Accessibility Policy

It is the policy of the Railroad Commission of Texas that agency electronic information resources and web sites shall comply with Department of Information Resources rules

|Overview| |Purpose| |Electronic and Information Resources| |Compliance| |RRC Accessibility Plan| Exceptions and Documentation| |Testing and Validation| |Accessibility Coordinator| |Additional Information| |Standards and Specifications|

June 18, 2009


OVERVIEW

It is the policy of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) that agency electronic information resources and websites shall comply with Department of Information Resources (DIR) rules in Title 1, Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 206 and Chapter 213 (see STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS section below) which align Texas accessibility standards for electronic information resources and state websites with §508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §794d), and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

PURPOSE

This policy applies to all electronic and information resources developed, procured, maintained, or used by RRC directly, or RRC vendors and/or service providers whose contract terms require the use of electronic and information resources as of September 1, 2006.

ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION RESOURCES

Electronic and information resources (EIR) include information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. The term electronic and information resources includes, but is not limited to, telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Websites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.

COMPLIANCE

The RRC shall ensure that electronic and information resources comply with applicable provisions described in this policy, unless such requirements impose a significant difficulty or expense. In determining whether compliance imposes a significant difficulty or expense, the agency shall consider all RRC resources available for which the electronic and information resources are being developed, procured, maintained, or used. The standards and specifications for compliance as well as the implementation approach for compliance within the RRC environment are included in the RRC Accessibility Guidelines (Guidelines).  In addition, a standard operating procedure to manage agency non-compliance, including a process for a corrective action plan to remediate non-compliant items identified through an accessibility survey are included in the Guidelines.

Agency employees must use the information in the Guidelines to comply with the requirements of state law. Maintenance of the Guidelines is the responsibility of the Information Technology Services Division.

RRC ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

The RRC is committed to making its website accessible to all users. Our goal is to help our visitors easily find the information they need in a format they can use. It is this agency’s commitment to work with any person with a disability that prevents them from using a RRC electronic and information resource to provide them an acceptable alternate form.

Government rules and regulations require each state agency publish a current accessibility policy, which includes the standards and specifications of TAC Chapter 213.21. Each plan is required to include a process for corrective actions to remediate non-compliant items and include goals for making its Electronic Information Resources accessible and progress measurements towards meeting those goals. 

The RRC has designated an Accessibility Coordinator to ensure the agency moves forward with meeting its accessibility mission and implement corrective actions to remediate non-compliant items. The RRC will work with all agency divisions to make its website accessible to all users to the extent possible. The RRC will provide ongoing training to its staff regarding accessibility. On a case by case basis, the Accessibility Coordinator will coordinate with personnel he or she determines appropriate to bring noncompliant resources into compliance. Additionally, the Accessibility Coordinator will establish division-specific and agency-wide progress measures to be evaluated as necessary in order to ensure progress on agency accessibility goals.

The RRC welcomes comments and suggestions to improve the Accessibility of the information we provide to the public. To provide feedback, please email accessibility_coordinator@rrc.texas.gov.

EXCEPTIONS AND DOCUMENTATION

If the RRC determines that compliance with a standard or specification in this policy would impose a significant difficulty or expense, an exception request shall be made to the Executive Director.  The Executive Director will evaluate those requests and determine whether compliance is required.

The following questions may be considered when assessing an exception:

  • Would the cost of providing the accommodation prevent the purchase or development of the product?
  • Would the accommodation fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity?
  • Are the services or programs targeted by the accommodation, when viewed in their entirety, already readily accessible to the audience targeted by the accommodation?
  • Would communications with people with disabilities be as effective as communications with others without the required accommodation?
  • Would the required accommodation be effective in accommodating individuals with disabilities?
  • Would there be an opportunity for members of the audience who need an accommodation to request it in time for the RRC to provide it in an efficient manner? Would providing an accommodation only upon request cause hardship to the user, such as preventing the user from receiving the information presented by the product in a timely manner (timeliness to be determined in light of the time-sensitivity of the information)?
  • Would providing the accommodation otherwise create an undue burden (such as a large financial or administrative burden) considering the nature and cost of the accommodation?

