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Accessibility Foundation Module (AFM) for SharePoint

Addressing SharePoint Framework Accessibility

The HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff Accessibility Foundation Module (AFM) provides users with a set of tools to create an accessible platform / framework for a SharePoint 2010 or 2007 portal or intranet site. AFM is integrated into the HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff offering to provide a more complete and easy-to-deploy method of addressing SharePoint framework accessibility. 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.

What Does AFM Do?

AFM significantly reduces the time, knowledge, and effort required to implement an accessible SharePoint-based site.

It allows developers to design a SharePoint environment that meets accessibility requirements for the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines. AFM uses techniques that are part of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification (ARIA) to make SharePoint even easier to utilize for users of assistive technologies.

Furthermore, AFM can be used to address the exceptions that have been identified in the US government’s Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) documents for SharePoint 2010 or 2007.

AFM integrates with HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff SP, allowing users to create reports before and after its application to demonstrate that content has actually improved in compliance. AFM 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 the 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.

The Telerik RadEditor, included with AFM, enables people with disabilities to author content in SharePoint with a fully accessible WYSIWYG text editor. SharePoint’s native text editor is not fully accessible. Organizations that have many people (HR, marketing, operation, IT, etc.) contributing content to many SharePoint sites (internal, external, My Sites, Team Sites, blogs, wikis, etc.) want to enable all of their employees to participate and AFM with the Telerik RadEditor fulfills this need.

Key Capabilities of AFM:

  • Makes the SharePoint framework compliant with accessibility standards:
    WCAG 1 and 2, US Section 508 and VPATs
  • Plug in architecture for easy expansion of Control Adapters and Plugins
  • 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.
    • Activate and de-activate specific control adapters and plugins at a global level, as well as individual site collections and sites.
  • Centralized configuration.
  • Granular deployments from the Web application level down to an individual site collection.
  • Integration with HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff® SP for reporting and progress tracking.
  • Use AFM to:
    • Add alternate text to images that are missing this valuable information
    • Mark tables that are used for presentation only using ARIA markup
    • Mark 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

What Does AFM Include?

  • Easy deployment as AFM is a set of three SharePoint Solution Packages (WSPs):
    • HiSoftware.AFM.Framework – provides the framework and administrative/configuration pages.
    • HiSoftware.AFM.ControlAdapters – provides the HiSoftware created Control Adapters.
    • HiSoftware.AFM.Plugins – provides the HiSoftware created Plugins.
  • Installation tool for deployment of accessible functionality
  • Integration with Compliance Sheriff for SharePoint, enabling developers to easily determine which accessibility modifications need to be applied– taking out the guesswork
  • RadEditor™ accessible text editor from Telerik

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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