[atug] oracle presentation, next meeting, encouragement
petri.1 at osu.edu
Tue Nov 14 07:38:40 EST 2006
Dear ATUG Members,
First, a reminder: The next ATUG meeting, in which we will review a
number of web mail and calendaring clients using various AT with our
usability protocol will be Monday, November 20, from 11 AM to 12:30
PM, in 102 Pomerene.
Please confirm directly to me if you will be present for this meeting.
As you know, the on-campus visits from the four finalist vendors for
the new OSU mail and calendaring system are occurring this week. If
you can make it, it would be helpful to have advocates for
accessibility in the audience for the public afternoon sessions:
All events are noon to 1 PM, in Room 135, Mount Hall:
Tuesday, 11/14: Sun Java Messaging
Wednesday, 11/15: Symantec demonstrating Microsoft Exchange
Thursday, 11/16: The Newman group demonstrating Mirapoint
For the morning technical sessions, there are around 50 questions in a
document given to vendors prior to presentations. The agenda gives the
majority of the time for responses to these questions. Virtually the
only usability related questions were those we submitted. Most of the
remaining questions are technical and administrative. The morning
presentation sessions last three hours, from 8:30 to 11:30.
Monday, I attended the EBS Group's presentation of Oracle Collaboration Suite.
The Oracle representative spent the first hour and a half reviewing
functionality the presentation of which should have been much more
polished--some things just didn't work right--and should have taken a
half hour at most. Then Q&A began. Unfortunately, our questions fall
toward the end of the document. Two hours and 45 minutes in, we hadn't
gotten to even the first of the accessibility questions (we have 11
and I had jotted down 5 more during the presentation). The presenter
then announced that the accessibility questions were mostly answered
by a link to a web site. I assumed he was referring to Oracle's
Collaboration Suite public VPAT (voluntary product accessibility
template). I told the presenter that I'd seen that document and that
it did not answer our questions.
The presenter was working off of a copy of the document that was
filled out by folks inside Oracle or the EBS group. It was apparent
from his scrolling through that document that there were some answers
to our questions, but I haven't seen them yet and time ran out. Tom
Shafer will distribute Oracle's answers today and I will summarize
them to this list (being careful not to adversely influence Oracle's
bid). I asked to be connected with a representative inside Oracle who
could answer our questions in more detail and the presenter said that
would be arranged.
There are some other problems with Oracle that I became aware of at
the presentation. The test accounts we were given were only to the
old-style HTML-only webmail interface. At the presentation, we saw
the new, AJAX-driven client and also saw the calendar application. We
will need test accounts for these, as well, and I will ask Tom to
connect me with the appropriate person to arrange these accounts.
Overall, in reviewing these clients, I believe our benchmark should be
that the AJAX client be fully and easily keyboard navigable and that
the HTML and calendar clients be keyboard and screen reader
accessible. (I don't pretend that the full-blown AJAX webmail client
will be screen reader accessible--I have yet to see such a thing,
anywhere, though it should be a long-range goal.) We want to ensure at
a minimum that all of the vanilla HTML interfaces to webmail and
calendar are screen reader accessible (and screen reader user
comprehensible). Though it would be ideal to have the "rich" client be
screen reader accessible, it's unlikely to happen until some advances
in screen readers and accessibility standards occur. At this point in
the evolution of screen readers and standards, most dynamic
functionality (live updating of contact lists, type-ahead lookup,
etc.) would be hard or impossible for a screen reader to decipher.
More dispatches from the front lines tonight or tomorrow!
Your feedback on the clients is appreciated.
Director, OSU Web Accessibility Center
102 Pomerene Hall
1760 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210
mailto:petri.1 at osu.edu
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