Information Technology Accessibility Standards (Word document)
Published July 1, 2005 Effective when rules are approved (Revised, February 2006)
Version 1.0 Issued by the Office of State Finance
Table of Contents
3.1 General Overview
3.3 Application of the Standards
3.4 Exceptions to the Standards
3.5 Equivalent Facilitation
3.6 Complaint Process
4.1 Technical Overview
4.2 Software Applications and Operating Systems
4.3 Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications
4-4 Telecommunications Products
4.5 Video or Multimedia Products
4.6 Desktop and Portable Computers
4.7 Information, Documentation and Support
4.8 Self-Contained, Closed Products
Appendix A – Revisions
The contents of this document include the Information Technology Accessibility standards to comply with the law passed by the Oklahoma Legislature and signed by the Governor of Oklahoma in 2004. The standards apply to all state agencies, as defined. As such, they apply equally to all state employees, contractors or any entity that deals with the State of Oklahoma.
The Office of State Finance will communicate the standards to all state agencies. In turn, all agencies are required to review the Policy and make all staff members aware of their responsibility.
It is recognized that some agencies have their own proprietary systems that may not conform to the standards indicated in this document or it would cause the agency an undue burden to comply. Any exceptions or undue burden are to be documented and be available on request.
These standards are intended to advise agencies on the procedures necessary to ensure compliance with Oklahoma law requiring electronic and information technology accessibility and the related information technology accessibility standards. The purpose of the law indicates that state agencies, when developing, procuring, maintaining or using information technology, or when administering contracts or grants that include the procurement, development, upgrading or replacement of information technology, shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency, that the information technology allows employees, program participants and members of the general public with disabilities access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by individuals without disabilities.
Each state agency shall work diligently to assure compliance with the provisions of
the Oklahoma law regarding electronic and information technology accessibility through statewide implementation of information technology accessibility standards issued by the Information Services Division of the Office of State Finance.
The law covers all state agencies. “State agency” is defined in the law as any office, officer, bureau, board, counsel, court, commission, institution, unit, division, body or house of the executive or judicial branches of the state government, whether elected or appointed, excluding political subdivisions of the state. State agency shall include the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the institutions, centers or other constituent agencies of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education and Technology Center school districts.
The State of Oklahoma’s Information Technology (IT) Accessibility Standards provide direction for complying with Oklahoma law regarding electronic and information technology accessibility. The law requires state agencies to make information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities and was adopted to:
Oklahoma law for electronic and information technology accessibility and the related development of information technology accessibility standards applies to all State departments and agencies as defined by law and requires that members of the public and state employees with disabilities have access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. These standards apply to all information technologies subject to the conditions as specified in the General Exception section of this document and its attachments.
The State of Oklahoma IT Accessibility Standards are based on the standards developed to implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and partially on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessibility Guidelines. For further information on Section 508 Standards and W3C guidelines go to:
NOTE: Exact Section 508 terminology is frequently used to minimize potential confusion resulting from different wording between these standards and Section 508. However, the wording and content of Section 508 have not been adopted in all situations. Modifications to Section 508 wording have been made to clarify or adapt the standards consistent with Oklahoma resources and needs. State departments and agencies should use these state standards to comply with the Oklahoma law requiring IT accessibility.
These standards cover technology procured or developed by state departments or agencies and apply only to those products directly relevant to the contract and its deliverables. Products covered by the standards shall comply with all applicable standards, e.g. software products will comply with the software standards, unless an undue burden would be imposed. Standards provide direction for documentation of undue burden.
An exception clarifies that the standards do not apply to technology that is incidental to a state contract. Thus, those products that are not specified as part of a contract with a state agency would not need to comply with the standards. For example, a firm that produces a report for a state agency under a contract would not have to procure accessible computers and word processing software even if they were used exclusively for the contract; however, compliance would be required if such products were to become the property of the state agency as contract deliverables or if the state agency purchased the products to be used by the contractor as part of the project. If a state agency contracts with a firm to develop its Web site, the standards would apply to the new Web site for the agency but not to the firm's own Web site.
These standards also cover technology procured by grantees or contractors who receive dollars from a state department or agency administering a grant or contract program when the program includes the allotment of funding for the procurement, development or upgrading of information technology. As with the previous example, if the grantee’s purchase or development of information technology is incidental to the grant program purpose, these standards do not apply. However, if the purchase or development is an integral part of the grant program the standards do apply.
