[Athen] Interesting New story
ron.stewart at dolphinusa.com
Tue Mar 27 08:22:28 PDT 2007
Call me Henny Penny then!
After having conversations with several folks in the know, who also share my
concerns, this product typically results in segregationist practices of
access. That is a step backward in the minds of many of those who have
worked in this field for an extended period of time. That is the basis of
my concerns, that and the promises made and never delivered reality of how
Hi-Soft chooses to do typically do business.
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 10:49 AM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Interesting New story
Ron Stewart wrote:
> We have talked about automated web compliance tools in the past, but
> this article I find bothersome since I feel it is a major step
> backwards on accessibility in what I was hoping was going to be a
> progressive approach to systemic access.
> This is a great tool in an informed hand, but in the wrong hands it
> is a disaster as many of us have seen.
Attn: Chicken Littles on this list,
Those in the know already understand the issues with automated testing.
Yet, this article clearly indicates that, "...HiSoftware's solutions are
part of our multi-prong strategy for checking the accessibility of Web sites
in a scalable manner." [David Ernst, CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor of
Information Technology Services at CSU]
"...*PART* of a multi-prong strategy..."(!!!) Having worked with this tool
in the past (and in the interest of disclosure I have a former business
relationship with Hisoftware) I can assert that the tool can be a powerful
tool for tracking and monitoring existing and new content. It is not a
magic bullet, nor a panacea that will instantly fix all problems, but it
*is* a great QA tracking tool that can aid in identifying accessibility and
compliance issues. The tool combines both an automated checker as well as
an "interview wizard" which walks content authors through the various
accessibility checkpoints (Section 508 or WCAG) and allows them to
check/test for compliancy. The enterprise edition can run scheduled tests
on multiple and disparate web sites, and forward reports to a central
location (if desired) - allowing for example web accessibility specialists
to identify areas of concern, and perhaps even seek out the "offending"
author and educate them on why they have a problem and teach them how to fix
I cannot for the life of me see how adding this QA tool to the suite of
accessibility development assets available to CSU webmasters is a "backward
step". Let's be fair here...
Academic Technology Consultant
Stanford Online Accessibility Program
560 Escondido Mall
Meyer Library 181
Stanford, CA 94305-3093
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