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VPAT

McGuire, Jill
Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?

Thanks,

Jill McGuire

USOPM/HRS/LTMS/HRMS/TOOLSTECH/QA - Macon, GA | 478.744.2374 | [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>

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Re: VPAT

Christine Moellenberndt
Answered off-list.

-Christine

---------
Christine Moellenberndt
Community Associate
Wikimedia Foundation

[hidden email]


On 2/16/11 9:16 AM, McGuire, Jill wrote:

> Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jill McGuire
>
> USOPM/HRS/LTMS/HRMS/TOOLSTECH/QA - Macon, GA | 478.744.2374 | [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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Re: VPAT

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by McGuire, Jill
Hoi,
What IS a VPAT for 508 in the first place ?
Thanks,
      Gerard

On 16 February 2011 18:16, McGuire, Jill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jill McGuire
>
> USOPM/HRS/LTMS/HRMS/TOOLSTECH/QA - Macon, GA | 478.744.2374 |
> [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: VPAT

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
A Voluntary Product Accessibility
Template<http://www.itic.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=vpat&category=resources>,
or VPAT, is a standardized form developed by the Information Technology
Industry Council to show how a software product meets key regulations of
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

On 16 February 2011 19:40, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hoi,
> What IS a VPAT for 508 in the first place ?
> Thanks,
>       Gerard
>
> On 16 February 2011 18:16, McGuire, Jill <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Jill McGuire
> >
> > USOPM/HRS/LTMS/HRMS/TOOLSTECH/QA - Macon, GA | 478.744.2374 |
> > [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
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Re: VPAT

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hoi,
> What IS a VPAT for 508 in the first place ?
> Thanks,
>      Gerard

See: http://www.section508.gov/

Refers to a plan for compliance with a regulation designed to force
federally funded software products/services to be accessible for
people with disabilities.

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Re: VPAT

Huib Laurens
Section 508, an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act
of 1973, is a federal law mandating that all electronic and information
technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal
government be accessible to people with disabilities. Technology is deemed
to be "accessible" if it can be used as effectively by people with
disabilities as by those without. To demonstate that a product or Web
service is in compliance with Section 508, the creator completes a Voluntary
Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), an "informational tool" that
describes exactly how the product or service does or does not meet Section
508 standards. The completed VPAT gets posted on the creator's Web site to
provide government officials and consumers with access to the information.

The scope of Section 508 is limited to the federal sector. It includes
binding, enforceable standards, as well as compliance reporting requirements
and a complaint procedure. Section 508 doesn't apply to the private sector,
nor does it impose requirements on the recipients of federal funding.
Because the federal government has so much purchasing power, however, it is
hoped that Section 508 will encourage the developement of products and
Web-based services that meet accessibility standards. To that end, the
United Stated Department of Education now requires states funded by the
Assistive Technology Act State Grant program (a grant program that supports
consumer-driven state projects to improve access to assistive
technology<http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci914775,00.html>devices
and services) to comply with Section 508.
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Re: VPAT

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Hoi,
Given that Unites States government agencies do use MediaWiki, it is quite a
relevant question. Given that we provide such an important service on a
worldwide scale, I would be interested in learning the answer to the
question. Is that possible ?

In the final analysis we can only achieve our aims well when we achieve
highly in this respect.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 16 February 2011 19:43, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > What IS a VPAT for 508 in the first place ?
> > Thanks,
> >      Gerard
>
> See: http://www.section508.gov/
>
> Refers to a plan for compliance with a regulation designed to force
> federally funded software products/services to be accessible for
> people with disabilities.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: VPAT

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Christine Moellenberndt
Christine Moellenberndt wrote:
> On 2/16/11 9:16 AM, McGuire, Jill wrote:
>> Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?
>>
> Answered off-list.

What was the answer?

MZMcBride



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Re: VPAT

David Gerard-2
On 16 February 2011 19:41, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Christine Moellenberndt wrote:
>> On 2/16/11 9:16 AM, McGuire, Jill wrote:

>>> Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?

>> Answered off-list.

> What was the answer?


Or, as probably everyone is wondering by now: what makes this an
off-list matter?


- d.

