ATU353 – PACS – Proactive Accessibility Conformance Strategy with Kimberly Cline

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353-03-02-18 – PACS with Kimberly Cline, Director, Sales & Account Management – InteractiveAccessibility |
Show notes:
PACS with Kimberly Cline, Director, Sales & Account Management – InteractiveAccessibility | 978-218-7181 | www.interactiveaccessibility.com | kimberlyc@ia11y.com
Why do gyms make things so difficult for blind people? http://bit.ly/2HTFU5R
Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room http://bit.ly/2F1sebe

——-transcript follows ——

KIMBERLY CLINE:  Hi, this is Kimberly Cline, and I’m the director of sales and account management for Interactive Accessibility, and this is your Assistive Technology Update.

WADE WINGLER:  Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Welcome to episode number 353 of assistive technology update.  It’s scheduled to be released on March 2, 2018.

Today I’m going to talk with my friend Kimberly Cline about PACS, Proactive Accessibility Conformance Strategy.  Interesting way of looking at accessibility for an organization in a bigger picture.  Also a quick story about why gyms make things so difficult for blind people, kind of some editorial edition going on there.

We hope will check out our website at EasterSealsTech.com. Send us a note on Twitter@INDATA Project.  Or give us a call on our listener line. We love to hear from you.  The number is 317-721-7124.

Like this show? Check out Accessibility Minute.  Every week we spent about a minute talking about what is new and cool in assistive technology.  Hosted by Laura Medcalf, you can find it where you find your podcast or at AccessibilityChannel.com.

From the University of Washington, there is a story about using a laser to wirelessly charge a smart phone from across the room.  You might not think that is assistive technology right away, they could be.  A group of researchers at the University of Washington have created a prototype device that uses five lasers. One is a powerful laser that charges the phone just as fast as a USB cable, and then four guard lasers that are designed to make sure that if a human gets close to that powerful laser, it can shut it down really fast.  The idea is that you just lay cell phone on a table and then the laser charging device can charge it from up to 14 feet away.  Now, cell phones are definitely assistive technology, but think about what this might mean for people who need to have a wheelchair charged or otherwise have a hard time eating their assistive technology plugged in.  This is very much a research beta thing, but I think there is a lot of promise for our industry.  I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to the University of Washington news where you can watch a video and learn more about charging your phone with a laser from across the room.  Check our show notes.

How is that workout going? We are now in March 2018.  Most people make those New Year’s resolutions around the new part of the year and fall off by February.  Are you still working out? I found an interesting article here that the headline reads, why do gyms make things so difficult for blind people? Amar Latif is an athlete and the founder of travel eyes, a company who helps people who are blind to pair with sighted travelers to explore the world together.  He talks about the fact that he knew as a child he was going to lose his site and did a lot to make sure he would be able to navigate his world.  One of the things he still struggles with is going to the gym and working out.  He says not only is it difficult because a lot of the machines in a gym have buns that aren’t tactile in nature, clearly marked braille, or accessible in any other way, he talks about the fact that figuring out where the weights are on the rack and in what order can be a problem, and even just navigating a gym can be difficult.  There is a lot of clutter, clunky, heavy, sharp stuff.  While he mentions that a lot of gyms offer free passes to sighted assistance and are working on things in this area, it is still a challenge.  Although I normally am trying to inform you about assistive technology, this is really a request.  Who out there in our listening audience has figured out ways to navigate the accessibility issues that you find at a gym? What about navigation? What about controls on machines? What kinds of things can be done to make life easier for folks who are blind or visually impaired? You know me. Is there any assistive technology that is not on my radar related to this? I would love to hear from you.  Give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124 or send us an email at tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org.  If you are familiar with technology to make gyms more accessible to people who are blind or people with disabilities in general, I think that might make an interesting show interview coming up and would love to hear from you guys.  In the meantime, I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to this Guardian UK article where you can read about Amar Latif and his challenges he finds in the gym environment. Check our show notes.

