Policy Driven Adoption of Accessibility - CSUN 2013


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Recent G3ict and US government reports suggest that current our models for encouraging ICT accessibility adoption are not working. Using examples from the UK, Canada's AODA, and the State of Texas, in this CSUN 2013 presentation Jeff Kline and Jonathan Hassell discuss whether a Policy-Driven Adoption approach might help.

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Policy Driven Adoption of Accessibility - CSUN 2013

  1. 1. 1 ARE ACCESSIBILITY TECHNICAL STANDARDS ENOUGH? IMPROVING ICT ACCESSIBILITY THROUGH REGULATION ENHANCEMENTS Jeff Kline (@jeffkline2; jeff.kline@dir.texas.gov) Accessibility Author and Consultant / Texas Statewide EIR Accessibility Coordinator Prof Jonathan Hassell (@jonhassell; jonathan@hassellinclusion.com) Founder and Director Hassell Inclusion CSUN 2013Note: Refer to speaker notes if you have problems viewing presentation slides
  2. 2. We all want more accessible IT… now… 2
  3. 3. Imagine 3  a time where you don‟t have to justify why products need to be inclusive  where the only conversation you need to have is about how to do it best, not whether to do it at all  where all products are universally usable, because this is „just the way it‟s done‟  where your experience, insights and services are fought over by a hungry industry, desperate for your help  where disabled people, and our future selves, are never excluded from participation based on our impairments
  4. 4. So how are our current methods working for us? 4  we‟ve tried technical standards – that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve tried legislating around those standards – that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve tried saying accessibility is cheap – it isn‟t, and that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve made tools to make it cheaper – but they haven‟t made it easier, so that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve tried to show great ROI – but have no figures since 2008, so that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve tried to show the massive spending power of disabled people – that‟s debatable, so that hasn‟t done it…  we‟ve tried to say accessibility = usability – that isn‟t always the case, so that hasn‟t done it…
  5. 5. So what are we „betting the farm on‟ now? 5  we‟re making our technical standards International & harmonised  we‟re trying to legislate around those standards more strictly and Inter-nationally…  we‟re trying to get governments to evaluate sites‟ accessibility and publish lists of the best ones  we‟re trying to get accessibility into ‘AppStore’ criteria  we‟re trying to get accessibility into standard dev courses…  we‟re trying to become „professional‟  we‟re hoping mobile/context-sensitive services making people „situationally impaired‟ will help them understand us  we‟re trying to uncover other barriers and address them…
  6. 6. ICTAccessibilityAdoption is Slow Recent US government reports find that current models for encouraging ICT accessibility adoption are not working  “National Disability Policy Progress Report August 2012”  Rarely mentions ICT accessibility  “Section 508 Report to the President and Congress: Accessibility of Federal Electronic and Information Technology”  Finds that less than 50% percent of agency components incorporated specific applicable Section 508 Accessibility Standards as requirements in each procurement solicitation…  Little to no validation against Section 508 criteria performed on procured products  “US E-Government Website Quality Report” 2012  The accessibility benchmark shows that two-thirds of federal sites achieved a moderate level of compliance federal sites  28% of sites in the study achieved the lowest compliance band.  Automated testing only; tool(s) not defined 6
  7. 7. ICTAccessibilityAdoption – an International Perspective The situation in Europe isn’t any better…  European Commission research behind Proposed Directive on Accessibility of Public Sector websites (Dec 2012)  only one-third of Europe‟s 761,000 public-sector and government websites are accessible And G3ict reports indicate the same slow progress in the rest of the world…  “CRPD 2012 ICT Accessibility Progress Report”  Indicates significant deficits to set in place a foundation to promote ICT accessibility 7
  8. 8. TheAccessibility Technology Gap “Technical enablement” challenges  Accessible technologies gap  Accessibility not considered in new, mainstream technology creation  Approached tactically  Project by project  Post development remediation 8
  9. 9. Technical Enablement is only half of the adoption problem  Lack of awareness of accessibility requirements  Awareness of accessibility but it‟s deemed “unnecessary” or optional  Awareness of accessibility too late to be addressed  Lack of technical skills, tools or training programs  No knowledge transfer from previous or other projects in an organization  No organizational policies or objectives related to IT accessibility  No one responsible or accountable for accessibility 9
  10. 10. Where do go from here? Technical specifications / standards are not governance criteria! They‟re execution criteria!  Nothing in tech specs requires organizations to do anything  The “teeth” for accessibility are in disability regulations 10 IT accessibility today is a governance problem more than a technical one
  11. 11. Barriers are barriers. Period.  Barriers to the digital environment are no different than barriers to the built environment with respect to civil rights  What was the “business case” for access to the built environment?  Access to information technology is not a “business case” problem.  It‟s a civil rights problem.  Governments are recognizing this and are creating new accessibility regulations which include policy requirements to facilitate adoption 11
  12. 12. Policy Driven Adoption The integration of IT accessibility governance into disability regulations and policies in a way that enables organizations to drive themselves to improve accessibility adoption 12
  13. 13. Policy Driven Adoption: Benefits  Not prescriptive  Tells organizations “what” to do, not “how” to do it  Can include a technical standard component  Can be governed mostly thru non-technical methods  Makes IT accessibility difficult to ignore  Accelerates marketplace innovation for development tools, technologies, and other resources that facilitate IT accessibility 13