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Re: VPAT

Christine Moellenberndt
The answer is, to the best of our knowledge, no. But we'd like to
improve that.

i took it off-list as it seemed to be a question that was more
Media-Wiki centered, and not as much Foundation centered.


-Christine

---------
Christine Moellenberndt
Community Associate
Wikimedia Foundation

[hidden email]


On 2/16/11 11:49 AM, David Gerard wrote:

> On 16 February 2011 19:41, MZMcBride<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> Christine Moellenberndt wrote:
>>> On 2/16/11 9:16 AM, McGuire, Jill wrote:
>>>> Does Wikimedia have a VPAT for 508 compliance?
>>> Answered off-list.
>> What was the answer?
>
> Or, as probably everyone is wondering by now: what makes this an
> off-list matter?
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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Re: VPAT

Pedro Sanchez-2
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM, Christine Moellenberndt
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> The answer is, to the best of our knowledge, no. But we'd like to
> improve that.
>
> i took it off-list as it seemed to be a question that was more
> Media-Wiki centered, and not as much Foundation centered.
>
>
> -Christine
>
> ---------
> Christine Moellenberndt
> Community Associate
> Wikimedia Foundation
>

Hmm..  strikes me odd and worries me than Community Associate doesn't
seem to differentiate between software "Media-Wiki" (sic), and
Foundation/Community issues (Wikimedia).

Opening post was about if Wikimedia (as organization) complies with
regulations I don't see what software has to do with it.

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Re: VPAT

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Eh? When Wikipedia is to comply with this, technically it will be in
MediaWiki where such compliance is realised. Also MediaWiki is a Wikimedia
Foundation project in its own right.

Many people who read this list, including me, find this a subject that is
absolutely on topic. Even stronger, I would like us to test our compliance
because it will tell us what we can do to do better. When we say that we
want to bring information to all people, we do not mean impaired people are
excluded.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 16 February 2011 23:44, Pedro Sanchez <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM, Christine Moellenberndt
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The answer is, to the best of our knowledge, no. But we'd like to
> > improve that.
> >
> > i took it off-list as it seemed to be a question that was more
> > Media-Wiki centered, and not as much Foundation centered.
> >
> >
> > -Christine
> >
> > ---------
> > Christine Moellenberndt
> > Community Associate
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >
>
> Hmm..  strikes me odd and worries me than Community Associate doesn't
> seem to differentiate between software "Media-Wiki" (sic), and
> Foundation/Community issues (Wikimedia).
>
> Opening post was about if Wikimedia (as organization) complies with
> regulations I don't see what software has to do with it.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: VPAT

Casey Brown-5
In reply to this post by Pedro Sanchez-2
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Pedro Sanchez <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hmm..  strikes me odd and worries me than Community Associate doesn't
> seem to differentiate between software "Media-Wiki" (sic), and
> Foundation/Community issues (Wikimedia).
>
> Opening post was about if Wikimedia (as organization) complies with
> regulations I don't see what software has to do with it.

There's no need to be mean.  I would think that Christine just assumed
that he was talking about our product was "MediaWiki", not the content
projects.  MediaWiki is a piece of software, so it's more likely to be
thought of as a "product" than the projects are.

That being said, I do agree with the fact that we should err on the
side of responding *on-list* unless there's a very good reason not to.
 If someone asks a question on the list, it's best to respond on the
list so that everyone can see the answer -- sharing wisdom and making
sure everyone learns things is good. :-)

Christine probably didn't think the whole list would be interested in
it and decided to respond off-list, which is fine... but based on the
responses that she received, I'm sure she'll be scared to do that
again. =P

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

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Re: VPAT

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Pedro Sanchez-2
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Pedro Sanchez <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM, Christine Moellenberndt
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> The answer is, to the best of our knowledge, no. But we'd like to
>> improve that.
>>
>> i took it off-list as it seemed to be a question that was more
>> Media-Wiki centered, and not as much Foundation centered.
>>
>>
>> -Christine
>>
>> ---------
>> Christine Moellenberndt
>> Community Associate
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>
> Hmm..  strikes me odd and worries me than Community Associate doesn't
> seem to differentiate between software "Media-Wiki" (sic), and
> Foundation/Community issues (Wikimedia).
>
> Opening post was about if Wikimedia (as organization) complies with
> regulations I don't see what software has to do with it.
>

