Re: ADA Section 508 Compliance on StudentLoans.gov?

Hi Don: Congratulations on having a Daughter and again for her getting into 
University!
I have seen The problems you describe on other sites. It could be a Website 
Problem or a Screen Reader Problem. When you try and type into one of those 
boxes like for Social Security Number, see if there are seperat boxes you can 
tab to to enter each number parings. Often you can just type the long number 
and let the Webpage format them but sometimes it works slow or not very well 
with a screen reader. The focus problem could be from dynamic content on the 
page or the Webpage not scrolling the cursor or something else. I am not sure  
who would be the appropriate Watchdog Group to report them too. I Sort of 
thought NFB and ACB were performing that function but I'm not sure about that. 
They have the lawyers to check it out and contact Vendors about such things if 
they brush you off. . You might also contact your Screen Reader group to see if 
anyone has any quick suggestions for using that site. 
That form is nasty, I could not do it a few years ago so my Daughter did it, 
every year  if I remember, when she attended the University Of Michigan.  I 
think the President has said it is bloated and 
overly complex and has instructed some commission or other to look into it. The 
problem there is that will likely take years to implement where you want a 
solution sooner rather than later - at least before your Daughter is of 
retirement age, grin! 
Well, try contacting someone at NFB about this to see if they are aware of the 
problem and have any suggestions. Again, it might be a Screen Reader problem so 
don't take anyone's head off until you are sure who is responsible.
There have been allot of accessibility changes over the past couple years and 
the Screen Reader companies are behind in getting all of them implemented.
Rick USA
----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Donald Marang 
  To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2010 2:52 AM
  Subject: ADA Section 508 Compliance on StudentLoans.gov?


  Today I attempted to sign a Master Promissory Note on StudentsLoans.gov for 
my daughter.  It was one of the most important on-line transactions and worst 
experience I ever had!  This is a US Government site and as of July 1st, became 
a monopoly because all of these loans are now directly serviced by the 
government, not a variety of commercial banks.  The entire site is what I would 
call unusable for screen readers!  The site and its sister site for filling out 
the student's financial aid needs (FAFSA)require you to fill out forms.  The 
forms are nearly impossible to fill out!  The biggest problem is a focus issue. 
 After filling out a field and pressing Tab, the focus moves randomly around 
the page!  Even signing in requires you to enter Social Security number, first 
two letters of last name date of birth, and PIN.  Both SSN and DOB require you 
not to enter dashes or slashes and fill them in for you in a semi-secure 
password field.  The example says to enter in mm/dd/yyyy format, but if you do 
the log in fails!  Again, it is impossible to fill out more than two of these 
fields without losing focus and returning to the top of the page or elsewhere.  
I had someone from the hotline on the phone for two hours to simply 
electronically sign a document!  

  I has similar and worse experiences on the site to create the PIN and to fill 
out the long FAFSA application.  For instance, there were at least three 
definitions for how to calculate the number in your household.  I needed to go 
back into the FAFSA after completing and submitting the application.  The page 
to correct the form is very bizarre  and has the information as previously 
entered in a column and then a field in a second column to make the correction 
appears if you click to change that piece of data.  Again, the focus is a major 
issue on this page.  I was very careful about just changing the number in 
household number.  I found out later that night when calling their hotline a 
completely different question, that the agent told me that there was no longer 
a last name on the application!  Since the last name and Social Security number 
are part of the sign in process, it was impossible to correct on-line and had 
to be handled by snail mail!  

  I thought all government sites had to be accessible by ADA law.  These sites 
are particularly Important to the blind!  Is there a department of the 
government to report such sites?  What are the relevant regulations / laws in 
this circumstance?  What are the possible actions / reparations that can be 
taken?  I thought it was impossible to sue the federal government.  However, 
Social Security was recently required to send blind people letters on CD or 
large print if requested.  That was the result of some type of legal action.  

  Don Marang

Other related posts: