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  • Accessibility WG Teleconference Minutes 03-24-2011
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  • Walt Stover
  • Scott Williams
  • Alan Berg
  • Brian Richwine
  • Mary Stores
  • Joe Humbert

3rd party accessibility certification

  • The Sakai Accessibility Working Group (WG) has created a list of companies that could do web accessibility certifications.
  • A couple of learning management systems (LMSs), Blackboard, for example, used the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Non-visual certification.
  • Several members of the accessibility WG expressed unhappiness with going for NFB certification, because based off of the information on the NFB's site, they do not certify for all disabilities.
  • One company, Deque offers web accessibility consulting. This company developed tools that the NFB uses in their certification process.
  • Deque worked with blackboard to get them ready for certification.
  • When blackboard announce last year that they achieved NFB Non-Visual Certification, Deque and the NFB co partnered.
  • Deque was the main sponsor for the CSUN conference this year.
  • When Brian attended the CSUN conference, he spent a couple hours with Deque representatives , and he learned quite a lot of information.
  • What Brian learned from Deque is that the NFB doesn't just focus on non-visual certification as their title implies. The NFB certifies what would be in 508 and WCAG level A or AA guidelines, based on the level of certification a company wants.
  • Deque feels that NFB Non-Visual certification offers the most visibility and weight. Coming from an organization that could also certify, this is really saying something.

things to Consider While Planning for Certification

  • Deque offered to help Sakai get ready for NFB certification. They suggest it would cost between $20,000 and $50,000 of work to get ready for the NFB process of certification.
  • NFB certification itself would vary between $5,000-$9,000.
  • The cost of certification depends on functionality of the tools and how extensively each tool should be tested.
  • An instance of Sakai would have to be put on a server somewhere, and walkthrough scripts would have to be created.
  • Someone would have to be available to respond to concerns or to answer questions.
  • Since the NFB is suing quite a few universities because of inaccessible web sites, each university would have to consider its own accessibility process. For example, at IU, different tools are used on campus, and their functionality could vary from whatever version of Sakai is being used.
  • Alan Berg says hosting a server and content would not be a problem.
  • Alan will try to sponsor communication with any organization he knows, including forwarding the information to Ian Dolphin and Charles Hendrick.

Preparing For Certification

  • To move the accessibility certification process forward, it would take resources and financial commitment from the Sakai community .
  • Alan Berg is leaving his current position in Sakai as QA director.
  • Alan sees getting ready for certification as a 2-step process before the commercial company could come in.
  • It would be good to get a quick, small assessment of what would need to be done before the company came in to perform accessibility tests.
  • The assessment could be done by the commercial company, or resources from the Accessibility WG could be used.
  • Brian believes it would be more credible for an outside company to come in to perform the assessment. Accessibility results need to be obtained in an objective manner, and it would not look that way if the WG, who has done the testing all along, performed this step.
  • The small assessment by an outside company would probably be fairly expensive, at least $2000.
  • If the WG does it, we don't do a consistent job in accessibility reviews because we don't have a lot of resources. Most of the time, we can only test tools that have been revised and important tools that have not been tested for several versions.
  • It would take several weeks worth of people time to do a quick assessment.
  • If we identified 14 tools, for example, did some extensive functionality testing, and finally found issues that needed resolution before the company came in and found it, then we'd have to look at commitment from the Sakai community to fix issues that come up.
  • The WG has the ability to fix low hanging fruit. However, community involvement and commitment would be needed.
  • Alan suspects an outside consultancy would be listened to as well.
  • Alan will talk to Ian Dolphin next week about discussion at this meeting.
  • He will also send out e-mail to foundation staff.
  • Alan says that if there are open Jiras for 2.8, he could start sending out e-mails to fix some of the bugs.

Current Jira Activity and Resolution of Accessibility Issues

  • Margaret Londergan at IUB now has 2 programmers, and Scott Williams at Michigan has another person doing accessibility testing ten hours a week .
  • Usually it takes a week for a patch that has been submitted as part of the Jira to be implemented.
  • The open Jiras now are for independent release tools like messages and poles.
  • The Accessibility WG will have to get our skill levels higher to submit patches for some of the accessibility issues.
  • Anthony has been helpful in keeping Jiras open.
  • The WYSIWYG editor is going to be set by default as the FCK Editor, but there is now an option to turn on CK Editor in 2.8.
  • There are one or two areas where CK Editor cannot be enabled. For example, when using Samigo, the FCK Editor will still be the default editor.
  • CK Editor was updated so it's compatible for IE9.
  • FCKEditor is partially broken for general users who use Internet Explorer 9, so that will be an incentive for institutions to use CKEditor.
  • Charles Hendricks from Rutgars will be adopting 2.8. The Lesson builder tool doesn't work for CKEditor, so he will be repairing that.

    Remarks From Alan About The Accessibility WG

  • When Brian asked Alan how the Accessibility WG can be more valuable, Alan said to the group should continue doing what it is currently doing already. When the WG sees an opportunity, take it. and don't underestimate the value of the work that has already been done.

Accessibility Review for 2.8

  • The news from the University of Michigan: Last week was Walt's first week, and he is testing four different tools with JAWS in Sakai 2.8: membership, Dropbox, News and Polls.
  • Brian will create a blank template and post it to the Accessibility Testing 2.8 page.
  • When Walt did testing, QA-NL switched between the CKEditor and FCKEditor, but Alan says he can make sure that the CKEditor is enabled by default until the release of 2.8.
  • For 2.8, the CKEditor can be enabled. Since FCKEditor is partially broken for people who use Internet Explorer 9, it might be more incentive for institutions to switch to CKEditor more permanently.
  • Sakai still does use other text editors in addition to FCKEditor and CKEditor, but in 2.8, CKEditor should be available more prominently.
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