[Athen] Product evaluation database

Ron Stewart ronrstewart at gmail.com
Thu Mar 26 09:11:05 PDT 2015

I so agree, I don't want it locked away either. The issue with keeping it
closed has to do with the legal liability associated with such a product.
If Apple saw a public disclosure of how poor the accessibility was on their
platform, with third party apps, they would sue in a heartbeat. That is why
I have promoted for years transparent evaluation and when I was the Athen
prez I would not allow the organization to do any work that was under NDA.
Unfortunately almost all of the work currently is being done under NDA.


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2015 9:46 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Product evaluation database

I agree. It would be really great to have this available to all of us. We
get the same questions over and over about products, and if there were a
database to access, those questions would certainly lessen.

Two concerns:

1. Who is going to make the database and keep it maintained? Should
this be a paid position, or at least something of a stipend given for
keeping it going?

2. I am actually uncomfortable with keeping this locked away - yes, I
understand liability, but we are asking basic questions here about
accessibility of software/apps/programs/websites, and that information
should be available to anyone looking for it. I am making the assumption
that people would be looking at the information as part of their planning
and investigation of a product that is being recommended for use by
administration, etc., so any and all information is going to be useful as
part of that investigation. I think keeping us liability-free is more a
matter of writing effective content that is not filled with opinion, but
instead informative and descriptive. VPATs could be included as part of the
entry on a product, but should not be the only content.

Susan Kelmer

Alternate Format Access Coordinator

Disability Services

University of Colorado Boulder


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Ron Stewart
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2015 8:39 AM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'; aheadmembers at listserve.com
Subject: [Athen] Product evaluation database

Good morning all,

Once again an extreme need has surfaced and that is a need for a database of
educational product accessibility evaluations that are readily available.
This does not need to be a totally open resource, due to liability issues a
subscription or closed membership system would be find.

I am not talking about VPATS, in most instances they have shown to be not
worth the time it took to write them. What I am looking for are real
evaluations, that also include what was used for the evaluation. We have
talked about this a lot but nothing ever seems to come of it. Any insights
would be greatly appreciated.

Ron Stewart

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