I’m sort of excited — no, I am more than excited, because today we are going to spend some time with an old friend of mine. She is not old, but I’ve known her for a long time.  Kimberly Klein and I have been acquainted for number of years.  Recently we were chatting about a number of things, and she said Wade, I’m doing this thing with interactive accessibility.  It’s called proactive accessibility conformance strategy. I went, huh? And then she explained it to me and I said this is cool.  This is a good idea and something I wish I would’ve thought of.

I had better stop and say today I’m excited to be joined by my good friend Kimberly Cline who is the director of sales and account management at interactive accessibility, joining me via Skype from Las Vegas Nevada.  I think that’s where you are, right, Kimberly?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  It sure is. I would say sunny Las Vegas, but lots of cold weather for here, and wind, which is odd.

WADE WINGLER:  No kidding? It’s supposed to be perfect all the time, right?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  That’s my thought.  That’s what they told me.  That’s why I moved here.

WADE WINGLER:  Exactly.  How are you first of all?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  I’m doing great.  It’s so great to catch up with you again.

WADE WINGLER:  We don’t get to do it often, but we have over the years spent a lot of time together.  How long have we known each other, 15 years or so? Maybe more?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  I’ve been in the industry 25.  I’m thinking I might have met you 20 years ago.

WADE WINGLER:  So you started when you were seven, I get that.

KIMBERLY CLINE:  That’s what they tell me.

WADE WINGLER:  Before we start talking about PACS and interactive accessibility, my audience might not know you.  Tell them a little bit about yourself and your background and why you became interested in AT and accessibility originally.

KIMBERLY CLINE:  Like I mentioned, I’ve been in the industry about 25 years.  I believe in “god moments,” so I really believe it was a god moment.  Someone called me and said we want you to train this person, and I have no vision so you’re going to be training on something we call a screen reader, and they are totally blind.  I said, well, the only person I know that is blind is my grandma, and she doesn’t use a computer, so I think you got a run number.  This dates myself.  They called me and wanted me to teach what they program called Flipper, which is not in existence anymore.  Then we moved to JAWS to dolphin.  I thought it was all based on — that I found a program called a window eyes.  Okay, they broke the mold.  That’s how it started.  My main focus for many years, actually the general part of my career has been working with individuals with low vision or who are blind, whether I was fixing the computer or teaching them how to use the assistive technology or setting them up at a job site.  That’s where you and I met.  We were setting up some people here in Las Vegas that one of the hotels.  That’s kind of my focus and what my career has been about, is helping individuals get the most out of a computer and their life by using assistive technology and utilizing the computer.

WADE WINGLER:  So now you’re with interactive accessibility, director of sales and  account management.  Tell us a little bit about what interactive accessibility does and how you fit in.

KIMBERLY CLINE:  I’ve only been with them since August, and I’m so excited to be on board.  I’ve known the CEO for years.  I think we are both attracted because we are both very tall, and I thought there is another tall lady, one of those moments.  I think I had her at accessing higher ground, if I remember correctly.  She was presenting and was a dynamic presenter.  She came to my presentation on the ZoomText.  We’ve been friends over the years, and every time I get to see here at a conference, I’m always hey, what’s new, what are you guys doing.  I was always intrigued by what her organization did, but I’m not what I would call a very technical person.  I’m a people person.  When she started throwing out things like WCAG 2.0, double-ace informant, I thought this lady is not only tall, good-looking, but she smart.  I went, I don’t know if I fit in that category.  I’m going to struggle a little bit here on all these things.  So I started looking at her website, looking at things.  I went, you know what, we are in a changing industry, and I think it’s time for me to broaden my horizons and really get in there and see what’s going on.  Over the years, again, I trained with assistive technology.  When it didn’t work on some of his website, I would just try to get a hold of the person or we would script around it or something like that.  Then starting to study all the things that are out there, I thought wow, people need to be making their digital accessibility conformant.  It needs to work with all these assistive technologies.  What a concept.  Just like with everything else, it has been out there for a long time, ADA Section 508, now I think it is starting to hit home and they are starting to enforce things. As we know, litigation, I hate to say it, but it drives things and makes things happen.  We are starting to see people that are frustrated because they can’t access a website to work something online because they are visually impaired or blind.  I felt like it was time to make the move, and I’m really glad he did.

