Dean Evans & Associates' Internet-based query and request tool is first in the field to meet goals of Americans with Disabilities Act
11 Jun 2003
DENVER -- Dean Evans & Associates (www.dea.com)
today announced that all of its Virtual EMS products have met the goals of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was written to “establish a clear and
comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.” The specific
requirements met by the Virtual EMS products are contained in the precursor to the
ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which was amended and strengthened in 1998.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm) dictates that
the “electronic and information technology” of Federal agencies must be accessible
to people with disabilities, including employees and the public. A number of government
entities, as well as many government-funded educational organizations, use the EMS
According to Kevin Raasch, executive vice president of Dean Evans & Associates,
Virtual EMS is the first product in the facility scheduling and event management
field to be fully ADA compliant. “To our knowledge, no other software provider in
the industry is completely compliant with the spirit of the ADA or the requirements
of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Surely they are moving in that direction,
but we’re pleased to say that our company has reached an important milestone… that
our Internet-based products are now fully accessible to people with disabilities.”
Virtual EMS is a tool used to create a connection between an organization’s Web
site and their EMS facility scheduling database. There are three unique versions
of the program. The company’s EMS Lite™, EMS Professional™ and EMS Enterprise™ products
each have an associated Virtual EMS component. With all three versions, users are
able to review online calendars and lists of events that are scheduled in a facility
and also search for available space. The EMS Professional and EMS Enterprise versions
have advanced features such as the ability to submit requests or reservations directly
to the EMS database.
The six month project to make Virtual accessible to people with disabilities involved
modifying a number of areas of the program based on the “Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines” published by the World Wide Web Consortium® (www.w3.org). For example, the guidelines dictate that all
information conveyed using color must also be available without color.
This was an issue with the Virtual EMS “Reservation Book,” a tool that displays
events as colored bars on a grid, each color representing a different event status.
With the Section 508-compliant version of the product, special text-only browsers,
such as Lynx, can read hidden programming “tags” to identify the status of the displayed
events for users who have difficulty differentiating colors. Tags have also been
added to identify field location and content in Virtual EMS so that specialized
“screen reader” applications can interpret the information for users with visual
Dean Evans & Associates measures the ADA compliance of Virtual EMS using the
highly-regarded Watchfire® Bobby™ Website accessibility testing tool.
Founded in 1986 and based in Denver, Colo., Dean Evans & Associates develops,
markets and supports a line of sophisticated software products for facility scheduling,
event management and office hoteling. Their Event Management Systems (EMS) family
of products is ideal for scheduling and managing the rooms, services and resources
needed for events taking place in a wide variety of educational institutions, government
sites and corporations. Thousands of organizations, including four of the six largest
U.S. banks and more than a dozen Fortune 100 companies, rely on EMS software. Other
users include conference and convention centers, cultural venues, sports facilities
and churches. Online demonstrations of the software are available at
www.dea.com, or call 1-800-440-3994 and ask to speak with Tom Schek.
EMS® software offers a full suite of room scheduling, meeting and event management, academic scheduling, shared workspace management (hoteling), master calendaring and online registration/survey solutions.
More than 4,000 clients and 2.5 million registered users across a variety of industries in more than 75 countries use our software to book space, reserve resources and services, handle billing, produce web calendars, manage event registration and much more.
6465 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Suite 600Centennial, CO 80111United States
Toll Free: 800-440-3994Local: 303-771-0110
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