If the Executive Director determines that compliance with a standard or specification in this policy would impose significant difficulty or expense, this determination must be documented and the documentation must explain why, and to what extent, compliance with each provision would impose a significant difficulty or expense.

If the Executive Director approves an exception, alternate methods may be used to provide individuals with disabilities timely access to electronic and information resources. This may include providing information on how to request accommodations.

TESTING AND VALIDATION

Unless the Executive Director approves an exception, the RRC will test all new or changed webpage/site designs using one or more §508 compliance tools in conjunction with manual procedures to validate compliance with this policy.

ACCESSIBILITY COORDINATOR

The RRC Accessibility Coordinator shall assess and evaluate electronic and information resources concerning accessibility, maintain the Guidelines, provide assistance concerning accessibility issues, and support the Executive Director on exception requests. To communicate with the RRC Accessibility Coordinator, use the following e-mail address: accessibility_coordinator@rrc.texas.gov.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information is available from the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities at http://www.governor.state.tx.us/Disabilites 

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS


|Accessibility and Usabilty of State Web Sites| |Software Applications and Operating Systems| |Telecommunication Products| |Video and Multimedia Products| |Self Contained, Closed Products| |Desktop and Portable Computers| |Functional Performance Criteria| |Information, Documentation and Support|

Accessibility and Usability of State Websites

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt," "longdesc," or in element content).
(2) Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a live/real time open meeting (Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551) or training and informational video productions which support the agency's mission, each state agency shall consider alternative forms of accommodation. Acceptable alternatives include:
            (a) Alternate formats--Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, Braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that comply with this chapter.
            (b) Alternate methods--Different means of providing information, including product documentation, to people with disabilities. Alternate methods may include, but are not limited to, voice, fax, relay service, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.
(3) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color.
(4) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
(5) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
(6) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
(7) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
(8) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
(9) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
(10) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
(11) An alternative version page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the alternative page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
(12) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
(13) When a Webpage requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with the following:
             (A) When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.
             (B) Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer.
              (C) A well-defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that assistive technology can track focus and focus changes.
             (D) Sufficient information about a user interface element including the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to assistive technology. When an image represents a program element, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.
            (E) When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images shall be consistent throughout an application's performance.
              (F) Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.
             (G) Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes.
               (H) When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.
             (I) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
            (J) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a variety of color selections capable of producing a range of contrast levels shall be provided.
             (K) Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
             (L) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
(14) When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
(15) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
(16) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

Software Applications and Operating Systems.

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.
(2) Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer.
(3) A well-defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that assistive technology can track focus and focus changes.
(4) Sufficient information about a user interface element including the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to assistive technology. When an image represents a program element, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.
(5) When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images shall be consistent throughout an application's performance.
(6) Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.
 (7) Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes.
(8) When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.
(9) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
(10) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a variety of color selections capable of producing a range of contrast levels shall be provided.
(11) Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
(12) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

Telecommunications Products.

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) Telecommunications products or systems which provide a function allowing voice communication and which do not themselves provide a TTY functionality shall provide a standard non-acoustic connection point for TTYs. Microphones shall be capable of being turned on and off to allow the user to intermix speech with TTY use.
(2) Telecommunications products which include voice communication functionality shall support all commonly used cross-manufacturer non-proprietary standard TTY signal protocols.
(3) Voice mail, auto-attendant, and interactive voice response telecommunications systems shall be usable by TTY users with their TTYs.
(4) Voice mail, messaging, auto-attendant, and interactive voice response telecommunications systems that require a response from a user within a time interval, shall give an alert when the time interval is about to run out, and shall provide sufficient time for the user to indicate more time is required.
(5) Where provided, caller identification and similar telecommunications functions shall also be available for users of TTYs, and for users who cannot see displays.
(6) For transmitted voice signals, telecommunications products shall provide a gain adjustable up to a minimum of 20 dB. For incremental volume control, at least one intermediate step of 12 dB of gain shall be provided.
(7) If the telecommunications product allows a user to adjust the receive volume, a function shall be provided to automatically reset the volume to the default level after every use.
(8) Where a telecommunications product delivers output by an audio transducer which is normally held up to the ear, a means for effective magnetic wireless coupling to hearing technologies shall be provided.
(9) Interference to hearing technologies (including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices) shall be reduced to the lowest possible level that allows a user of hearing technologies to utilize the telecommunications product.
(10) Products that transmit or conduct information or communication, shall pass through cross-manufacturer, non-proprietary, industry-standard codes, translation protocols, formats or other information necessary to provide the information or communication in a usable format. Technologies which use encoding, signal compression, format transformation, or similar techniques shall not remove information needed for access or shall restore it upon delivery.
(11) Products which have mechanically operated controls or keys, shall comply with the following:
             (A) Controls and keys shall be tactilely discernible without activating the controls or keys.
             (B) Controls and keys shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate controls and keys shall be 5 lbs. (22.2 N) maximum.
             (C) If key repeat is supported, the delay before repeat shall be adjustable to at least 2 seconds. Key repeat rate shall be adjustable to 2 seconds per character.
            (D) The status of all locking or toggle controls or keys shall be visually discernible, and discernible either through touch or sound.