  14. 14. Policy Driven Adoption Current Examples: UK 14  UK Public Sector Equality Duty  Since 2005, UK public bodies required to create & publish Disability Equality Schemes to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people  “failing to publish an adequate Disability Equality Scheme could trigger enforcement action by the Disability Rights Commission... and that Departments that fail to apply the duty properly may face legal action”  Schemes are published publicly:  http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/policies/pdf/DES_2010.doc  http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/publication_archive/disability-equality-scheme-2010-13/  Generally includes:  How disabled people are involved in developing the scheme  An action plan  Performing monitoring and assessment  Formal review
  15. 15. Policy Driven Adoption Current Examples: UK (effects) 15  requires a prioritized action plan for the organisation, that they have to measure themselves against  when you‟ve said it, you‟re more likely to do it…  makes it easier for accessibility advocates within the organisation to justify their work…  leads to results…  BBC My Web My Way won:  BIMA for Best Achievement in Accessibility 2006  BBC iPlayer won:  BIMA for Best Usability & Accessibility 2009  Access-IT@Home award 2009 for „best ICT based project, product or service that advances independent living for people with disabilities
  16. 16. Policy Driven Adoption Current Examples: State of Texas State of Texas, USA: Texas Government Code 2054 Subchapter M, Texas Administrative Codes 206, 213  Scope: Texas State agencies and state funded institutions of higher education (Approx. 175)  Uses slightly modified Section 508 technical standards  Goes beyond technical standards to include governance criteria for  Policy  Responsibility  Procurement  Exceptions  Training 16
  17. 17. Policy Driven Adoption: State of Texas How‟s it working?  Over 95% of all agencies and state funded higher education institutions  Have a published IT accessibility policy  Have an accessibility coordinator  Many agencies have accessible public websites  Exceptions process yielded improvements in accessibility of 3rd party products  Department of Information Resources  Establishes IT Accessibility Rules  Provides resources in support of enabling agency accessibility  Initiated a no charge accessibility web scanning program (150 pages per agency) to all state agencies agencies  Chartered the Accessibility Council of Texas to identify and implement key initiatives at the state level  Integrated IT Accessibility into state co-operative contracts program  State mandated information resources review conducted biannually  Includes IT accessibility 17
  18. 18. Policy Driven Adoption Current Examples: Canada Ontario: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)  Scope: Public and private entities with over 20 employees operating in Ontario  Encompasses the built environment and broad range of IT  Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (IASR) requires organizations to  File Customer Service Accessibility Compliance Reports online  Establish accessibility policies  Establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan  Incorporate accessibility criteria and features into procurement  Includes timetables for required compliance  Includes fine schedules  WCAG 2.0 used as the technical standard for web accessibility NEW! Manitoba: Government of Manitoba has accepted recommendations to adopt a new Accessibility Act (Heavily influenced by AODA) 18
  19. 19. Policy Driven Adoption Current Examples: Canada The effect it‟s had…  Requiring organisations to create a policy has forced them to engage with the issues, to a greater extent than reproducing the usual boilerplate  While enforcement is still an issue, organisations feel more accountable once they‟ve publicly published their policy  The public now has a formal mechanism for complaints, channeled through the government equality body, rather than to the organisation  And it‟s likely that legal cases will take an organisation‟s progress against their own policy and action plan into account  But the jury‟s still out on the exact effect it will have… 19
  20. 20. Policy Driven Adoption: Possible Provisions for Regulatory Inclusion Organizations of a certain size or business type (TBD) that use or develop ICT must: 1. Develop, implement, and maintain an ICT accessibility policy 2. Integrate ICT accessibility criteria into key phases of procurement, development, and other relevant business processes 3. Provide a process addressing inaccessible ICT which would include  a plan / date for compliance of the ICT  an alternate means of access until the ICT is accessible 4. Ensure that accessibility skills are available within (or to) the organization 5. Develop and maintain an organizational structure that enables and facilities accessibility progress 6. Demonstrate forward progress in accessibility over time through the establishment of metrics and tracking methods 7. Designate one or more individuals responsible for supporting the organization in implementing these provisions 20
  21. 21. Beginning to see hints in the US 21  President‟s Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  “Strategic Plan for Improving Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act”  ADA Web Accessibility NPRMs (pending)  One under Title II (Government)  One under Title III (Private Sectors)  Includes policy-driven adoption??
  22. 22. “…Regardless of an agency's maturity, effective accessibility outcomes will always depend on a clearly articulated policy… Policy as a means to integrate accessibility into all aspects of the IT environment and decision tree is fundamentally important.” Sharron Rush, Executive Director, Knowbility Inc. 22
  23. 23. Resources for creating an accessibility policy & programme 23  British standard BS-8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice  Accessibility business process integration  Forthcoming (Summer 2014): „Including your missing 20%‟ book by Jonathan Hassell  For information, and chance of winning book enter your contact details on the form on next slide  Strategic EIR Accessibility: Enabling the Organization by Jeff Kline  Organizational accessibility enablement and strategy  Other accessibility guidance documentation  W3C training  AODA documentation
  24. 24. Just one way we can help get us there… 24  a time where you don‟t have to justify why products need to be inclusive  where the only conversation you need to have is about how to do it best, not whether to do it at all  where all products are universally usable, because this is „just the way it‟s done‟  where your experience, insights and services are fought over by a hungry industry, desperate for your help  where disabled people, and our future selves, are never excluded from participation based on our impairments
  25. 25. e: jonathan@hassellinclusion.com t: @jonhassell e: jeff.kline@dir.texas.gov t: @jeffkline2