CSUN 2017 VPATs For Business or Measure


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Elsevier has responded to hundreds of customer requests for VPATs around 508 compliance. We will discuss the business significance and our approach to handling requests.

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  • The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the leading industry voice for information and communications technologies’ (ICT) accessibility policy and standards. We work closely with the U.S. and other governments, consumers, and other industry sectors to promote innovations in ICT accessibility that benefit stakeholders in every aspect of their lives. In addition, ITI houses the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template®, or VPAT®.
  • Seen cases where as many as 12 emails were passed around until they found my department
  • VPAT creation was a much more self-contained requirement
    Lack of familiarity with 508 checkpoints to boil them down
    Aversion of PMs to promise any kind of date with so many competing requirements
    Some products rely on 3rd party software, so chasing down other companies to complete this is not fun
  • CSUN 2017 VPATs For Business or Measure

    1. 1. VPATs: For Business or Measure? Ted Gies twitter:@tedgies1 CSUN 2017 Golden Hill AB 3 March 2017 Jay Nemchik
    2. 2. | 3 • is a premier global Health, Science, and Technology publisher. • is headquartered in Amsterdam. • publishes thousands of books each year. • publishes over 2,500 journals. • majority of Nobel Laureates have published with Elsevier over the last 50 years • created the products ScienceDirect and Scopus. • employs over 7,000 people in 24 countries. • Highly collaborative – Last year SVG charts with HighSoft Elsevier: World Leader in Digital Information Solutions
    3. 3. • VPAT defined as: A tool used to document a product’s conformance with the 508 accessibility standards and guidelines. • The purpose of the VPAT is to help inform accessibility assessments when purchasing Information and Communication Technology. • 508 is comprised of guidelines and best practices to promote product accessibility. • US Access Board manages the 508 standard. 4 invented the VPAT
    4. 4. Volume of requests growing – doubling in some years • 80% of inquiries come in via sales department • 15% through legal contracts department • 5% through our accessibility inbox Customer roles asking for “VPATs” or “ADA Compliance” • Procurement specialists • Librarians • Accessibility services • Deans • Instructors Typical Length – 12 Pages, turnaround 1 day to 1.5 weeks. 5 Facts and Figures on Elsevier VPAT Requests
    5. 5. • Time Pressure: Sales Folks Are Trying to Win a Sale By a Deadline • “Many of our large research intensive schools will now not sign our contracts unless we submit a web accessibility document to them.” • Unpredictability: requests come out of the blue and can be bundled • 3rd party plugins (book players, web libraries) 6 Challenges With Managing VPAT Requests “I have never heard of this, presume it is technical based on the links for other products. I’m sorry to send you on a wild good chase, but I’m copying a couple folks to see what might exist.” “I am sorry – I am not sure what is meant by “screen reader”. Can you explain?” “Any Clue on a VPAT”? “This is a really strange request, but the customer’s IT department is asking for our VTAT# for Sherpath?”
    6. 6. 7 Customer: Is Your Website 508 Compliant? Do You Really Believe Honest Jon’s VPAT? Of course my boy, we have Supports for all checkpoints
    7. 7. 8 Do You Really Believe Honest Jon’s VPAT? All Supported with No Remarks
    8. 8. VPAT SECTION SUPPORTS/PASS SUPPORTS WITH EXCEPTIONS/ PARTIALLY DOES NOT SUPPORT NOT APPLICABLE Section 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems 5 5 2 Section 1194.22 Web-based Internet Information and Applications 5 5 2 4 Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria 3 1 2 Section 1194.41 Information, Documentation and Support 2 1 TOTALS SUPPORTS/PASS SUPPORTS WITH EXCEPTIONS/PARTIAL DOES NOT SUPPORT NOT APPLICABLE 37 total checkpoints 15 12 2 8 9 Our Scorecard Table Answers: Is your website 508 compliant?