The following definitions apply to these standards:
The following defines the application of the standards:
(a) Information technology products covered by these standards shall comply with all applicable provisions. When developing, procuring, maintaining or using information technology products (either directly or through administration of contracts or grants), each state department or agency shall ensure that the products comply with these standards, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
(1) Information technology products are those as defined by Oklahoma’s legislation regarding accessible electronic and information technology.
(2) State departments or agencies are those as defined by Oklahoma’s legislation regarding accessible electronic and information technology.
(3) Undue burden is as defined by Oklahoma’s legislation regarding accessible electronic and information technology.
(i) When procuring a product, if an agency determines that compliance with any provision of these standards imposes an undue burden, the documentation by the agency supporting the procurement shall explain why, and to what extent, compliance with each such provision creates an undue burden. This documentation must be maintained with the requisition.
(ii) When compliance with these standards imposes an undue burden, agencies shall provide individuals with disabilities the information and data involved by an alternative means of access that allows the individual to use the information and data in accordance with other applicable State and Federal laws such as Title I and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(b) When procuring a product, the accessibility determination will be conducted as part of the objective evaluation and will be subservient to the general, technical and functional requirements of the procurement specifications. At a minimum, it will be done through review of vendor provided information submitted in the form of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or comparable document with judgments made regarding degree of conformance to the access standards. The relative accessibility weighing may be adjusted for due cause based on the specific procurement.
(c) When developing software applications, web pages or other information technology systems, each covered entity shall require conformance with the applicable technical access standards unless an undue burden would be imposed.
(d) Except as described under “Exceptions to the Standards” provided below, these standards apply to information technology developed, procured, maintained or used by state departments or agencies directly; or used by a contractor under a contract with a state department or agency which requires the use of such product, or requires the use, to a significant extent, of such product in the performance of a service or the furnishing of a product; or when state departments or agencies administer contracts or grant programs that include a significant allotment of funding for the procurement, development or upgrading of information technology.
(e) These standards apply to all information technology purchased after the effective date of these standards, providing the solicitation process was not initiated prior to the effective date.
(f) These standards apply to all information technology developed and/or substantially modified or substantially enhanced after the effective date of these standards, providing the procurement and/or development process was not initiated prior to the effective date.
The following defines the exception to the standards:
(a) These standards do not apply to any information technology operated by state departments or agencies, the function, operation or use of which involves intelligence activities, crypto logic activities related to public safety, command and control of law enforcement, equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system or systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of public safety or intelligence missions. Systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of public safety or intelligence missions do not include a system that is to be used for routine administrative and business applications (including payroll, finance, logistics and personnel management applications).
(b) These standards do not apply to information technology that is acquired by a contractor or grantee incidental to a contract or grant, provided the technology does not become State property upon the completion of the contract.
(c) Except as required to comply with these standards, state departments and agencies are not required to install specific accessibility-related software or attach an assistive technology device to information technology products unless required by other applicable State or Federal laws.
NOTE: In general, compliance with these standards provides built-in access features in products or provides compatibility with add-on assistive technology devices. Compliance with these standards does not necessarily ensure access needed by individual people with disabilities as an additional assistive device may be required, a substitute product may be required or another type of accommodation may be needed to meet their individual needs. Provision of assistive technology, substitute products with specific access features and other types of accommodation should be done in accordance with the requirements of applicable State and Federal laws, e.g. the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(d) When state departments or agencies provide public access to information or data through information technology, agencies are not required to make products owned by the agency available for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than where the information technology is provided to the public, or to purchase products for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than that where the information technology is provided to the public.
(e) These standards shall not be construed to require a fundamental alteration in the nature of a product or its components.
(f) Products located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair or occasional monitoring of equipment are not required to comply with these standards.
Nothing in these standards is intended to prevent the use of designs or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed in these standards provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater access to and use of a product for people with disabilities.
Agencies may accept IT offered by vendors, which uses designs or technologies that do not meet the applicable technical provisions, but provide substantially equivalent or greater access to and use of a product for people with disabilities. This is referred to as "equivalent facilitation."
Equivalent facilitation is not an exception or variance from the requirement to provide comparable access. Rather, it is recognition that technologies may be developed or used in ways not envisioned by the technical provisions of this document but still result in the same or better functional access. Functional outcome – not form – is the key to evaluating whether a technology results in "substantially equivalent or greater access."
Agencies shall designate an accessibility compliance representative(s) responsible for ensuring compliance to Oklahoma law for electronic and information technology accessibility and the related information technology accessibility standards.