At some point WMF employees might just stop posting here altogether,
to escape the unfounded criticism. The post asks if there is a VPAT,
which pertains to the software (it is, seemingly, product specific),
not the organization itself. It's therefore not a "community issue" --
accessibility itself might be, but that wasn't the question asked
(that might take the form "How does the MediaWiki software accommodate
people with disabilities, and what is the opinion of the WMF on making
such accommodations?""). The VPAT, from my reading, is a way to help
software vendors who want to sell or provide services to the federal
government demonstrate compliance with this particular regulation
(which applies to federal agencies, not vendors themselves).

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Re: VPAT

Risker
In reply to this post by Casey Brown-5
While I sympathize that people think this issue should be discussed here, it
is a direct question to the Wikimedia Foundation from a government official,
and it needs to be responded to by the WMF. While the post wound up here
(and for that, I will look directly at the WMF for not having a really
obvious email address for this type of correspondence), it is clear that it
was not intended for discussion by a mailing list full of people who have no
knowledge of the answer and are not in a position to provide an
authoritative response.

Perhaps someone might want to start a thread, separate to this and with the
appropriate subject line, about accessibility generally speaking, but this
isn't that thread.

Risker/Anne
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Re: VPAT

Pedro Sanchez-2
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> While I sympathize that people think this issue should be discussed here, it
> is a direct question to the Wikimedia Foundation from a government official,
> and it needs to be responded to by the WMF. While the post wound up here
> (and for that, I will look directly at the WMF for not having a really
> obvious email address for this type of correspondence), it is clear that it
> was not intended for discussion by a mailing list full of people who have no
> knowledge of the answer and are not in a position to provide an
> authoritative response.
>
> Perhaps someone might want to start a thread, separate to this and with the
> appropriate subject line, about accessibility generally speaking, but this
> isn't that thread.
>
> Risker/Anne
> _______________________________________________
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>

I apologize then

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Re: VPAT

FT2
VPAT is a statement by the authors of software, showing how accessibility
needs are taken account of in the software. Buyers and users of the software
may wish to (or have a duty to) take that into account in their decision
whether they will use the software.

WMF might be asked for Mediawiki's VPAT statement, as the developer of the
Mediawiki software, by anyone who wants to use Mediawiki and wants to (or
needs to) take into account its accessibility standing, either for policy
reasons or because they are under some kind of obligation (eg legal
requirement) to do so.

The existence of a VPAT might be of general interest (eg on mediawiki-l),
but a request or discussion by a specific potential Mediawiki user making an
inquiry isn't really a list matter. It's more an administrative inquiry.

As an example, here's Mozilla's VPAT for the Firefox browser:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/vpat-3.html
and
http://www.mozilla.org/access/section508

FT2
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Re: Criticism of employees (was VPAT)

Dan Rosenthal
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich

On Feb 16, 2011, at 5:52 PM, Nathan wrote:

> At some point WMF employees might just stop posting here altogether,
> to escape the unfounded criticism.

This +1.  I can think of what, three or four instances in the past couple of weeks, in which WMF employees were excessively criticized for their actions on this list -- in some cases not even their own actions.  Obviously, we should be transparent and accountable, and this list is a great tool towards that end. But that doesn't mean that WMF employee's actions should be assumed to default to "wrong" until proven otherwise. Otherwise, the limited number of employees that actually do subscribe to this list, simply won't anymore.

-Dan



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Re: Criticism of employees (was VPAT)

MZMcBride-2
Dan Rosenthal wrote:

> On Feb 16, 2011, at 5:52 PM, Nathan wrote:
>> At some point WMF employees might just stop posting here altogether,
>> to escape the unfounded criticism.
>
> This +1.  I can think of what, three or four instances in the past couple of
> weeks, in which WMF employees were excessively criticized for their actions on
> this list -- in some cases not even their own actions.  Obviously, we should
> be transparent and accountable, and this list is a great tool towards that
> end. But that doesn't mean that WMF employee's actions should be assumed to
> default to "wrong" until proven otherwise. Otherwise, the limited number of
> employees that actually do subscribe to this list, simply won't anymore.

