ePolicyWorks has strived to make this online dialogue accessible and useable for all participants, including people with disabilities. The online dialogue was built using the IdeaScale crowdsourcing solution, which currently meets Section 508 Web accessibility requirements and aims to meet WCAG v 2.0 guidelines. ePolicyWorks has performed extensive testing and worked with IdeaScale to implement modifications to ensure the accessibility of this tool. And in efforts to make it the most accessible crowdsourcing tool available, ePolicyWorks will continue to work with IdeaScale to explore and implement new solutions to further improve its usability in the months to come.
ePolicyWorks and IdeaScale are committed to the accessibility of this online dialogue and have made improvements to the IdeaScale environment by addressing usability issues identified during testing. Below are the modifications that were made by our teams:
- Increased font sizes and color contrast
- Used CSS to hide unnecessary functionality within IdeaScale that hindered usability for those utilizing assistive technology
- Improved the read order of IdeaScale voting features for assistive technology
- Added setting to turn "Events" off when not active
- Simplified the URL in the “Reset Password email” to improve ease of use
- Corrected keyboard focus When clicking “Forgot Password”
- Removed unnecessary graphics
- Added alt text to "Close Window" throughout IdeaScale
- Improved dropdown menu behavior throughout IdeaScale
- Inserted a success message for screen reader participants so that they know their action was performed successfully
- Required numbers for all numeric form fields
The IdeaScale crowdsourcing tool was selected for this online dialogue because of its accessibility features as well as the specific crowdsourcing features it offers. In addition, IdeaScale is an effective and proven way for the federal government to receive input from the community. IdeaScale allows participants to provide ideas as well as vote and comment on others’ ideas. In addition to the improvements that were implemented prior to the launch of this online dialogue, the dialogue will be continually monitored and tested to identify and resolve any issues.
While IdeaScale meets Section 508 requirements for Web accessibility, the tool did present a few usability challenges upon initial testing. The ePolicyWorks and IdeaScale teams have worked diligently to resolve many of these issues and continue to address any outstanding usability issues. The issues currently under investigation are:
- Focus when using specific forms
- Presentation of feedback score for screen readers
- Presentation of remaining characters for screen readers
- Presentation of tally of votes for screen readers
- Ability to retract comments on ideas
- Presentation order of tabs
As we continue to improve the ePolicyWorks online dialogue, we will reflect any changes within this accessibility statement, and update users on the progress we are making.
We encourage all participants to visit IdeaScale Online Support for general help information. In addition, the ePolicyWorks team has an educated and motivated staff ready to respond and assist in the unlikely event that any participants have accessibility issues or problems using the dialogue.
We value your opinions. If you have comments, questions, concerns or suggestions for enhanced accessibility or usability, please send them directly to the ePolicyWorks Team at ePolicyWorks@dol.gov.