WADE WINGLER:  As we start talking about a topic today which is proactive accessibility conformance strategies, the first word and the one I notice is proactive.  I think that’s going to lead some of our conversation.  Simply put, what is PACS and why do we need it?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  That’s actually why I came on board.  Kathy talk to me about an idea she had, and that’s how I told you and you were intrigued.  I was very intrigued.  She said Kimberly, four years we’ve been out here with interactive accessibility.  We’ve been helping people with their website that want to make things conformant.  But the industry is changing.  We are starting to get phone calls saying why are we contacting you every couple of years when we change our website to put another bandit on it to fix it? This isn’t working.  Then we fix our website, and somebody from our procurement office purchases a third party software that is not conformant, so now I’m finding out with the laws that we are not conformant either because we basically have something that someone can’t to use.  Then she was getting calls from software development and lifestyle folks.  We have an organization.  You are not dealing with one or two people most of the time.  You’re dealing with a large organization.  What she was starting to hear was, we want conformance to be woven into the DNA of our organization.  We know we want that, we don’t know how to do that.  We don’t know how to go about that.

Kathy was amazing.  She took the information and thought about it for a few years and thought, I think we can do this, but it’s got to be measurable.  It’s got to be orchestrated in a way that folks can do it, that we can make sure it’s working.  So she thought, there are some models out there that I want to look at.  So she took a look at CMMI and CMM, which were things I didn’t know a lot about when I came on board, but I learned quickly.  Those types of things were created to basically help organizations measure where they are at. The CMMI is the capability maturity model integration.  She took that model, played with everything she already knew with conformance, and said, hey, let’s put this all together.  At the time we didn’t know what we would call it, but it is PACS, proactive accessibility compliance strategy.

WADE WINGLER:  So there’s lot going on there.  I agree it is brilliant.  Getting out in front of these accessibility issues is a lot better than Band-Aids, which is a lot of how the assistive technology industry has worked for a long time.  Tell me a little bit about the how.  Let’s get into the nuts and bolts.  How does it work? What is the process like?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  It’s based on five level of maturity.  Not everyone, but most people will start at level one, which is the grassroots level, the reactive mode.  Hey, our website isn’t accessible.  We need to do something about it.  We are reacting to something that happened.  Let’s face it.  Most people are going to start out there, but they don’t want to remain there.  That was what we were hearing.  Every couple of years, I am in that reactive mode.  We actually go down through five levels, reactive, emergency, defined, manage, and proactive.  Of course that is where everybody wants to be.  It is part of the organization DNA.  You can’t just say I want to be proactive and get there.  You have to go to the steps.  There are many different steps you need to go through.  We created an actual survey, and people come in and can measure were there at.  They are actually going to come in to do some strategic measuring.  Do you have an accessibility policy? Yes.  Is it in place? Is it reviewed? Is it enforced? All of these types of things.  We have a scorecard people go through.  They right where they are at, and then from that we can tell what level they think they are at.  We always think we are at a higher level than maybe we are cost that’s how it starts.

WADE WINGLER:  This is a service? The nuts and bolts, you guys come out, walk through this process.  Is it more of a self-assessment? What does it look like when the PACS is happening?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  It is a service.  They can go online.  They can take the scorecard.  From that, we can evaluate where they say they are at.  That’s important.  But then we need to get in with the stakeholders and do some interviews.  We need to fly out and go to the organization, look at their accessibility policy.  Is it really in place? Are the things they need to add? Are there things they need to change? All these types of nuts and bolts you would think of that would relate to this.  We do stakeholder interviews.  We measure everything.  We look at where the people are at.  Let’s say they come in and, and they are reactive, but may be there software development lifecycle is the next level, emerging, because you’re going to have different areas of the organization be a different places.  It’s kind of like that rowboat. You don’t want one person rowing really hard and the person in the back rowing a little bit.  You’re going in circles.  I think that’s what we are seeing a lot with these organizations. One department might really take on accessibility while all the other ones around it aren’t.  The goal is to get everybody rowing that rowboat the same way.

