[Athen] Request for "facts" on Peoplesoft

Teresa Wells Haven tlwells at uark.edu
Tue Apr 17 12:39:51 PDT 2007

Hi, Gaier. I agree, and frankly that's the tactic I've been trying to
take -- that this should be a usability and student service conversation
rather than a "technical standards and history" debate. However, the
system administrator is insisting on keeping it in the legal realm and
blaming the students for the problem, and the students who so far have
been brave enough to go up the food chain have gotten brow-beaten for
their efforts, so I don't want to subject them to more of the same. At
this point, I'm trying to gather evidence from every possible area, so
any and all "facts" that folks can share would be appreciated. As you
can imagine, this is a multi-million-dollar issue for the campus, so the
person in charge of that feels that he has a great deal to defend and is
reacting accordingly...


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Gaeir Dietrich
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:26 PM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Request for "facts" on Peoplesoft

It sounds like your best evidence is the students themselves, not
reporting about the students' experiences but actually taking the
students into the office to tell in their own words, and maybe even
demonstrate, the problems they are having.

Your administrators are asking for "facts," but I suspect that an actual
tuition-paying student is better than pages of "old" (anything before
today) cases.

Good luck!

Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
High Tech Center Training Unit of the
California Community Colleges
De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Teresa Wells Haven
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:08 PM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: [Athen] Request for "facts" on Peoplesoft
Importance: High

Colleagues, I am in a "discussion" with a member of my university
administration who does not want to believe me that PeopleSoft has a
history of difficulties with accessibility. He would like me to
substantiate my dislike for Peoplesoft, and not surprisingly, a Google
search tends to come up with PeopleSoft's own statements on the matter
("We've been working on this for years," "We conform to Section 508
regulations") rather than anything contradictory. Does anyone have
anything in the way of "hard evidence" of PeopleSoft's past that I could
share with him -- records of court cases, complaints against the
company, etc.? The more recent, the better, since he is going to take
the stance that they may have had problems in the past but that doesn't
mean they have a problem now, although it won't hurt to show him a long
history of company problems.

To give you a taste of this "discussion", we currently use a PeopleSoft
product on our campus as our Student Information System. Students who
use screen readers have so much difficulty that most of them get sighted
people to interface with the system for them; I've been complaining
about the system since we implemented it several years ago. The
administrator in question downloaded a demo copy of JAWS last week and
used it to "read" a page (he merely listened to the text while he
visually looked at the screen), at which point he concluded that the
program works "just fine" with JAWS and all the students are really just
having either JAWS technical problems or don't have the necessary JAWS
skills to interact with the program (something he didn't even try for
himself, since "he's not a JAWS expert"). This "discussion" is flaming
up to the Chancellor level very rapidly, so I'd appreciate quick
responses if you have them...

Thank you in advance,

Teresa Wells Haven, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Assistive Technology
Center for Educational Access
(Formerly Center for Students with Disabilities)
ARKU 104
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479-575-3104 (voice)
479-575-7445 (fax)
479-575-3646 (tdd)
ada at uark.edu

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