    9. 9. Facilitate a Remediation Form Present Findings to Stakeholders Top 10 Fix List Score Card Table VPAT 10 The Complete Elsevier VPAT Service Package
    10. 10. • Prioritize the requests by revenue risk/revenue size • Scale service package according to reusability of the VPAT • Present the fix list to educate developers • Utilize a more presentable word template • Create discoverable VPAT intranet presence 11 Best Practices in Managing VPAT Process
    11. 11. Acronym: DUTCH Detailed - Fill out Remarks Section Unbiased - Use 3rd party or standard testing criteria Template based - Reusable saves time Contemporary - Update every year or with big releases Honest - Show where you DO and DO NOT pass a requirement with specific examples 12 Best Practices in Creating VPATs
    12. 12. 13 VPAT Template
    13. 13. "I would like you and those who created this VPAT to know, that I appreciate how well done it is. I truly appreciate all of the details in the areas which are supported with exceptions or not supported. It is rare to see a VPAT with such specific detail about the functionality and exceptions. I wish more vendors would do as good a job as Elsevier has done." Director, Disability Resources ADA Coordinator University XYZ 14 Get “Street Cred” With VPATs
    14. 14. 15 Give Your VPATs Wings to Fly
    15. 15. • Cost savings data helped hire Jay as FTE accessibility specialist • Cost per VPAT was 1/3 using Jay compared to cheapest consultant • Continuous queue of customers and internals illustrated capacity gap 16 Cost Analysis of VPAT Using FTE vs Consultants VPAT Provider Cost Per VPAT Jay Nemchik intern $844 Cheapest independent consultant $2.5K Average cost across (5) consultants $5800 Most expensive consultant $11K
    16. 16. 18 Proliferation of the Accessibility Conformance and Remediation Form (~20% of VPATs in 2016)
    17. 17. 1. More follow up from customers • Phone calls, remediation plans, workarounds 2. Wider Domain Adoption of 508/VPATs: • US Government Agencies • State Universities • Community Colleges • Online Universities • Police Departments (NEW!) • Healthcare companies (NEW!) 3. 508 Refresh is now on the Federal Register as of 18 Jan 2017 19 3 External Trends in VPATs and US 508
    18. 18. • Big change is to broaden standards • V2 Tacks on EN 301 549 and WCAG A, AA, AAA • 32 Pages Vs 18 Page Version 1 • Good Best Practices and FAQ • Send feedback to ITI through online survey 20 VPAT 2.0 (Beta) VPAT 2.0 (Beta) Available on ITI Website
    19. 19. • Big change is to broaden standards • V2 Tacks on EN 301 549 and WCAG A, AA, AAA • 32 Pages Vs 18 Page Version 1 • Good Best Practices and FAQ • Send feedback to ITI through online survey 21 VPAT 2.0 (Beta)
    20. 20. • In business, VPATs are the industry standard for responding to US 508 accessibility inquiries. • For measure, we recommend a VPAT service package to tell the whole story. • By expanding a VPAT into more than just a list of violations, the team can be trusted, have more impact, and develop into a larger team. • We formally track VPAT requests to help demonstrate the business case for accessibility to management. 22 Conclusion
    21. 21. ITI Website (Creator of the VPAT and VPAT 2.0 Beta) https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility Elsevier Accessibility Policy https://www.elsevier.com/about/company-information/policies/accessibility Elsevier Accessibility Checklist Tool http://romeo.elsevier.com/accessibility_checklist/ ScienceDirect Accessibility Page (With Completed VPAT) https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/sciencedirect/support/web-accessibility Guide to the Section 508 Standards for Electronic and Information Technology, Software Applications and Operating Systems (1194.21) http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.21.htm U of Arizona VPAT Template (with inline Guidance) http://drc.arizona.edu/about/vpat US VA 508 Standards Checklists http://www.section508.va.gov/Standards_Checklist.asp 23 Resources
    22. 22. • How are other firms dealing with Remediation Forms? • Can we encourage Product Managers to own remediation forms each time a VPAT is created? • When will teams start transitioning 508 checkpoints to WCAG 2? • Which team in your company completes VPATs? 24 Discussion