ART - ART Question Guide

Table of Contents

Overview

The Accessibility Requirements Tool (ART) is a web-based application that helps you properly document IT accessibility requirements in contracting documents. If your procurement includes information and communication technology (ICT) products and/or services, ART helps you determine which Section 508 requirements apply. You’ll receive a comprehensive report detailing the technical criteria that apply to your procurement, including functional performance criteria (if applicable) and exceptions.

ART will walk you through a series of questions about your procurement, beginning with potential exceptions. If no exceptions apply, ART will walk you through the criteria for each item in your procurement, then produce a report containing all the applicable standards and exceptions that apply to your procurement. This document provides guidance on questions ART asks in the following areas:

  • Exceptions;
  • Hardware;
  • Electronic content;
  • Software; and
  • ICT support products and services.

Tooltips

As you move through the tool, you will see red icons with an “i,” depicted in Figure 1 below. These are Tooltips, and you can find them for every question in ART. Tooltips provide chapter titles, numbers, and text from the technical criteria and/or Section 508 exceptions that relate to the current question. Tooltips help you understand the significance of a question as it relates to the Section 508 requirements for your procurement. You will also see green square icons with an “i” on them in Figure 2 below. These are second level tool tips that provide additional details and examples. To access the tooltips, hover over the icons with your mouse, or tab to them using your keyboard.

National Security Systems

Figure 1. Red tooltip for ICT related to national security systems.

 

National Security Systems

Figure 2. Green tooltip for ICT related to national security systems.

Start a New Procurement

Begin a new review by choosing “Start a New Procurement.” You’ll be taken to a new screen asking for some basic information. An overview of these questions is shown below. All questions marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

  • Project Name *
    • Enter the name you’d like displayed at the top of your final report
  • Your Role *
    • Select the answer that best describes your current role
  • Acquisition Value *
    • Select the range that’s closest to the total value of this procurement
  • Agency *
    • Select your agency name (Note, if it’s not listed, please email us at art@gsa.gov so we can add it)
  • Email Address *
    • Enter your email address
  • Component Type
    • Select one item for each type of component in your procurement. (Note, if your procurement involves multiple components of a certain type (e.g., software), you will need to complete this process once for each component of that type)
  • Captcha *
    • This simple, randomized math question is used to prevent automated bots from submitting the form

General Exceptions

The second page asks 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, as shown below in Figure 3.

Sample Software

Figure 3. Example of Yes/No question related to the item(s) you’d like to procure.

 

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, which are shown in both the text above each question, and in the Tooltip. Tooltips are discussed in the next section.

If you select “Yes” for any of the questions on the page shown in Figure 4, the justification text box will display at the bottom of the page, and all component-level questions will be skipped.

ART home page image

Figure 4. Option to skip all component-level questions.

 

For the Legacy ICT (E202.2) general exception there are three associated criteria, as shown in Figure 5 below.

ART home page image

Figure 5. Criteria that apply to general exceptions for Legacy ICT (E202.2).

 

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 in Figure 6 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 in Figure 6.

ART home page image

Figure 6. Text box to provide justification for applicable general exceptions.

 

You cannot continue until you have provided a justification for the exception(s). The justifications will appear in the final report. There is a 1,000-character limit for the justification.

1. Does a general exception apply to your procurement?

           1.1. Undue Burden Exception: If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.2. Legacy ICT: If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.3. National Security Systems If any of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.4. ICT Acquired Incidental to a Federal Contract If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.5. ICT Functions Located in Maintenance or Monitoring Spaces Exception If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.6. Fundamental Alteration Exception If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.7. Best Meets Exception If all of the following statements apply, please select Yes. Otherwise, select No. *

           1.8. Please provide justifications for the above exceptions in the text box below: *

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 in Figure 7, then follow the prompts to answer the remaining questions.

Software Component Name

Figure 7. Space to provide the name of the item you are procuring.

 

When you reach the component questions you will see questions like the software component question shown in Figure 8.

Sample Software

Figure 8. Sample question to identify the component you are procuring.

Electronic Content - Introduction

  1. What is the name of your electronic content?

Additional Electronic Content Questions

  1. Are the [insert name of electronic content you are procuring] comprised of records maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration pursuant to federal recordkeeping statutes? * By selecting “yes,” the procurer confirms that the electronic content is internal agency information only.
  2. Will the content be public facing?