WADE WINGLER:  When we were chatting before the interview today, you were talking about areas that are part of the PACS process.  And it’s not just web accessibility and technical stuff.  It is business processes and more areas, right?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  It is.  If you think about procurement, let’s say a big college, but say their website is conformant. They’ve got digital accessibility and everything is going well.  By now they’ve got procurement.  Those people are buying third party software’s and things to put up on their website.  The people in that department, they haven’t been educated.  They don’t know to ask the people that they are purchasing from, hey, has your software been tested with ABC? They just haven’t been educated.  They don’t know.  It’s not that they don’t want to do the right thing.  They don’t know what the right thing is.  It’s all the way throughout the organization that we look at and see where they are at, we measure that, and then we give them to work on to move up to the next level.  Then we can come back and measure and see where they are with everything after they actually complete the activities.

WADE WINGLER:  I know this is probably going to be an “It depends” kind of answer, about how long does the process take?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  You are exactly right.  It does really depend.  It depends on the size of the organization and on the motivation of the organization.  Is everybody going to get on board? Sometimes you may have three or four departments, and it is really important to have a champion, someone who wants to champion this and be that cheerleader between the departments and say hey, it’s really important that you are doing this because we are doing this over here, and here’s where we meet.  If we are all meeting at the same level, we had same goals in mind, we are going to get to this faster.  Of course it is important to have buy-in from upper management.  They not only need to see the value, they need to budget for it.  If you don’t budget for conformance, and then you come in later and look at your website and it is not working with assistive technology, and you get the litigation, it cost you more money than if you had just done it right in the first place.  So it is important to have the buy-in from all the departments.  We do get everyone involved when we come out, and we talk to people.

We put together something that we call a PACS action plan.  It’s a PAP. We come in, measure everything, do a report, and we put it — just like everything that interactive accessibility has always done, and that’s why I was so attracted to the company, we put it in a with that everybody understands.  Again, some of this is very technical, but we put the plans together just like what we do website reviews.  Everybody can understand it from the CEO to the very technical person.  I think that’s what sets us apart and what makes this such a successful program.

WADE WINGLER:  You’ve talked a little bit about universities and alluded to be companies.  Are those your target customers primarily? Is it big organizations? Who is the target customer?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  That definitely is something that we are reaching out to, but I think there are smaller organizations that would benefit from this as well.  The main thing is they need to have the desire to want to grow as an organization.  I think once they have that — I think a lot of organizations want to do the right thing, but they are little bit like I was when I use to study what Cathy’s organization did, they are overwhelmed.  I read WCAG 2.0. How do I fix this? And when I fix this does a break that? Am I hitting all the right buttons? They just don’t know what to do.  Once they have someone in place that only says this area, you’re at level II, this area you are not, and if you did these things you can move everybody up to the same area, they are so excited to be on board to have the steps to take to get to the next level.  That’s why we are here.  We are here to join arms with them and help them have success.

WADE WINGLER:  A couple of rapidfire questions here.  What are the results? What happens after the results? And what does it cost? When you can you get this done if you want it?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  Very good.  What does it cost? We will start there.  Obviously depends on the size of the organization. That’s what we base it on.  The process, the first thing is to actually go in, assess themselves, then from that point we can send someone out, we can go through that, see where the gaps are to help them get things going.  If someone wants to get started, obviously they can reach out to me.  This particular area something I specialist Anna, so I could give them more details.  Or if they are trying to sell it to upper management, I can give them the proper information they need to do that.  What other questions did you ask?

WADE WINGLER:  What are the results and what happens after the results? I assume you deliver a set of recommendations or a plan.  Are they left on their own? Do you help with implementation and the changes?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  What happens, we put together that action plan, and once we give that to them, we start that process.  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes effort.  Yes, we do partner with them.  We walk through the actual action plan.  It’s called a leadership and goal tracking program where they can measure their successes.  They can look at — we are looking at a bunch of different areas. We are looking at literally 10 areas of an organization.  I gave an example of the procurement, but we are looking at accessibility governance, policies and procedures, legal, accessibility software development life cycle, procurement, and on and on.  We do need to partner.  We need to come in.  You are going to hit roadblocks.  There will be certain departments that didn’t do their homework or didn’t quite understand what they needed to do.  We are there to support them.  We actually have a person that works directly with them that is assigned to their account.

