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Section 508 July 2002
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards

Since it was founded in 1972 by Dr. Roger K. Summit, Dialog has been a pioneer in developing technology for the retrieval of electronic information. Today, Dialog is the world leader in providing online-based information services to organizations. Throughout Dialog's 30-year history, Summit's original vision has been a guiding principal for the organization. From the original Dialog charter, that vision is: "[to] bring together the full range of the world's knowledge, making it available to all searchers, everywhere."

In keeping with that founding vision, Dialog is committed to making its products and services available to as many users a possible and, thus, in keeping with the accessibility standards of Section 508 (Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, 36 C.F.R. § 1194). These regulations implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.A. § 794d) and draw upon the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

About Dialog

With direct operations in 27 countries, Dialog products and services are a combination of highly accurate online research tools offering access to unique and relevant databases — designed to meet the specific needs of a wide range of users. Information professionals and end-users at business, professional, scientific, academic and government organizations in more than 100 countries prize Dialog services to meet their searching needs.

As part of the Deep Web, which is estimated to be 500 times larger than the content accessible via Web search engines, Dialog products offer unparalleled depth and breadth of content coupled with the ability to search with precision and speed. Our collection of over 900 databases handles more than 700,000 searches and delivers over 17 million document page views per month.

As part of ProQuest, a leader in the collection, organization and publishing of information, Dialog combines industry expertise with technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, scientific, and media markets.

Accessibility Efforts: Overview

Within Dialog, products and services are under continuing review to meet the terms — and the spirit — of Section 508. Outlined below are a few of the primary areas where Dialog has taken the initiative to address the needs of our customers with disabilities.

  • Industry Involvement — As a member organization of the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA), Dialog has long been involved in reviewing and promoting standards for accessibility. As we pursue best efforts for disability access, we have further consulted government sources and guidance, accessibility experts, and government contracts counsel and experts. As well, we have called upon the example of fellow Thomson companies that have been leaders in accessibility, such as West Group.
  • Accessibility Review — In 2001 following issuance of the final regulations and standards from the Access Board, Dialog contracted with CIA Corporation (www.section508corp.com) to conduct an initial, rigorous review of our primary products and services for accessibility.
  • Planning, Assessment and Remediation — Following that review, Dialog continues to examine products, interfaces, training opportunities and documentation for ways in which our services can be made more accessible for those visually, hearing- or dexterity-impaired. Products and services are undergoing review and redesign, as necessary and appropriate, to address the requirements of Section 508. Evolving product technologies will more fully incorporate access and interfacing with assistive technologies.
  • Future Products — We will work to include the accessibility that informs Section 508 as part of the basic planning and requirements for all future Dialog development. For example, guidelines set forth in the Software Applications and Operating Systems Section (§1194.31) were integral in the development of Dialog's telecommunications software DialogLink 5. Further, as products are migrated to Dialog's new environment, the Web-based Intranet and Internet Information Applications guidelines will be incorporated as practicable as well as text-only alternatives.
  • Accessibility Training — Section 508 has become a point-of-focus for our product development group. Our Technology unit is aware of the standards and the need to make products as accessible as possible. With training provided by industry experts, evolving technology will help Dialog build the best products possible.
  • Training & Support — Dialog makes training and support available in a number of different ways in order to make access available to customers when and how it works best for them. To accommodate the individual training needs of a customer, Dialog provides live web-based training and self-paced instruction via workbooks and online courses. Telephone support for technical and product issues is available from Dialog's Knowledge Center. Customers may also request support via webform or email at: .
  • Documentation — Dialog provides product support documentation in a variety of formats on our Web site at www.dialog.com. We try, of course, to accommodate all reasonable requests. All documentation will generally be provided to customers at no charge. Upon request, we can make documentation available in electronic format (Microsoft® WORD and PDF). Delivery time for these special-order materials is two to three weeks, depending upon the length of the piece. These documents can be sent to the customer via e-mail or on disc. Customers will have the ability to change the font and convert the documents into large-print documents.

Performance Criteria

In accordance with Section 508, Dialog's products and services are designed to comply with applicable accessibility standards including, as appropriate, providing equivalent facilitation. Consistent with the government's goal of using evolving technology to provide equivalent facilitation, the following checklist explains current compliance to the standards promulgated by the Access Board.

While Dialog's Web interfaces can provide a certain scope of accessibility pursuant to Section 508 guidelines, we stress that alternative access to Dialog is available via DialogLink in conjunction with assistive technology as described below.

Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria

Criteria Supporting Features
(a) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support for Assistive Technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided. Dialog systems do not have built-in functionality to provide access for blind or visually impaired users, but instead, as is a market norm, look to Assistive Technology; however, access is compatible with Assistive Technology (such as JAWS), which can read textual-based elements and provide keyboard or voice-activated access.
(b) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require visual acuity greater than 20/70 shall be provided in audio and enlarged print output working together or independently, or support for Assistive Technology used by people who are visually impaired shall be provided. Dialog systems do not have built-in functionality to provide access for blind or visually impaired users, but instead, as is a market norm, look to Assistive Technology; however, access is compatible with Assistive Technology (such as JAWS) which can read textual-based elements and provide keyboard or voice-activated access.
(c) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user hearing shall be provided, or support for Assistive Technology used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing shall be provided. There are no audio cues or information in the system that are not duplicated visually.
(d) Where audio information is important for the use of a product, at least one mode of operation and information retrieval shall be provided in an enhanced auditory fashion, or support for assistive hearing devices shall be provided. Any audio information is additive. There are no audio cues or information in the system that are not duplicated visually.
(e) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user speech shall be provided, or support for Assistive Technology used by people with disabilities shall be provided. User speech is not necessary for access to the system.
(f) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions and that is operable with limited reach and strength shall be provided. Duplicative functionality is built into systems that allows keyboard combination commands for any mouse or toolbar commands. All major features are accessible via keyboard navigation.

This template is based upon the Voluntary Product Assessment Template developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (www.itic.org).

At Dialog, we have a continued dedication to improving the accessibility of our products and services and creating new and better products that everyone can use. We look forward to further enhancing access to our products and services for all users in the future through Section 508 compliance and, in some cases, providing alternatives that provide greater or equal access. Specific questions or suggestions about Dialog offerings are welcome and can be sent to: .

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