Petro,You seem to be highly comfortable with the response that Applian uses third-party contractors for various components of its software business and therefore has no responsibility to its customers for the performance of these components, which in our case is the accessibility of Applian software. In the past decade and a half, the blind community and disability community as a whole have totally and completely rejected this buck passing. First the major software companies, including Microsoft, Real Networks, and Adobe have been expected from the get go to provide full access to their software, regardless of how it was developed.
next, folks engaged the country's largest financial institutions to create access to banking services. The banks worked with vendors, contractors and service providers to deliver talking ATM's for the blind and accessible websites. These efforts led to the first legally binding settlement agreements that committed to web accessibility for people with disabilities.
The bank projects were followed by initiatives on cell phone accessibility. the issue was that the wireless service providers passed the buck to the handset manufacturers. yet, the manufacturing companies said that they designed phones with significant input from the providers who would largely market and sell the phones. The arrangement was hardly that of an impartial, arms-length party just purchasing goods in the marketplace, passing the hot potato of access back to the wireless providers.
The efforts led to a 2004 agreement by Audio and Verizon Communications to design, manufacture, market and sell a cell phone accessible to the blind with audio-enabled controls.
similarly, people with disabilities expected accessibility of voting machines in the United States during the last election cycle during the 2006 elections. Software and control devices for some machines were developed or designed at some of the voting machine companies by foreign subsidiaries or third party vendors. Local election officials facilitated relationships with the various parties to obtain and significantly improve access, allowing voters with certain kinds of disabilities to vote independently for the first time.
I realize that the large companies often have complex and many-layered relationships with their vendors and contractors. A vendor may develop or provide access to a product or service to prevent the institution from developing a relationship with another vendor who can provide access and possibly a whole lot more. The large companies can leverage these relationships to obtain consideration from vendors that smaller companies can't.
all of this being said, it is highly disappointing that we seem to accept wholesale Applian's response regarding access issues with their products. They don't explain why access issues could not have been written into the contracts or agreements they have with their vendors. It is not clear if the company raised these issues in a meaningful manner early on in the relationship with the third party vendor or if it was an afterthought once the work was completed.
In various areas of technology access for more than a decade, people with disabilities have worked with companies to achieve greater independence in their lives through technology. the third-party contractor argument has not been accepted by disability leaders who have worked on access in various sectors in the technology industry. In a similar way it has also been rejected by the mainstream as well. Wednesday's Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy page one investigation of how the largest retailers and apparel makers in the United States are responsible for incredible pollution in China for demanding ever lower prices, leading contractors to pollute the environment to save money. there was no suggestion that gap, Target, Nike, and the like had no responsibility because they used a third party vendor.
Applian's shoulder shrugging and subsequent finger pointing to a third-party vender isn't a constructive response to developing accessible solutions. it is unclear why the company cannot incorporate accessible design into their relationships with these vendors or if they have even asked about it at the start of their relationship. I don't believe at this time why our expectations for access should be relaxed at this time when other organizations have been able to develop systems and approaches around these same issues. the end result has been access that we all now use and enjoy.
Kelly----- Original Message ----- From: <petrakigianos-giasou@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <pc-audio@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Cc: <blindreplay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <blind-vista@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:28 PM Subject: [blindreplay] Freecorder 2 & Freecorder Toolbar Scripts Wanted
Hi Brian & All I want Jaws scripts for both Freecorder 2 which does record Skype calls but as you already know Brian this program needs scripts for the product key and some other minor issues I've already told you privately. As for Freecorder Toolbar 3 program it would be great to have Jaws scripts for this program too. Scripts for the toolbar buttons. Today I noticed something new in my toolbar called the Digg It! button. I have written to Applian to make sure about this new Digg It! button appearance within the toolbar. This toolbar is made by Conduit and not by Applian. It's an Israeli company. I think the reason I am seeing this new Digg It! is during the Freecorder Toolbar 3 installation on the Conduit screen I left the checkbox enabled to allow for automatic updates checked. Not sure as I am asking Applian. I am just a user of Applian Technologies products and check for accessibility. If the software is made by Applian they can sometimes fix the issue but if it's from a 3rd party that usually is difficult. Remember the YouSendIt plug in issue. The developers from YSI wrote to me 2 times and I never heard from them again. Thank you very much. Petro --To unsubscribe: e-mail blindreplay-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with unsubscribe in subject To contact list owner: e-mail blindreplay-admins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
-- To unsubscribe: e-mail blindreplay-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with unsubscribe in subject To contact list owner: e-mail blindreplay-admins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx