Section 508 and 504, Accessible ICT
New Editions provides unparalleled services in helping our clients implement Section 508 requirements, as well as conform to Section 508 standards and Success Criteria of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 AAA). We provide advisory support to some of the Federal government’s largest civilian agencies, including support to develop policies and procedures to guide agency-wide implementation of Section 508 requirements. We also provide ongoing support to agencies to evaluate accessibility and help remediate conformance for websites, applications, electronic documents and other forms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
At New Editions, we believe that designing and building accessible ICT should be a normal course of action rather than an afterthought. We help our clients integrate accessibility into their operations to help them provide the richest environment possible for all users of their ICT products in addition to simply meeting government conformance standards.
Program Management & Maturity Improvement
While we believe that designing and building accessible ICT should be a normal course of action for organizations, we also understand that it isn’t necessarily second nature. For organizations of all sizes, providing accessible ICT products requires awareness and understanding from all members of the organization, leadership support to give priority to accessibility and specific knowledge and skills among those in the ICT development and/or procurement pipeline. To consistently provide accessible ICT products requires mature and effective program management.
We help our clients evaluate the overall maturity and effectiveness of their ICT accessibility and/or Section 508 programs against a program maturity model and leading practices in the ICT accessibility community. We also help our clients define goals, objectives and specific initiatives to improve maturity over time. With continuous performance measurement, we help our clients improve program management and the overall accessibility of their ICT products over time. Improvement initiatives could include:
- Improved policies and procedures to provide sufficient guidance and governance
- Definition of standardized ICT accessibility assessment procedures and guidelines
- Development and delivery of tailored training for targeted audiences
- Risk analysis, mitigation and ICT accessibility remediation planning
Application & Web Assessment
New Editions helped the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) define a standardized Section 508 assessment process for applications and web content. We also provide support to conduct and manage training and certification against the standard test process. The process, also known as the “Trusted Tester” process, has gained acknowledgement within the Section 508 community as a leading practice for Section 508 testing. We follow the same process (with some minor additions to more fully address the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria) to assess applications and web content. Our Section 508 testers are “Certified Trusted Testers” with DHS and have other extensive experience assessing ICT for conformance to Section 508 and WCAG 2.0. We create custom test processes and test scripts for clients, extending beyond WCAG 2.0 AA. For example, we developed a proven test script for Web and Software WCAG 2.1 AAA and use this for many of our private sector clients.
Electronic Document Assessment & Remediation
New Editions provides ongoing support to our clients to assess, remediate and create accessible electronic documents. Our document assessment process incorporates the leading practices identified by the Accessible Electronic Document Community of Practice to evaluate accessibility. Our staff have extensive experience assessing electronic documents. We also apply our understanding of Section 508 standards and WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria within the mechanics of Microsoft Office and other authoring tools to produce documents that are accessible to all users regardless of ability.
Training & Awareness
Training and awareness for Section 508 and ICT accessibility is part of an overall communications plan or approach. Making ICT accessible for all users might not come naturally for everyone. Gaining an understanding of ICT accessibility and its importance is just the first step. New Editions helps our clients identify Section 508 stakeholders within an organization and then assess their training needs and communication preferences in order to give them the knowledge and skills they need to provide accessible ICT products. After identifying stakeholder training and communication needs, we help our clients develop and deliver training and messaging targeted to specific audiences. Training could include:
- Basic awareness and understanding for all members of an organization
- Orientation and guidance related to specific organizational governance of ICT accessibility requirements for IT and procurement professionals
- Detailed guidance on developing accessible electronic documents
- Detailed training in application and web content assessment methods
Automated Testing Tools
New Editions provides consulting and subject matter expertise identifying and selecting the best tool(s) and most beneficial solution(s) to meet client specific accessibility needs. This includes automated tools, from web browser plug-ins to standalone testing tools. Our familiarity with the Federal Government landscape ensures that we take into account both practical need and security requirements. We work with clients to integrate testing into all facets of the lifecycle from conception, to development and maintenance (this includes manual testing where appropriate as automated testing cannot test all Success Criteria). Additionally, we work with vendors to customize automated testing scripts to align with client requirements and processes, such as Section 508 and the Trusted Tester test process, and vetting test cases to ensure the automated tool produces results that align with client approved testing methodologies. Most automated testing tools out of the box do not align directly with Trusted Tester and produce results that may differ compared to manual testing. Our expertise includes integrating accessibility testing tools into various development methodologies (Agile, DevOps, Waterfall, etc.) to maximize team success and takes into account delivery mechanisms such as the practices of continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD).
Developing accessibly from the beginning (shifting left) is a best practice that saves time and money. New Editions consultants provide expertise to design and development teams, starting from project kickoff. Our consultants are well versed in mockups/wireframe reviews, color palette selection, Universal Design principles and plain language, ensuring that accessibility is thought of and built-in from conception. At each stage of the development lifecycle, our consultants can provide expertise in accessibility testing and integration of accessibility principles, ensuring there are no accessibility surprises upon project completion.
New Editions provides open and closed caption, transcript, and audio description services to ensure all users have access to information provided in multimedia format. Whether the product is eLearning, a Webinar, or video, our experts provide high quality accessible solutions in a variety of formats to fit each client’s needs.
Section 508 Acquisitions Services
New Editions provides support to ensure accessibility requirements are inserted as early as possible into every ICT project and procurement. Building accessibility into acquisitions facilitates workforce productivity, improves customer experience, prevents the risk of litigation costs and expensive retrofitting ICT solutions. We assist clients with market research, reviewing VPAT/ACRs and creating VPAT/ACRs for vendors as well as training and other acquisition related services.
Expertise in this Area
Policy & Program Support
New Editions understands what it takes to support development, testing and governance policies and processes in a mature accessibility program. We have helped a number of organizations grow their accessibility programs from infancy, and we have experience developing and implementing effective accessibility-related policies that work.
Auditing & Remediation Services
New Editions provides ongoing support to multiple organizations for accessibility auditing. Because we helped develop the accessibility test process most widely adopted among government agencies, we understand what it takes to make applications accessible, and we have demonstrated success in building and remediating accessible applications.
Our training expertise encompasses accessible web and software design, document creation and accessibility testing. We train individuals from government and from industry, and we tailor training delivery to those with little technical expertise as well as advanced development backgrounds.
Accessible Document Services
New Editions proudly contributed to the Accessible Electronic Documents Community of Practice guidance and test processes for accessible documents. We continue to provide ongoing support to multiple organizations to help them create accessible documents and remediate documents to improve accessibility.
Help Desk/Technical Assistance
Our staff use their expertise in accessible software design, accessibility testing and accessible document authoring to provide TA to our clients. We also have extensive experience managing help desk services, including development of an accessibility-centered help desk web application for managing and monitoring a wide range of accessibility-related services.
Reasonable Accommodations/Assistive Technology
Our staff have significant experience working with individuals at various government organizations to assess accommodation needs and identify solutions to meet their needs.