    3.1 Do the [insert name of electronic content you are procuring] constitute official business, and is it communicated by an agency through one or more of the following: *

  3. Will the electronic documents be web-based?

Software - Introduction

  1. What is the name of your software?

Additional Software Questions

  1. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] defined as assistive technology?

               1.1. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] a web application that:

Please provide justification for the above exceptions in the text box below

            1.1.1. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] a self-contained, closed product that conforms to 402 for Closed Functionality?

                  1.1.1.1. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] a system of operation or platform software?

  1. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] designed to be isolated from its underlying platform?

Examples:

  • Flash is a web application that is separate from both the operating system and the browser and therefore falls under this exception.
  • Accessing software that resides on another computer. The remote application would not need to allow the local platform settings to adjust its appearance. See glossary under Exceptions E503.2.
  1. Does your [insert name of software you are procuring] provide an alternative user interface that functions as assistive technology?
  2. Does your [insert name of software you are procuring] display video with synchronized audio?
  3. Is your [insert name of software you are procuring] used for content creation or editing?

Examples:

  • Web-page authoring tools (e.g., WYSIWYG HTML editors).
  • Software for directly editing source code or markup.

5.1. Does your [insert name of software you are procuring] export PDF files that conform to ISO 32000-1:2008?

Example:

○ Check with the authoring tool’s manufacturer whether the product conforms to ISO 32000-1:2008. See glossary under ISO 32000-1:2008.

Hardware - Introduction

  1. What is the name of your hardware?

Additional Hardware Questions

  1. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] defined as assistive technology?
  2. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] defined as assistive technology?

                2.1. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] have closed functionality?

                      2.1.1. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] have a display screen?

                                Example: Kiosk, copy machine, etc.

                     2.1.2. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] use sound output?

                     2.1.3. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide for non-private listening?*

                     2.1.4. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] variable message signs?*

              2.2. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] use biometrics?

                    2.2.1. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide at least two biometric options that use different biological characteristics are provided?*

                              Examples:

                                    ■ The measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics (such as fingerprint or voice patterns) especially as a means of verifying personal identity.

             2.3. Do the [insert name of hardware you are procuring] transmit or convert information or communication?*

                     Example: Kiosk

             2.4. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide data connections used for input and output?*

             2.5. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] include operable parts?*

                    Examples: Switches, nobs, etc.

                     2.5.1. Are the input controls operable by touch using only hearing?*

                               Examples: Kiosk controls, number pad

                    2.5.2. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide tickets, fare cards, or keycards where orientation of the tickets, fare cards, or keycards is important to its use?*

                              Examples:

                                       ● PIC card or DC Metro card is activated on either side.

                                       ● Credit cards have indentations that tell someone which side is used.

             2.6. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] stationary?*

                    Example: Printers

             2.7. Do the [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide status indicators?*

             2.8. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide audible signals or cues?*

2.9. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide for two-way voice communication*

       412 ICT with Two-Way Voice Communication:

  • 412.1 General. ICT that provides two-way voice communication shall conform to 412.
  • 412.2 Volume Gain. ICT that provides two-way voice communication shall conform to 412.2.1 or 412.2.2.
  • 412.2.1 Volume Gain for Wireline Telephones. Volume gain conforming to 47 CFR 68.317 shall be provided on analog and digital wireline telephones.
  • 412.2.2 Volume Gain for Non-Wireline ICT. A method for increasing volume shall be provided for non-wireline ICT.
  • 412.3 Interference Reduction and Magnetic Coupling. Where ICT delivers output by a handset or other type of audio transducer that is typically held up to the ear, ICT shall reduce interference with hearing technologies and provide a means for effective magnetic wireless coupling in conformance with 412.3.1 or 412.3.2.
  • 412.3.1 Wireless Handsets. ICT in the form of wireless handsets shall conform to ANSI/IEEE C63.19-2011 (incorporated by reference, see 702.5.1).
  • 412.3.2 Wireline Handsets. ICT in the form of wireline handsets, including cordless handsets, shall conform to TIA-1083-B (incorporated by reference, see702.9.1).
  • 412.4 Digital Encoding of Speech. ICT in IP-based networks shall transmit and receive speech that is digitally encoded in the manner specified by ITU-T Recommendation G.722.2 (incorporated by reference, see 702.7.2) or IETF RFC 6716 (incorporated by reference, see 702.8.1).
  • 412.5 Real-Time Text Functionality. [Reserved].
  • 412.6 Caller ID. Where provided, caller identification and similar telecommunications functions shall be visible and audible.
  • 412.7 Video Communication. Where ICT provides real-time video functionality, the quality of the video shall be sufficient to support communication using sign language.
  • 412.8 Legacy TTY Support. ICT equipment or systems with two-way voice communication that do not themselves provide TTY functionality shall conform to 412.8.
  • 412.8.1 TTY Connectability. ICT shall include a standard non-acoustic connection point for TTYs.
  • 412.8.2 Voice and Hearing