Effective one year after the effective date of the Oklahoma information technology access standards, any individual may file a complaint alleging that a state department or agency fails to comply with Oklahoma law for electronic and information technology accessibility and the related information technology accessibility standards.
The procedure to be followed by any individual who alleges given information technology owned or managed by the State or its authorized agent does not comply with Oklahoma law for electronic and information technology accessibility and the related information technology accessibility standards are defined in OAC 260:15 (Oklahoma Administrative Code).
The purpose of technical standards is to implement Oklahoma legislation regarding accessible electronic and information technology. The statute requires that when state agencies develop, procure, maintain, use or administer contracts or grants that include the procurement, development or upgrading of information technology, state employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data comparable to the access and use by state employees who do not have disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The legislation also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a state agency, have access to and use of information and data comparable to that provided to the public who do not have disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
These standards identify criteria specific to various types of technologies, including:
At this time, standards have not been established for self-contained - closed products due to the lack of specifications and availability of products related to this category.
The standards in this section provide for improved access and usability for people with vision, motor and/or cognitive disabilities. For example, one provision requires alternative keyboard navigation, which is essential for people who are blind or have low vision or for people with motor or dexterity disabilities who cannot rely on pointing devices, such as a mouse. Other provisions address animated displays, color and contrast settings, flash rate which can affect epileptic seizures and electronic forms, among others.
The standards follow:
The standards are based on the Federal Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards developed by the Access Board as well as the access guidelines, version 1.0, developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. These provisions ensure access for people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive disabilities who rely on various assistive products to access computer-based information, such as screen readers. Screen readers translate the computer screen display into automated audible output and refreshable Braille displays. Certain conventions, such as verbal tags or identification of graphics and format devices, such as frames, are necessary so that these devices can "read" them for the user in a sensible way. The standards do not prohibit the use of Web site graphics or animation. Instead, the standards help ensure that such information is also available in an accessible format. Generally, this means use of text labels or descriptors for graphics and certain format elements. (HTML code already provides an "Alt Text" tag for graphics, which can serve as a verbal descriptor for graphics.) This section also addresses the usability of multimedia presentations, image maps, style sheets, scripting languages, applets and plug-ins, and electronic forms.
The standards apply to state Web sites but not to private sector Web sites (unless a site is provided under contract to a state agency, in which case only that Web site or portion covered by the contract would have to comply).
The following definitions apply to these standards.
The standards follow:
The standards of this section are designed to ensure access to telecommunications products for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, individuals with speech disabilities and individuals with low vision or motor disabilities. The standards are designed to ensure access to telecommunications products for individuals who may use assistive technology such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices and teletypewriters (TTYs). TTYs are devices that enable people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing the ability to communicate over the telephone; they typically include an acoustic coupler for the telephone handset, a simplified keyboard and a visible message display. One requirement calls for a standard non-acoustic TTY connection point for telecommunication products that allow voice communication but also provide TTY functionality. Other specifications address adjustable volume controls for output, product interface with hearing technologies and the usability of keys and controls by people who may have low vision or limited dexterity or motor control.
The standards follow:
Multimedia products involve more than one media and include, but are not limited to, video programs, narrated slide production and computer-generated presentations. Standards address caption decoder circuitry (for any system with a screen larger than 13 inches) and secondary audio channels for television tuners, including tuner cards for use in computers. The standards also require captioning and video description for certain training and informational multimedia productions developed or procured by state agencies in accordance with a time schedule. The standards also provide that viewers are able to turn captioning or video description features on or off.
The standards follow:
This section focuses on keyboards and other mechanically operated controls, touch screens, use of biometric forms of identification, and ports and connectors.
The standards follow:
These standards address access to all information, documentation and support provided to end users (e.g., state employees) for covered technologies. This includes user guides, installation guides for end-user installable devices, customer support and technical support communications. Such information must be available in alternate formats upon request at no additional charge. Alternate formats or methods of communication, can include Braille, cassette recordings, large print, electronic text, Internet postings, TTY access and captioning and audio description for video materials.
The standards follow:
Oklahoma will not adopt standards in this category at this time.
Revision Date Change
February, 2006 Section 3.3 (b) – deleted “commercial, off the shelf” from the first sentence. Sentence reads “When procuring a product, the accessibility determination will be conducted as part of the objective evaluation and will be subservient to the general, technical and functional requirements of the procurement specifications.”