Most Wikimedia employees don't post or subscribe to this list already,
though I don't think it has very much to do with criticism. Wikimedia
employees are required to be subscribed to staff-l, but they're not required
to be subscribed to this list (or any other Wikimedia mailing lists, in
general). Mailing lists are a goofy and foreign concept to most people, so
Wikimedia employees take the time to do what's required of them, but nothing
more. That's to be expected. Personally, I think it's rather strange that
people working for an organization don't pay more attention to this list and
the Wikimedia Foundation wiki, but that's their choice to make.

A few Wikimedia employees are part of the "Community Department," and there
should be a higher level of expectation with them (Christine is among them,
though she's working as a contractor until the end of February). From what I
can tell, she has a pretty tough skin, but that doesn't mean that overly
harsh criticism is necessary or warranted. It does mean that she has a
responsibility to be as open as possible. (And this kind of sidesteps the
issue of her in particular discussing MediaWiki....)

It's not about assuming that Wikimedia's positions are "wrong," that's a bad
and unfair characterization. But Wikimedia has a tendency, as an
organization, to not be as transparent as it sometimes likes to think it is.
Looking at the long view, more and more decisions _are_ being made privately
among Wikimedia staff rather than with community consultation (or even
notification). That's the reality, but to blame this shift (and the
resulting skepticism from the community) on foundation-l is a red herring.

MZMcBride



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Re: Criticism of employees (was VPAT)

Dan Rosenthal

On Feb 17, 2011, at 12:00 AM, MZMcBride wrote:

> Dan Rosenthal wrote:
>> On Feb 16, 2011, at 5:52 PM, Nathan wrote:
>>> At some point WMF employees might just stop posting here altogether,
>>> to escape the unfounded criticism.
>>
>> This +1.  I can think of what, three or four instances in the past couple of
>> weeks, in which WMF employees were excessively criticized for their actions on
>> this list -- in some cases not even their own actions.  Obviously, we should
>> be transparent and accountable, and this list is a great tool towards that
>> end. But that doesn't mean that WMF employee's actions should be assumed to
>> default to "wrong" until proven otherwise. Otherwise, the limited number of
>> employees that actually do subscribe to this list, simply won't anymore.
>
> Most Wikimedia employees don't post or subscribe to this list already,
> though I don't think it has very much to do with criticism. Wikimedia
> employees are required to be subscribed to staff-l, but they're not required
> to be subscribed to this list (or any other Wikimedia mailing lists, in
> general). Mailing lists are a goofy and foreign concept to most people, so
> Wikimedia employees take the time to do what's required of them, but nothing
> more. That's to be expected. Personally, I think it's rather strange that
> people working for an organization don't pay more attention to this list and
> the Wikimedia Foundation wiki, but that's their choice to make.
>
> A few Wikimedia employees are part of the "Community Department," and there
> should be a higher level of expectation with them (Christine is among them,
> though she's working as a contractor until the end of February). From what I
> can tell, she has a pretty tough skin, but that doesn't mean that overly
> harsh criticism is necessary or warranted. It does mean that she has a
> responsibility to be as open as possible. (And this kind of sidesteps the
> issue of her in particular discussing MediaWiki....)
>
> It's not about assuming that Wikimedia's positions are "wrong," that's a bad
> and unfair characterization. But Wikimedia has a tendency, as an
> organization, to not be as transparent as it sometimes likes to think it is.
> Looking at the long view, more and more decisions _are_ being made privately
> among Wikimedia staff rather than with community consultation (or even
> notification). That's the reality, but to blame this shift (and the
> resulting skepticism from the community) on foundation-l is a red herring.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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I'm not referring to a single incident. I'm referring to a broader trend; there have been recent incidents on other mailing lists as well, including ones where staff subscriptions are more prevalent than foundation-l (although I'm going to disagree with you and suggest more than just a handful of WMF employees and contractors are subscribed to this list. It's still the "main" public list we have.)

You have a perfectly valid point about transparency, but that's not the issue here. The issue is the unwarranted criticism that is starting to become commonplace. That IS foundation-l (or more specifically, certain posters) fault.

-Dan




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