PeopleSoft Accessibility, Section 508 Compliance, and the Misconception of Overlays

PeopleUX is committed to helping colleges and universities with their PeopleSoft Accessibility by delivering an accessible user experience for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. It’s a commitment we take seriously. So much so that in early 2020 we engaged Level Access, a digital accessibility consulting firm that helps organizations mitigate risk and embrace inclusivity. We asked them to measure and confirm our platform’s ability to align more closely with ADA, Section 508, and WCAG 2.1 Level A/AA federal accessibility standards and generate a corresponding VPAT. 

The result is the first and only collaboratively generated VPAT from the partnership between a technology provider and accessibility consultant. Having Level Access as a third-party accountability partner validates our commitment to make PeopleSoft Campus Solutions readily accessible to all users.

The Advantage of Partnering with Level Access 

Remember that the “V “in VPAT stands for “voluntary.” VPATs are always completed by the vendor for their own products. We believe so much in what we’re doing with PeopleUX that we had a third-party accountability partner generate an external VPAT and put their name on it. This gives our customers a vote of confidence. It’s not just us (a vendor) saying we can make PeopleSoft Campus Solutions accessible. We proved we can do it.

Case in point, one of our higher education customers recently told me that no vendor has gone to this length before to prove the viability of their product and back up their accessibility claims. 

Our partnership with Level Access ensures that PeopleUX complies with all legal requirements, not just those considered “easy to address.” 

The Misconception of “Easy-to-Address” Accessibility with Widgets and Overlays

It’s easy to fall into the trap of using an easier and quicker solution for PeopleSoft accessibility and turn to widgets and other overlay-based solutions. These are “weak attempts” at taking one thing, the PeopleSoft native page, and turning it into something else, an accessible page. 

These solutions can lull companies into thinking they don’t have to care about accessibility or that they’ve taken care of an accessibility issue by tweaking a selection of web pages. For example, a company might only create overlays for screens they think are essential (self-service pages for benefits, personal information, etc.) and ignore the rest.  

And with approximately 250 lawsuits being filed in 2020 against organizations using widgets and overlays, it is clear that overlays and widgets also fail to protect website and business owners from litigation. More importantly, they fail to serve people with disabilities. 

Any institution subject to ADA WCAG compliance standards must re-evaluate its strategies to enable accessibility and focus its efforts at the PeopleCode level.

Achieving PeopleSoft Accessibility with PeopleUX

With PeopleUX, you don’t have to be an accessibility expert or worry about what PeopleSoft is doing for accessibility. We do that for you. 

PeopleUX installs directly into the PeopleSoft web server and automatically renders every Campus Solutions page — from Classic, Classic+, and Fluid — into a mobile-responsive and accessibility-compliant user experience. The HTML render process takes place at the PeopleCode level, ensuring customers are not exposed to potential ADA-related lawsuits from the use of widgets and other overlay-based solutions. 

Additionally, PeopleUX will maintain compliance with all standards, keeping our product and your website up to date with all the latest federal guidelines.

The Business of PeopleSoft Accessibility Lawsuits is Booming

The one business that experienced little to no deceleration during 2020 was the business of filing accessibility lawsuits, specifically the ones targeting the implementation of WCAG guidelines and those associated with Section 508. Though there were fewer lawsuits filed in 2020 due to COVID shutdowns, a spike is underway as online activity surges. More than 1,200 lawsuits were filed in the second half of 2020 alone. 

Additionally, Level Access predicts that the total number of web accessibility lawsuits will top 5,000 in 2022. And with students likely returning to campuses in the Fall of 2021, it’s a safe bet that higher education institutions will see their fair share of those lawsuits.  

See For Yourself How PeopleUX Can Enable PeopleSoft Accessibility and Protect Your University from Legal Liability

Out third-party VPAT with Level Access strengthens the trust colleges and universities (and you!) can place in PeopleUX’s platform to deliver an accessible user experience and ensure PeopleSoft Campus Solutions meets all ADA, Section 508, and WCAG federal accessibility standards.

Contact us today for a demonstration of how PeopleUX can reduce your exposure to potential ADA-related lawsuits.

One more thing: PeopleUX will expand its external VPAT certification with Level Access this year to include Oracle’s PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) and Oracle’s PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain (FSCM). Stay tuned.

April 8, 2021
3 mins read
By Michael Cunningham