2.10. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] display or process video with synchronized audio? *

2.11. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] stationary? *

2.12. Do the [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide status indicators? *

2.13. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide audible signals or cues? *

2.14. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide for two-way voice communication? *

         2.14.1. Are your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] wireline telephones? *

         2.14.2. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] deliver output by a handset or other type of audio transducer that is typically held up to the ear? *

         2.14.3. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide caller identification and similar telecommunications functions? *

         2.14.4. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] provide real-time video functionality? *

2.15. Do your [insert name of hardware you are procuring] display or process video with synchronized audio? *

ICT Product/Service - Introduction

  1. What is the name of your ICT Support and Service product/service?

Additional ICT Product/Service Questions

  1. Does your [insert name of ICT Support Documentation and Service product/service you are procuring] include support documentation or support services? *

            1.1. Does your help desk or call service center include support documentation? *

                 1.1.1. Is your [insert name of ICT Support Documentation and Service product/service you are procuring] available in electronic format? *

  1. Does your [insert name of ICT Support Documentation and Service product/service you are procuring] include support services? *

Glossary

Section 508 Acceptance Criteria

Specific accessibility criteria that may be applied to determine acceptance of deliverables submitted under an agency contract awarded for acquisition of Information Communication Technology (ICT). These criteria apply to deliverables that have specific documented Section 508 requirements. Acceptance criteria are based on inspection and/or testing contract deliverables to confirm they meet the applicable documented accessibility standards.

Assistive Technology (AT)

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Examples of Assistive Technology include, but are not limited to: computer software and hardware, such as voice recognition programs, screen readers, and screen enlargement applications.

Biometrics

The measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics (such as fingerprint or voice patterns) especially as a means of verifying personal identity.

Closed Functionality

Characteristics that limit functionality or prevent a user from attaching or installing assistive technology. Examples of ICT with closed functionality are self-service machines, information kiosks, set-top boxes, fax machines, calculators, and computers that are locked down so that users may not adjust settings due to a policy such as Desktop Core Configuration.

Component

The parts or pieces you are procuring, such as Hardware. For example, a Hewlett-Packard laptop, is an example of a hardware component name.

Electronic Content

Content such as: text, images, tables, documents and multimedia that is commonly found in places such as websites, typically requiring conformance to applicable Revised 508 Standards using a defined testing process (see also: ICT).

Exceptions

Exception - Alternative Means (E202.6.3). Where ICT that fully conforms to the Revised 508 Standards is not commercially available, and where conformance to one or more requirements in the Revised 508 Standards imposes an undue burden or a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT, the agency shall provide individuals with disabilities access to and use of information and data by an alternative means that meets identified needs.

Exception - Basis for a Determination of Undue Burden (E202.6.1). In determining whether conformance to requirements in the Revised 508 Standards would impose an undue burden on the agency, the agency shall consider the extent to which conformance would impose significant difficulty or expense considering the agency resources available to the program or component for which the ICT is to be procured, developed, maintained, or used.

Exception - Best Meets (E202.7). Where ICT conforming to one or more requirements in the Revised 508 Standards is not commercially available, the agency shall procure the ICT that best meets the Revised 508 Standards consistent with the agency’s business needs

Exception - Federal Contracts (E202.4). ICT acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract shall not be required to conform to the Revised 508 Standards.

