ART - Accessibility Requirements Tool (ART) User Manual

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Accessibility Requirements Tool (ART) is a web-based application that will help you determine the Section 508 requirements that apply to acquisitions that include information and communication technology (ICT) products and services. ART provides a comprehensive report detailing the technical criteria that apply to the specific procurement, including functional performance criteria (if applicable) and any exceptions, both at the component and overall procurement level.

Overview

ART is a multifaceted tool that offers interactive, step-by-step guidance on how to determine applicable accessibility requirements. ART delivers an exportable, easy-to-follow list of Section 508 requirements to include as part of your procurement package, so vendors understand the specific technical requirements they need to meet. Features include:

  • Tooltips for each question, detailing the relevant technical criteria and exceptions for the procurement. (See the Tooltips section to learn more.)
  • The ability to save progress mid-review, and continue the review later by accessing the direct link to your existing procurement form. 

ART will first ask about any potential exceptions, and if none apply, it will walk you through the criteria for each item in your procurement, and produce a report of the applicable standards and exceptions that apply to your procurement.

How to Access ART

Accessing the ART home page at section508.gov/art will take you to the following page, from which you can access every feature the ART website has to offer:

ART home page image

Figure 1: ART home page

To start, choose from the four main available options:

  • New Procurement
  • Existing Procurement
  • Sample Procurement
  • ART User Guide

Start a New Procurement

Begin a new review by choosing "New Procurement" from the ART homepage. 

Figure 1: New Procurement button on the ART home page

Figure 2: Choosing "New Procurement" to start using the ART tool

You'll be taken to a new screen asking for some basic information.

Figure 2: ART questionnaire form

Figure 3: The ART questionnaire

Questions include:

  • Project Name: The project name will be displayed at the top of your final report.
  • What is your role? From a predefined drop-down list, choose the option that most closely matches your role in your organization.
  • What is the estimated (total) value of your acquisition? Choose the dollar range that is closest to the estimated value of your procurement.
  • What is your agency? Select your agency name. The list is in alphabetical order, organized by agency and sub-agency. If your agency is not listed, please contact us at art@gsa.gov so we can add your agency name.
  • What (software/hardware/electronic content/ICT Support Documentation and Service) are you procuring? Select the relevant type of ICT you want to procure. You can select one component of each type (e.g., one hardware and one software component). Note, you can only select one component per type, so if your procurement involves multiple components of a certain type (e.g., multiple software components), you will need to complete the form once per component.
  • Math question: This is a required field, known as captcha, that must be correctly entered to proceed. It is a simple, randomized math question used to prevent automated bots from submitting the form en masse.

Questions with asterisks(*) are required; you cannot proceed until these questions have been answered.

To save your partially completed procurement forms at any given point, click on the "Save and Continue Later" button located at the bottom-left corner of the form, as highlighted in the figure below. You will be redirected to a new page with a confirmation that your procurement form was successfully saved.

Figure 4: Save and continue later button

Figure 4: Saving your form to continue later

Retrieving Existing Procurement Form

How to Retrieve a partially completed Procurement Form? If you have saved a partially completed procurement form as a Draft Procurement, you may use one of the following options to retrieve it:

  • Copy the provided URL provide to your preferred note-taking tool (i.e. Notepad, OneNote, Sticky Note etc.). This is a direct link to your existing procurement form. Paste it in any browser to resume your form exactly where you have left off.
  • Enter a valid email address and have the URL sent to you via email. Please allow up to a few minutes for the email to reach its destination. Once received, you can directly access your existing procurement by clicking on the hyperlink in the body of the email.

Figure 5: Existing procurement URL

Figure 5: The direct URL for your existing procurement form

How long will your Procurement Form be available? The system will retain your procurement form for 30 calendar days. On the 31st day, the link will expire, your form will no longer be retrievable, and you will have to fill out a new procurement form.

Where can you get additional information? Please reach out to art@gsa.gov with any further questions you may have on the ART tool and its use.

Sample Procurement Language

There are two ways to access Sample Procurement Language - from the sample procurement icon on the homepage, as well as the "sample Language" option located in the top navigation menu, which appears on each page of the site.

Figure 6: Sample procurement icon on the ART homepage

Figure 6: Sample Procurement icon on the homepage

Figure 7: Sample Language menu option

Figure 7: Sample Language menu option

This section contains ready-to-use language to include in your procurement documentation. For example, if you need to procure printers or cell phones, but are not sure of the correct language to use, the sample procurement language in ART can help you complete the form.

