Most individuals in the work place have no problem using a desk phone to answer, end, dial and even hold a call
regardless of that users ability level. However, features like Message Waiting, Incoming Caller ID, Missed Calls List
and Who’s on Hold are all features that are impossible for many to do without Tenacity’s software (or some other
equivalent software/hardware accommodation) if they have vision loss.
Specifically speaking about the lack of features mentioned above, accessibility law aside, why is it that phone
systems are being sold without the alternative communication interfaces? More importantly, why aren’t users
speaking up more about the gap that exists in what they are able to do with their phone versus what their
colleagues (with a different ability level) are able to do? Are the users being silenced for reasons related to cost or
self identification fears?
Is it possible that the users and their respective organizations simply do not recognize this gap much less the fact
that Tenacity (and solutions like ours) exist to fill it? Would your organization be interested in participating in
a focus group using free copies of our software for your employees to use for 30 days so that they in turn can
document any inequality and publish a Case Study?
While we have great relationships with Section 508 Coordinators, most of our attempts to educate users through
this channel really do not amount to a lot of movement within a specific agency. We believe the reason has to do
with the current processes inside any given agency. What we have seen is that there is a gap between the Section
508 Coordinator and the procurement team. We usually only hear about a specific need from a Section 508
Coordinator when there is a problem (like a lawsuit or formal complaint). Of course this is way too late. There is no
reason that this should ever happen because 1) rules and regulations are getting more stringent when it comes to
the purchase and deployment of communications technology inside any Government Agency or commercial entity
for that matter and 2) both Tenacity and OEMs have made the purchase process much easier over the years (i.e.
adding our products to their parts list).
Another idea that we have been thinking about is perhaps changing the way phone systems are ordered. More
specifically, we propose updating the phone vendor shopping cart to make it easier for resellers to realize that
there is an option available if the customer wants to meet ADA/Section 508 compliance. If there were a check box
labeled “Section 508 Compliance”, perhaps this would make it easier for Resellers to sell/deploy systems that are
compliant from the start.
Some people say TTY usage is dying, and we agree that from a user perspective this option is not very attractive
anymore due to the age of the technology. However, there are many reasons why TTY still has traction in the
1. Large hearing impaired population that does not speak sign language
2. Govt. still requires the support of Baudot tones in an enterprise
3. Many 911 centers do not support email or SMS which leaves the deaf with next to nothing else outside of TTY
We believe this is why we are seeing a great deal more requests for our ipTTY application in recent months.
Pricing can’t be the issue when meeting compliance (for our Enterprise plans). We have done our best to make
these telephony enhancements “readily achievable” through price reductions and simple deployment options.
We’ve seen that for most new telephony deployments, the portion of the bill required to meet compliance is less
than 1%; and this is for an unlimited number of licenses for employees with any disability.
So weigh in. Sign up to participate in a Focus Group today by requesting a Test Drive today and note “Focus Group” in the Comment Section.