Exception - ICT Functions Located in Maintenance or Monitoring Spaces (E202.5). Where status indicators and operable parts for ICT functions are located in spaces that are frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair, or occasional monitoring of equipment, such status indicators and operable parts shall not be required to conform to the Revised 508 Standards.

Exception - Legacy ICT (E202.2). Any component or portion of existing ICT that complies with an earlier standard issued pursuant to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (as republished in Appendix D), and that has not been altered on or after January 18, 2018, shall not be required to be modified to conform to the Revised 508 Standards.

Exception - NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) Exception. Agency historically valuable records that are not public facing only need to be made accessible if they become public facing AFTER the agency transfers legal custody of the records to NARA for permanent preservation in the National Archives of the United States. In that case, NARA is responsible for making the records accessible.

Exception - National Security (E202.3). The Revised 508 Standards do not apply to ICT operated by agencies as part of a national security system, as defined by 40 U.S.C. 1103(a).

Exception - Required Documentation (E202.6.2). The responsible agency official shall document in writing the basis for determining that conformance to requirements in the Revised 508 Standards constitute an undue burden on the agency, or would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT. The documentation shall include an explanation of why and to what extent compliance with applicable requirements would create an undue burden or result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT.

Exception - Required Documentation (E202.7.1). The responsible agency official shall document in writing: (a) the non-availability of conforming ICT, including a description of market research performed and which provisions cannot be met, and (b) the basis for determining that the ICT to be procured best meets the requirements in the Revised 508 Standards consistent with the agency’s business needs.

Exception - Undue Burden or Fundamental Alteration (E202.6). Where an agency determines in accordance with E202.5 that conformance to requirements in the Revised 508 Standards would impose an undue burden or would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT, conformance shall be required only to the extent that it does not impose an undue burden, or result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT.

Exception related to User Preferences (E503.2). The exception under 503.2 User Preferences applies to applications (like Flash) that are not controlled by their platform (in the case of Flash, its platforms are the browser and the OS). Recalling the original Section 508 and Trusted Tester methodology, Flash was tested as software and it failed when Windows high contrast settings were not adopted. Under the Revised 508 Standards, Flash would fall under this exception as it is isolated from both the browser and OS. Another scenario would be when accessing software that resides on another computer. The remote application would not need to allow the local platform settings to adjust its appearance.

General Exceptions

Exceptions to the explicit requirements the Access Board standard places on ICT.

Functional Performance Criteria

§1194.31 Functional performance criteria (published in the Federal Register 12/21/2000)

(a) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided.

(b) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require visual acuity greater than 20/70 shall be provided in audio and enlarged print output working together or independently, or support for assistive technology used by people who are visually impaired shall be provided.

(c) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user hearing shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing shall be provided.

(d) Where audio information is important for the use of a product, at least one mode of operation and information retrieval shall be provided in an enhanced auditory fashion, or support for assistive hearing devices shall be provided.

(e) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user speech shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people with disabilities shall be provided.

(f) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions and that is operable with limited reach and strength shall be provided.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

ICT is any information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content.

Information and Communications Technology Examples

  • Internet and Intranet websites and web based content (sites, pages, applications, etc.)
  • Enterprise, web, and client applications (for example: time and attendance software, office productivity applications, web forms/applications, call center or customer rep workflow applications, electronic fillable forms, etc.)
  • ICT software infrastructure (for example: document repositories, content management systems, systems/network administration software, operating systems, etc.)
  • Training Materials (for example: online training materials, tests, quizzes, surveys required to be provided in an electronic format before, during, and after the training is conducted)
  • Reports
  • Multimedia (video/audio)
  • Electronic documents
  • Electronic forms
  • Interactive maps
  • Electronic document templates
  • Electronic emergency notifications
  • Electronic surveys
  • Subscription service (i.e. news feed, alert service, professional journals)

ICT Software Examples

Examples of software that must conform to the Revised Section 508 Standards

Web, desktop, server, mobile client applications

  • Time and attendance software
  • Productivity applications
  • Web forms/applications
  • Call Center Support applications
  • Workflow applications
  • Content management systems
  • Learning management systems

Electronic content and software authoring tools and platforms

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional
  • Adobe InDesign
  • PDF Generators and Converters
  • Graphing and Charting Programs

