TRUE/FALSE: "Open source is not accessible compliant."

Suzy Kendrick's picture

Recently, the Chief Information Officer for the Government of Canada - Alex Benay - posted on LinkedIn, seeking input on the following:

"Open source is not accessible compliant."

I'm writing a formal response and wanted to get feedback from the community, specifically the working group on Drupal accessibility.

While we can only speak to accessibility in Drupal, I think it's important to have well-formed arguments that disprove this statement. This is definitely the best place to get those from.

Looking forward to your responses.

Comments

"Open source is not accessible compliant."

Chris McGrath's picture

Hi Suzy,

Fundamentally IMO this statement is ridiculous, as it groups all Open Source in one bucket.

Concerning Drupal 7 at least, while configuration for Accessibility is time consuming, it can and is certainly being done by many. I personally am aware of several government entities here in the U.S. using the D7 https://www.drupal.org/project/accessibility

Using this one can configure a number of scans and Views reports to monitor the compliance of https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/ and https://www.section508.gov/

From there it is up to the Content Production team to comply during the course of future updates, and the job of the App maintenance team to ensure that regular scans are run to identify any failings.

As for Drupal 8 currently the contrib module is not ready so a 3rd party system (W3C has a good one) must be used.

I hope that is helpful.

Source of quote?

andrewmacpherson's picture

Hi Suzy, do you have a link for Alex Benay's post?

Link to Alex Benay's LinkedIn Post

Suzy Kendrick
Marketing Manager | OPIN
www.opin.ca

Other comment

Chris McGrath's picture

Oh that other comment IS juicy ;)

Other Comment

Suzy Kendrick's picture

I found this report which I think will be helpful in disproving his first statement re: TOC.

https://www.acquia.com/sites/default/files/library/attachment/Total_cost...

Suzy Kendrick
Marketing Manager | OPIN
www.opin.ca

Thanks for the link. I see

andrewmacpherson's picture

Thanks for the link.

I see Mike Gifford is already deep in the discussion there :-)

Thanks for the link. I see

andrewmacpherson's picture

Thanks for the link.

I see Mike Gifford is already deep in the discussion there :-)

I don’t understand the statement.

no2e's picture

When I create a proprietary solution that is accessible, and then decide to release this solution under a free/libre/open license, the accessibility of the solution doesn’t change because of the licensing change.

Well said...

BEGRAFX's picture

Well Said, no2e. I think that clearly this response should open, and/or close by reminding Mr. Benay would be wise to avoid making such broad generalizations.

Context is Important

mgifford's picture

Thanks for posting this here Suzy.

I'm pretty sure that the point of Alex's post was to create a controversy and get people to engage. Partly because he started with "Let the debate begin... I'd like to seek input on the following :" but more importantly because he's been the biggest force for promoting open source adoption in the Government of Canada. He's a disruptor, and he's provoking a discussion.

Next he jumps in on accessibility & open source, "1. Open source is more expensive for web than proprietary technology from a total cost of ownership perspective". Again, I don't think this is his actual position. I think he just wanted to help flesh out the arguments on this on both sides in the open. I could be wrong about this, but he's a big picture guy and isn't worried about all the details.

Yes, I've got an opinion or two on "2. Open source is not accessible compliant" - Thanks to a small team of volunteers who have been pushing Drupal's accessibility over almost a decade I'm happy to say that Drupal is the most accessible CMS out there. Most other CMS's don't even look at accessibility of the interactive layers of their sites yet, which Drupal's been working on improving since we started working on Drupal 7. Thanks for jumping in here Alex.

I was/am very engaged in this discussion. I do think I managed to keep within his "Please keep the dialogue civil! ;)" guideline too.

I was really not impressed by the quality of the arguments of most of the folks who suggested that open source was more expensive or less accessible. Was just bad logic most of the time.

Can I quote you?

Suzy Kendrick's picture

Hi Mike,

I'd like to use part of your response in a piece I am working on. Is that ok?

:)

Suzy Kendrick
Marketing Manager | OPIN
www.opin.ca

Accessibility

Group events

Add to calendar

Group notifications

This group offers an RSS feed. Or subscribe to these personalized, sitewide feeds: