aware of the OFCCP.

Section 503 Demystified

This post provides an overview of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 requires that any contract that the US Federal Government enters into require the contractor to take affirmative action to employ, and advance in employment, individuals with disabilities. The law applies to any prime contract or sub-contract over $10,000 in value. Enforcement is both active – with compliance audits – and reactive based on complaints from individuals with disabilities. There are some narrow exceptions to the requirements but they are unlikely to apply to most modern contracting organizations.

AMP Anywhere and CMS Integration

As we noted in our last post on AMP Anywhere SSB’s overall approach to providing AMP is to integrate AMP into all portions of an.