Software infrastructure

  • Operating Systems
  • Browsers
  • Systems/network administration software
  • Collaboration environments
  • Remote access software
  • User Authentication Software
  • Virtual meeting tools (e.g., VOIP, screen shares, remote meetings)

Service Offerings

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS),
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

ICT Hardware Examples

Examples of hardware that must conform to the Revised Section 508 Standards

  • Computers & laptops
  • Servers
  • Tablets
  • Printers and Copiers
  • Document Scanners
  • Multi-function office machines
  • Peripheral Equipment (ex. keyboards)
  • Information kiosks and transaction machines
  • Mobile phones

See also: Exceptions - Legacy ICT (E202.2) and ICT Functions Located in Maintenance or Monitoring Spaces (E202.5)

ISO 32000-1:2008

The first ISO specification for PDF. The document is an ISO formalization of Adobe’s own PDF Reference 1.7, and is technically identical to the Adobe document.

Check with the authoring tool’s manufacturer whether the product conforms to ISO 32000-1:2008 and whether the latter part of the requirement has also been met: “capable of exporting PDF files that conform to ANSI/AIIM/ISO 14289-1:2016 (PDF/UA-1) “

You can do following in Adobe Acrobat software to determine the software that created the PDF and the exact version of that particular PDF file.

● Open the PDF

● Click File and then select Properties

You should see “PDF Version: 1.7 (Acrobat 8.x)” to confirm the requirement is applicable to the software that generated the PDF.

Multimedia

If your agency intends to include all or part of the delivered information content as part of a video or multimedia production, then agencies may consider a requirement on the delivered content to assure that it considers the specific Section 508 accessibility requirements detailed in 1194.24.

Public facing content

Electronic information and data that a federal agency makes available to the general public. Public facing content can be published on the web (for example: an agency website, blog post, or social media page). And it could also be made available via non-web methods (for example, information screens in waiting areas via kiosks).

Sample Procurement Language (formerly Quick LInks)

Pre-packaged Section 508 solicitation documentation for standard ICT products and services.

Service Deliverables

A work product produced as a result of an ICT Related Service. ART recognizes three types of ICT related work product deliverables typically produced by ICT Related Services:

Information Content - Knowledge or intelligence delivered in any format including reports, case studies, analyses, recommendations. Information content may be delivered in many different formats, including reports, electronic documents, videos, and multimedia productions.

Custom ICT Product - ICT products and systems developed specifically for or customized to specific agency/program requirements. Delivery of ICT product functionality developed to specification, including design and development of integrated ICT systems or solutions.

ICT Related Labor Hours - Delivery of work activities on tasks specified to meet program requirements including operations and maintenance, on-site support, testing and validation and training. Delivering tasks performance on specified ICT-related activities, including operation, maintenance and / or support of ongoing ICT activities.

ICT Service Types

General Information Services - expertise, consultation, research or other knowledge-based services that deliver information content in many different forms

ICT Development Services - generally the design and development of custom ICT product deliverables. This includes the development of custom software, web-enabled applications and customized websites, as well as development of custom ICT hardware components, telecommunications equipment, including associated information, documentation and support. Also includes specific enhancements to existing ICT hardware / software.

ICT Integration Services - composing various ICT components into a custom ICT system deliverable

ICT Operations and Maintenance - providing management, operations and support of ongoing ICT functions, including the delivery of ICT functionality for end users, system performance, maintenance, monitoring and management of ICT-related activities. Developing new ICT is beyond the scope of typical Operations and Maintenance Services

ICT Testing / Validation Services - delivering quality assurance and remediation for existing ICT

Training Services - develop or provide training.

On-Site Support Services - providing on-site management, operations and support of ongoing and new ICT functions including design, development, and delivery of ICT functionality for end users, ICT system performance assurance, maintenance, monitoring and management of ICT-related activities.

Technical Criteria

A set of tools to measure an activity objectively and from a technical standpoint.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organization for the Internet. They are a set of guidelines that specify how to make content accessible, primarily for people with disabilities--but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones. The current version, WCAG 2.0, was published in December 2008 and became an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012 in October 2012. WCAG 2.1 is a "Proposed Recommendation" as of April 2018.