Figure 8: Sample Procurement language page

Figure 8: Sample Procurement language page

Once you make your selection, you will be taken to a screen containing the sample language for that item. For example, if you select "Cloud Computing," you will see the following screen:

Cloud computing sample procurement language screen

Questions and Exceptions

Once you have completed the first page of the form, you will be prompted to answer questions about the item(s) you want to procure. Each product-related question (with the exception of the custom component name fields, and the justification text boxes) is a Yes/No question.

Sample software type product question

Required questions are marked with an asterisk (*). The answers you provide for each question will determine which exceptions or technical criteria apply to your procurement, and which follow-up questions you receive on the form.

If you answer "Yes" or "I don't know" to the first question, you will be prompted to answer questions related to General Exceptions (as seen below). These procurement-level exceptions may or may not apply to you. Each potential exception has a specific number of related exceptions and/or technical criteria; the exception(s) is/are shown in both the text above each question, and in the Tooltip. Tooltips are discussed in the next section.

General exceptions questions screen

If you select "Yes" for any of the questions on this page, the justification text box will display at the bottom of the page, and all component-level questions will be skipped.

For the Legacy ICT (E202.2) general exception there are three associated criteria:

Legacy ICT criteria

Answering 'Yes' to this question will prompt E202 – Legacy ICT to appear in the final report, and a justification text box will appear at the bottom of the page, as seen below:

You only need to provide a justification for applicable general (procurement-level) exceptions. For each applicable exception, you will need to provide a justification for the exception. Use the text box, as shown below:

Justification for exception screen

You cannot continue until you have provided a justification for the exception(s). The justifications will appear in the final report. There is a 1000-character limit for the justification.

Tooltips

As you move through the tool, you will see red icons with an "i" (please see image below). These are Tooltips, and can be found with every question in ART. Tooltips provide chapter titles, chapter numbers, and text from the technical criteria and/or Section 508 exceptions that relate to the current question. Tooltips can help you understand the significance of a question as it relates to the Section 508 requirements for your procurement. You will also see green circle icons with an "i" on them. These are second level tool tips that provide you with additional details and examples. Hover over the icons with your mouse, or tab to them using your keyboard, to access the tooltips.

Legacy ICT tooltip example image

National Security Systems sample tooltip image

If you answer "No" to all of the "exceptions" questions, you will then see the component-level questions after you select "Next Page".

Yes or No general procurement exception image

Component-Level Questions

If none of the general exception questions apply, you will see the component-level questions pertaining to the component types you initially selected. For example, if you only selected a software component, then only software questions will appear.

First, enter a title for your component as shown below, then follow the prompts to answer the remaining questions.

Component level name image

When you reach the component questions you will see the questions like the software component question shown below.

Assistive technology component question image

Final Report

As a final step, you will be asked to review your submission before clicking the "Submit" button.

Submission review image

Note, you cannot change your form once it has been submitted.

Submission final reminder screen image

Once you click the "Submit" button, you will see the final report. See the example below:

Submission confirmation screen image

The report includes the following features and information:

  • The standard title, which reads "ICT Accessibility Requirements Statement per the Revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act."
  • Project Name (underlined)
  • Agency Name
  • General Exceptions (if any apply). This section is divided into two sections:
    • Exceptions - The general exceptions that apply to your procurement. This will contain the chapter title, number, and text, as well as a link to the related chapter entry in the ART Glossary (discussed at the end of this section).
    • Justifications - Any justifications you have entered for applicable exceptions. As a general rule, each general exception must have an accompanying justification.
  • Component-level information such as component type, custom component name, technical criteria, and exceptions
  • Functional Performance Criteria (if applicable)
  • Next steps to achieve a Section 508-compliant procurement, as shown below.

Restart new procurement image

Note that each chapter title and number in the final report is linked to the Glossary, which contains the complete text of the relevant section of the Revised 508 Standards.

After you submit the form and the final report is generated, you will be able to:

  • Save the report as either an HTML or CSV file, or save the URL as a bookmark since each submitted ART webform has a unique URL.
  • Print out the form; this option will take you to a printer-friendly page containing your report text for copying.

Note that once submitted, your form cannot be changed. All changes should thus be made prior to submission.

Glossary

Please reference the ART User Manual for Glossary terms and definitions.