Accessibility Update

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Orange SUccess Accessibility Update, November 28, 2016

Following a recent product upgrade, completed on November 19th, 2016, Hobson’s has provided an updated Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for Starfish CONNECT™ & Starfish EARLY ALERT™. Also provided was a detailed summary and resolution status of accessibility issues reported by both Syracuse University and other universities using CONNECT  and EARLY ALERT.

To view the VPAT and the issues document, please click here and log into the Answers knowledgebase.

As always, if anyone experiences any barriers to accessing Orange SUccess, please contact Debbie Gardner at 315-443-4929 or by email at orangesuccess@syr.edu so the issue may be reported to Hobson’s for immediate consideration.

For optimal user experience, Firefox is the recommended browser for individuals using the JAWS screen reader tool with Windows based computers.  Please note – users are reporting issues when using JAWS with Internet Explorer (IE) or Google Chrome browsers.

Safari continues to be the preferred browser when using Voiceover.


Orange SUccess Accessibility Update, November 4, 2016

Hobson’s applied enhancements and corrections related to reported accessibility issues in mid-October to address items reported to them by Syracuse University.  Additional modification and enhancements are scheduled for implementation with the November 19th upgrade.

For optimal experience, Firefox is the recommended browser for individuals using the JAWS screen reader tool with Windows based computers.  Please note – users are reporting issues when using JAWS with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

Safari is the preferred browser when using Voiceover.

 

Orange SUccess Accessibility Update, September 6, 2016

Hobsons recognizes Syracuse University’s dedication to accessibility both physical and technical, and are in ongoing conversation with us. They have shared with us detailed views of their internal accessibility review processes and asked Syracuse University to partner with them in creating the optimal user experience along with developing an escalation ladder for accessibility issues identified.  Additionally, Hobsons has identified a dedicated QA Compliance engineer who will be addressing the issues as they come.

 

Orange SUccess Accessibility Update, August 27, 2016

Syracuse University has significantly advanced its technology support for student success this past year in alignment with the University’s Academic Strategic Plan. In an effort to improve advising outcomes and student retention, we have licensed products known as Starfish EARLY ALERT™ and Starfish CONNECT™. Universities such as the Rochester Institute of Technology, Gallaudet University, and the University of Dayton also use these products. We gave our project for implementing Starfish the name Orange SUccess.

As part of our long legacy of achievement at Syracuse University in the area of disabilities, we have tried since the beginning of the Orange SUccess project to ensure that the Starfish platform is usable by the greatest number of students, faculty and staff, including those with disabilities, so that everyone is able to benefit from the unique capabilities of this advising tool. This effort began with the vendor selection process.

In 2014, the vendor selection team identified three leading vendors for enterprise advising: Although none of the products was faultless “off the shelf,” Hobsons’ Starfish was the product that the vendor selection team believed had the strongest commitment to accessibility. Syracuse University executed a contract with Starfish Retention Solutions/Hobsons in summer 2015 that contained language related to accessibility. Specifically, Hobsons agreed to provide documentation verifying compliance with (WCAG) Version 2.0 Level AA and to respond to and resolve any accessibility issues that the university identifies.

When the university executed the contract, Hobsons asserted that the accessibility of the Starfish application had been measured using guidelines set forth by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C; the international standards body responsible for WCAG). Following installation of the platform the implementation team began a process of independently evaluating the accessibility features of the platform. This evaluation process included an accessibility specialist from ITS as well as individuals from the Syracuse University community. This evaluation revealed several opportunities for improvement in the accessibility of the platform. In March 2016 we requested the latest version of the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the vendor and began to request specific interface functions that needed improvements.

In April 2016, the implementation team worked with the Office of Disability Services and Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services to develop methods of supporting students, faculty, and staff while the vendor developed improvements. In May 2016, the vendor released a new version of the product that contained some of the improvements we had requested. At that time, the vendor also engaged a third party independent vendor, WebAIM, to evaluate the Starfish application and certify its compliance. WebAIM certified the Starfish application to be substantially conformant with Level A and Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0.

Following additional testing, this new version of the product will become available for the Syracuse University community in September 2016. There are five important improvements that we requested that were not implemented in the current revision of the platform. The vendor has provided a target date of November 2016 for release of another revision of the platform to its clients that will contain these five improvements. Assuming timely receipt of the planned release, we will put that version of the product into our testing environment and release it in January 2017, prior to the first day of spring semester classes.

The Orange SUccess implementation team continues to evaluate the accessibility of each new release of the Starfish platform. As we discover new opportunities to improve the accessibility of the interface, we will relay them to the vendor, request new versions of their VPAT, and monitor the development roadmap for compliance with the terms of our contract. Meanwhile, we will continue to cooperate with the Office of Disability Services and Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services to support students, faculty, and staff who encounter usability barriers.

Please watch this site for additional updates.