The Commission on Disability Rights of the ABA has long wondered how legal technology companies fare when it comes to developing products or services that are usable by persons with disabilities. Knowing there’s no better place to reach these companies than the ABA TECHSHOW they asked us to ask them a few questions. Amy Allbright, J.D., staff director for the Commission worked closely with TECHSHOW Board member, Stacey Blaustein, Senior Attorney at IBM, to develop the following questions:
- Are your products or services independently usable by persons with disabilities, including but not limited to persons who are blind or have visual impairments and use screen readers; deaf, hard of hearing, or who have mobility impairments and use voice command software such as Dragon/Naturally Speaking/ Siri?
- If any part of your product includes a web-based interface delivered via an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc., does your product comply with the web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 for web content?
- Are your products or services usable by persons with disabilities who rely on assistive technology such as the JAWS screen reader program for blind users, the Dragon Naturally Speaking voice control program for those with manual dexterity impairments, captioning for the deaf and similar technologies commonly used by persons with disabilities?
- If any part of your product includes a web-based interface deliver via an Internet Browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. Does your product comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 web content?
- If any part of your product includes a mobile app or is delivered on a mobile device platform such as Android or iOS, does it comply with the BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines?
- Does your product fit into any of the product categories of Electronic Information Technology listed in the Section 508 technical regulations at 36 C.F.R. pt. 1194, and if so is your product compliant with that standard?
We were happy to help but TECHSHOW is big undertaking and sometimes we need to get a little help from some friends. So we asked the longtime TECHSHOW supporters, reporters and media moguls at Lawyerist to help us out. Thanks to them, we were able to send the survey out to the 120+ vendors that will be at TECHSHOW. Of them, 79 were kind enough to take the time to respond and of those, eight (8) responded that their products are indeed accessible to those with disabilities. While that’s only 10% of our exhibitors – it’s a great start and certainly better than 0%. Hat-tip to the following companies:
- Accellis Technology Group
- BQE Software
- Corel Office (WordPerfect)
- National Court Reporters Association
- Social Media Information (SMI)
- Walz Group
We hope that the survey has brought attention to the importance of accessibility to all the vendors and perhaps next year this number will grow and continue to do so. To read more about the survey as well as some suggested resources for designing accessible products and services, see the Lawyerist’s post. Do you or someone you know have experience with these or any other legal specific resources from the accessibility perspective? If yes, we’d love to read about your experiences or hear your comments below.