TAFE SWSi Achieves Accessibility in SharePoint and on the Web with HiSoftware

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HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff and the Accessibility Foundation Module ensure all Web content and the SharePoint infrastructure are compliant with Australia’s WCAG 2 mandate

HiSoftware was the only enterprise level solution in the market that tests the SharePoint framework for accessibility. AFM helped us easily solve the challenges we faced with the items that made SharePoint inaccessible out-of-the-box.

Any websites that are owned or operated by the Australian government need to conform to WCAG 2.0 level AA by the end of 2014. TAFE SWSi, Australia’s public vocational education and training (VET) provider, selected HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff and the Accessibility Foundation Module™ (AFM) to ensure all its public facing websites and its SharePoint 2010 framework are compliant with the WCAG 2.0 AA mandate by December 31, 2014.

Shane Morgan, Web Systems, e-Learning and Database Coordinator, ICT Services Unit said, “We have a number of contributors to our Internet content and thousands of users trying to collaborate using SharePoint. We had to ensure that SharePoint itself was accessible for our staff and also that all our public facing websites are completely compliant with WCAG 2.0.”

Addressing website accessibility in time to meet government deadlines

To tackle website accessibility, TAFE SWSi chose the Compliance Sheriff solution which allows them to approach website accessibility using a repeatable and auditable process to not only discover accessibility issues, but also maintain compliant sites moving forward.

Morgan said, “We have a number of units and users contributing content to our websites so a robust tool that tested for all of the requirements covered under WCAG 2.0 AA was needed since not all the contributors are fully aware of the requirements and our existing solution was insufficient.”

Compliance Sheriff automates the monitoring and auditing of Web content and attached PDF and Microsoft Office documents against WCAG 2.0 AA per the government requirements, but has the capability to test through level AAA, other international guidelines (e.g. US Section 508), as well as custom requirements. It can be used to validate published content and documents on their existing websites, but can also test web content behind the firewall prior to publishing.

Morgan said, “We’ve been able to run reports using Compliance Sheriff to get a baseline on our accessibility. These reports are repeatable which means we can measure what’s been rectified and identify reoccurring issues. We can use the reports for auditing, but more importantly to conduct training as necessary to improve our staff’s awareness of accessibility.”

Making the SharePoint Environment Accessible

To solve the second challenge of how to make their SharePoint infrastructure accessible to disabled users, TAFE SWSi looked at the Compliance Sheriff Accessibility Foundation Module (AFM). AFM provides users with a set of tools to create an accessible framework for SharePoint 2013, 2010 and 2007 environments. It offers an enterprise-friendly installation method that allows a SharePoint Server administrator to easily apply a master configuration to multiple SharePoint applications. AFM also integrates with Compliance Sheriff for reporting and progress tracking.

Morgan said, “HiSoftware was the only enterprise level solution in the market that tests the SharePoint framework for accessibility. Our team of developers used Compliance Sheriff AFM to assess and apply the needed fixes to accessibility issues with the SharePoint framework. The issues included a lack of Alt text, the need to resize existing text, SearchBox, ListView adapter, among others. AFM helped us easily solve the challenges we faced with the items that made SharePoint inaccessible out-of-the-box.”

Chris McNulty, HiSoftware’s CTO and a SharePoint MVP, said, “Not only does TAFE SWSi benefit from the ability to make its Web content accessible in time for the upcoming government deadline, but the organization can also ensure all future Web content is also in compliance. Additionally, TAFE SWSi now has an accessible SharePoint environment that can be fully utilized by all staff. This not only important to comply with the mandates, but also allows TAFE SWSi to maximize their investment in SharePoint.”

About HiSoftware
HiSoftware, a Cryptzone company, provides end-to-end information security and compliance solutions to help organizations address business process, regulatory and productivity concerns around the secure collaboration of data in content management systems and social environments. HiSoftware solutions add a layer of security at the content level to enforce data and web governance policies and improve collaboration, while minimizing risk on a wide range of digital environments including SharePoint, file shares, enterprise social systems, mobiles, intranets, extranets, public websites and the cloud. HiSoftware is a Microsoft Gold Application Development Partner with over 1,000 customers across a broad range of industries including Global 2000 companies, higher education, and US and international government agencies. Learn more at http://www.hisoftware.com or follow @HiSoftware on Twitter.

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