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Accessibility Foundation Module (AFM) for SharePoint

Addressing SharePoint Framework Accessibility

Regulations governing the accessibility of Web content and applications are gaining momentum. Public-facing websites have traditionally been the focus for accessibility; however with the growing reliance on systems like SharePoint for internal collaboration, organizations must also consider application accessibility. The Accessibility Foundation Module (AFM) for SharePoint ensures that SharePoint environments can be used and accessed by all users in compliance with US Section 508 and WCAG 2 standards.

What Does AFM Do?

AFM is available as an add-on to HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff and provides users with a set of tools to create an accessible framework for SharePoint 2013, 2010 and 2007 environments. AFM significantly reduces the time, knowledge and effort required to implement an accessible SharePoint environment that meets accessibility requirements for: Section 508, WCAG 2 and Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT).

The most significant advantage of AFM is the enterprise-friendly installation method that allows a SharePoint Server administrator to easily apply a master configuration to multiple SharePoint applications.

Additionally, AFM can be used in conjunction with HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff to allow users to create reports before and after its application to measure how content has improved in compliance. It gives developers a report showing whether or not they have correctly implemented the components. Any additional work required to make a SharePoint site compliant can be easily achieved using AFM.

Many SharePoint sites contain custom code or custom Web Parts. By using Compliance Sheriff to evaluate the content in combination with AFM, HiSoftware provides a way for developers to assess and remediate their SharePoint infrastructure no matter what customizations have been applied.

Key Benefits of AFM:

  • Centralized configuration
  • Granular deployments from the Web application level down to an individual site collection
  • Ability to build and maintain an accessible environment with minimum impact to SharePoint sites by allowing developers to:
    • Apply fixes without impacting existing master pages and page layouts
    • Add custom control adapters and plug-ins more easily
    • Implement accessibility fixes to control adapters and plugins more easily to maintain site accessibility
    • Activate and de-activate specific control adapters and plugins at a global level, as well as individual site collections and sites
  • Can be used in conjunction with HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff® for reporting and progress tracking

What Does AFM Include?

AFM is a set of SharePoint Solution Packages (WSPs):

  • AFM Framework:
    • Provides the structure and administrative/configuration pages
  • Control Adapters and Plug-ins to:
    • Automatically associate visual labels with controls
    • Add alternate text to images that are missing this valuable information
    • Mark tables and required fields with ARIA markup for easier site navigation
    • Enable text to be resized using standard internet browser functions
    • Adapt keyboard functionality for drop down menus
    • IFRAMEs identified with descriptive text
    • NOSCRIPT tags added for pages that require JavaScript

Learn more about AFM and SharePoint Compliance:

Contact a HiSoftware solutions specialist to discuss your compliance needs.

Download the AFM data sheet (PDF will open in a new window)

Go to the HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff for SharePoint Overview.

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