Video and Multimedia Products

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

 (1) Television tuners, including tuner cards for use in computers, shall be equipped with secondary audio program playback circuitry.
 (2) Upon receiving a request for accommodation of a webcast of training/informational video productions which support the agency's mission, each state agency which receives such a request for accommodation shall provide an alternative form(s) of accommodation in accordance with §2054.456 and §2054.457, Texas Government Code.

Self Contained, Closed Products.

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) Self contained products shall be usable by people with disabilities without requiring an end-user to attach assistive technology to the product. Personal headsets for private listening are not assistive technology.
 (2) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
 (3) Where a product utilizes touchscreens or contact-sensitive controls, an input method shall be provided that complies with parts (11)(A) - (D) of the Telecommunications Products section, above. 
(4) When biometric forms of user identification or control are used, an alternative form of identification or activation, which does not require the user to possess particular biological characteristics, shall also be provided.
 (5) When products provide auditory output, the audio signal shall be provided at a standard signal level through an industry standard connector that will allow for private listening. The product must provide the ability to interrupt, pause, and restart the audio at anytime.
 (6) When products deliver voice output in a public area, incremental volume control shall be provided with output amplification up to a level of at least 65 dB. Where the ambient noise level of the environment is above 45 dB, a volume gain of at least 20 dB above the ambient level shall be user selectable. A function shall be provided to automatically reset the volume to the default level after every use.
 (7) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
 (8) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a range of color selections capable of producing a variety of contrast levels shall be provided.
 (9) Products shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
 (10) Products which are freestanding, non-portable, and intended to be used in one location and which have operable controls shall comply with the following:
            (A) The position of any operable control shall be determined with respect to a vertical plane, which is 48 inches in length, centered on the operable control, and at the maximum protrusion of the product within the 48 inch length.
            (B) Where any operable control is 10 inches or less behind the reference plane, the height shall be 54 inches maximum and 15 inches minimum above the floor.
            (C) Where any operable control is more than 10 inches and not more than 24 inches behind the reference plane, the height shall be 46 inches maximum and 15 inches minimum above the floor.
            (D) Operable controls shall not be more than 24 inches behind the reference plane.

Desktop and Portable Computers

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) All mechanically operated controls and keys shall comply with parts (11)(A) - (D) of the Telecommunications Products section, above.
(2) If a product utilizes touchscreens or touch-operated controls, an input method shall be provided that complies with Telecommunications products in parts (11)(A) - (D) of the Telecommunications Products section, above.
(3) When biometric forms of user identification or control are used, an alternative form of identification or activation, which does not require the user to possess particular biological characteristics, shall also be provided.
(4) Where provided, at least one of each type of expansion slots, ports and connectors shall comply with publicly available industry standards.

Functional Performance Criteria

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) 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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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, Documentation, and Support

The RRC will comply with the following standards/specifications:

(1) Product support documentation provided to end-users shall be made available in alternate formats upon request, at no additional charge.
 (2) End-users shall have access to a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of products in alternate formats or alternate methods upon request, at no additional charge.
 (3) Support services for products shall accommodate the communication needs of end-users with disabilities.

Last Updated: 5/4/2016 8:40:49 AM