NCAM performs accessibility evaluations for Web sites, applications, hardware and all types of electronic documents for conformance with Section 508 regulations, state accessibility requirements and all levels of WCAG 2.0.
Clients in Every Industry
NCAM routinely provides services to support the development and testing of accessible products, including hardware, software, Web sites, widgets, rich Internet applications, mobile Web sites and mobile applications. Clients for whom we provide testing services include federal and state agencies; colleges and universities; educational publishers; sports, cultural and arts organizations; retail and hospitality industry leaders; and the vendors who serve them.
Responding to Legal Action
NCAM currently partners with nearly four dozen clients, represented by more than a dozen legal firms, who have been targeted by recent Web-accessibility lawsuits and complaint letters. NCAM is intimately familiar with these letters and is extremely qualified to provide expert guidance on relevant issues related to drafting or revising externally facing Web-accessibility statements and supporting the creation and adoption of internal accessibility policies. NCAM staff can also interpret, in plain English, the results of automated accessibility-evaluation reports that have been created by other agencies or by plaintiffs' legal representation and which have been used as the basis for legal action.
NCAM brings to every engagement unparalleled expertise with the technologies used by people with disabilities, as well as an esteemed history of developing and implementing proven technological solutions. Our staff have participated in many multimedia, streaming-media and Web accessibility standards groups at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), of which NCAM is a founding member. Since the very first generation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in 1999, NCAM has played an active role in the definition, clarification, and dissemination of accessibility information and training. In fact, NCAM’s Geoff Freed was one of two professionals charged with designing and implementing the very first WCAG curriculum. NCAM staff served on the original federal Access Board that created the original recommendations for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and chaired the Audio-Visual Subcommittee of the 2007-2009 committee which refreshed these federal requirements (the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee)—finalized recently as the revised Section 508. In addition, NCAM is a part of the team which received a 2016 Technical and Engineering Emmy for pioneering work in online captions for developing the W3C’s Timed Text Markup Language (TTML).
Independent, Flexible, and Professional
Our deep understanding of the assistive technologies used by people with disabilities, as well as our continuous involvement with standards and regulatory groups, ensures that we understand both the spirit and the letter of all applicable accessibility policies and related technical requirements. NCAM can not only evaluate digital assets but also can train appropriate staff so that they can understand and follow relevant rules and regulations. NCAM operates completely objectively and independently, and has no interest or stake in the success or failure of any particular system, application, platform, hardware or software. We are qualified to provide actionable accessibility evaluations and ongoing support for all types of digital resources.
Process and Deliverables
NCAM’s primary approach is manual review, informed by our deep expertise, pioneering and ongoing standards activity, and our continued leadership role in emerging standards definition and dissemination. NCAM does not use enterprise-level, automated accessibility checkers, nor do we provide our clients with the inventory-like lists of warnings and errors that are frequently produced by these checkers. Our years of experience have shown these lists to be a less-effective and frequently overwhelming method of identifying accessibility challenges, prioritizing remediation efforts, and utilizing developer expertise.
Rather than using automated accessibility checkers, NCAM identifies accessibility obstacles by evaluating templates and navigation patterns that users will follow to find information on Web sites. This approach quickly identifies trends in a site's markup that can be extrapolated to other areas of the site that use the same or similar templates. Problematic areas can therefore be quickly isolated, and solutions can be implemented that have an immediate effect on large areas of the site.
NCAM offers a range of deliverables, from informal WebEx videoconferences to comprehensive WCAG 2.0 reports at all conformance levels, with a range of customized solutions and support in between.