GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

Complaints Metric Assessment Guidelines and Decision Tree

Return to Guidelines for Assessing Program Maturity

Definition
Why is this important?
Examples
Decision Tree Flowchart (New)

Definition

This metric defines to what extent an Agency tracks and resolves incoming Section 508 complaints.

Why is this important?

A clear process for addressing and tracking formal and informal Section 508 complaints is necessary:

  • to provide for effective communication with complainants;
  • to validate Section 508 non-compliance claims;
  • to support an effective Agency response aimed at minimizing legal exposure, costs, and loss of administrative time;
  • and to serve as input into decisions related to resource and work planning.

Examples

The following examples are provided to demonstrate how an Agency may translate their current operations against the maturity measures and are not intended to represent all possibilities.

  1. Ad Hoc: There are no formal Agency processes in place to track and resolve Section 508 complaints. Section 508 complaints are handled on a case by case basis.

  2. Planned: The Agency has a formal process in place to address incoming Section 508 complaints. There is a communications plan for informing the public and employees how to use it. However, the Agency has not provided resources to implement the policies, or resources have been assigned but have not yet been trained on how to implement them.

  3. Resourced: The Agency Section 508 complaint process is established and has been communicated to the appropriate stakeholders. Section 508 program staff, legal counsel, and other Agency stakeholders, are made available and trained to receive and address both formal and informal Section 508 complaints. Complaints are handled in accordance with the process.

  4. Measured: Resources are trained and made available to receive and address all incoming complaints in accordance with the Agency Section 508 complaint process, and consistently adhere to the process. The Agency validates adherence by collecting and tracking data on complaint activities and resolutions, and uses results to inform plans to improve the overall Agency Section 508 program.

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Decision Tree Flowchart (New)

Use the following decision tree to ascertain the most appropriate maturity level. Scroll down for text version.

Complaints decision tree. Refer to the full text version below this image for detailed descriptions

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Decision Tree - Text Version:

Maturity Question Implied Maturity Level If the Answer is “No” Key Considerations before moving onto the next question
  1. Do you have a formal policy, processes procedures in place to track and resolve Section 508 complaints?
Ad Hoc: You have a general outline, a circulated draft or policy, or one is being developed. A way to file complaints may or may not be in place.  
  1. Do you have a communications plan?
Ad Hoc: Agency does not have or is in the process of creating a communication policy or the public and employees are not all aware of how to submit complaints, or this is currently underway. If the answer is yes, then there is a communication plan for informing the public and employees on how to submit complaints.
  1. Do you have an implementation plan?
Ad Hoc: Complaints can be filed. They are accepted and reviewed on a case by case basis. If the answer is yes, then complaints can be filed and an implementation plan has been created to address incoming Section 508 complaints.
  1. Are staff available to implement policies?
Ad Hoc: Resources are not identified, available or assigned. If the answer is yes, specific resources have been identified and allocated to manage 508 complaints.
  1. Are the assigned resources trained in how to implement the policies?
Planned: The resources are allocated but they have not been trained on Section 508 conformance testing. If the answer is yes, the resources are trained on how to address incoming Section 508 complaints, are trained in Section 508 standards and technology accessibility. This should include Section 508 program staff, legal counsel and other Agency stakeholders.
  1. Does the agency follow the complaint process?
Planned: All Section 508 complaints are handled according to the defined process. If the answer is yes, the complaints are received and addressed in accordance with the Agency Section 508 complaint process, and consistently adhere to the process. Guidelines and procedures have been defined, implemented and communicated regarding the resolution of complaints involving other offices.
  1. Is there a system in place to track complaints?
Planned: No system has been identified or a system is in the process of being implemented. If the answer is yes, there is a system in place for tracking complaints that is relevant to Section 508 issues.
  1. Does the agency validate adherence to policies, processes and procedures?
Resourced: Policies are implemented but tracking data is not collected or analyzed. If the answer is yes, then the agency has implemented policies, processes and procedures, and takes steps to validate adherence to it. Data can be used to demonstrate how the Section 508 complaint process is followed and if relevant deadlines are adhered to.
  1. Is data used to inform decisions and improve effectiveness and efficiency?
Resourced: Data is collected but is not analyzed and no improvements have been made. If the answer is yes, data is collected to determine the nature and resolution of 508 complaints.
  1. You are at the Measured level if the following is true: Policy is fully implemented, staffed and is consistently adhered to. Data is collected to inform agency Section 508 planning.
   

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