WADE WINGLER:  We are recording before CSUN, the California state AT conference.  The show is probably going to be released a couple weeks or so before that.  I know you have a lot queued up for the conference related to the PACS thing. What is cooking at CSUN?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  There are three main things. Obviously we are going to present on this, and I’m very excited to go and be part of that.  Prior to that, our goal as an organization’s customers and what the customers need.  That’s where Kathy has put her focus. We are doing something that we’ve never done before and I’m really excited to be a part of this.  We are doing an executive think tank.  We are actually bringing people from all different verticals, hotels, school districts, voc rehab agencies, some large corporations.  We are having a think tank, actually sitting together for two and a half hours, and we’re going to pose questions and asked if the things of the organizations.  So we might say, what does your organization currently have in place in regards to digital accessibility? We learn from each other.  Then we come down, take the information, and we put it back into note form to give back to the attendees.  We are going to ask things like what are the current difficulties that your organization is having around maintaining digital accessibility? It’s one thing to become accessible, but then how do you maintain it? We will be talking about those types of things. This particular session is free, but you have to register.  They can go to our website, we have a blog in regards to everything that we are doing at CSUN. It says register for this particular event.  I am in charge of this event, and they can charge me directly and we will cover that in just a minute.

We are doing a couple other presentations at CSUN that I want to invite people to.  Kathy Walden is also working in mobile accessibility, which is a hot new topic.  She is partnering with a couple of other organizations March 21st at 4:20. You can get information on that from our website.  And then we are resenting on PACS, doing a presentation called achieving proactive compliance.  That is on Thursday, March 22 at 11 o’clock.  The last two that Kathy and I are doing together, you don’t have to register for those.  You do have to pay at CSUN to go to the actual presentations, but it doesn’t require registration.  The one for the executive think tank does.  If you want to just go to our website and our blog, we have a blog about interactive accessibility at CSUN 2018, and you’ll find everything that I just mentioned. I’m fine if people want to reach out directly to me at anytime.

WADE WINGLER:  Let’s go ahead and do the contact information well we’re talking about it.  Email address, website, how do you want people to reach out to you? We will record it and I’ll also put it in the show notes so people can find it on the website.

KIMBERLY CLINE:  I love talking to people, so do not hesitate to call me.  978-218-7181.  That’s my direct line so I’ll be able to answer any questions with regards to CSUN, PACS, or anything that we offer as in a position.  Or they can email me at kimberlyc@ia11y.com. Or they can go to our website, www.interactiveaccessibility.com.

WADE WINGLER:  We’ve got another minute or so, and I’m going to ask you a question that may take them into think about.  When you and I are having coffee sometime five years down the road, and we say this PACS thing was a great success, what will have made it a great success?

KIMBERLY CLINE:  I think what will make it a great success, and I already see it happening, is it being woven into organizations the DNA and people starting to think about things not after the fact that before.  We are going to create a website.  Oh, we had better look at the wireframes. We need to build in accessibility while we are building it, not after.  Not only is it more expensive after, it is just never as good.  It’s that bandit effect.  If we start doing these things throughout the life cycle of the software and the cycle of it and the whole organization, I think we are going to see people feeling better about what they are doing and of course benefit anyone who uses assistive technology on websites or anything with digital accessibility.

WADE WINGLER:  Kimberly Cline is the director of sales and account management at interactive accessibility, a good friend of mine.  So good to catch up with you.  Thanks for being on the show today.

KIMBERLY CLINE:  Thank you very much.

WADE WINGLER:  Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. Looking for a transcript or show notes from today’s show? Head on over to www.EasterSealstech.com. Assistive Technology Update is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more shows like this plus much more over at AccessibilityChannel.com. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.

***Transcript provided by TJ Cortopassi.  For requests and inquiries, contact tjcortopassi@gmail.com***