This blog post was kindly written by Matthew Haavisto, Product Management Director, PeopleTools for the Technical and Reporting Advisory Group.
Oracle Support and Resources for Accessibility
PeopleSoft has been involved with accessibility support for many years, and this subject is an important priority for Oracle. In fact, Oracle has an entire team called the Accessibility Program Office (APO), which is part of the Corporate Architecture Group. They serve as a resource to all Oracle applications—not just PeopleSoft—and help all products with their compliance efforts. The APO also publishes a wealth of information to help customers learn about Oracle’s accessibility efforts. To learn about those programs and access a variety of accessibility information go here: https://www.oracle.com/corporate/accessibility/. This site also contains links to Peoplesoft’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs). These describe in detail the conformance of all PeopleSoft products.
Through the APO, Oracle supports and participates in several conferences on Accessibility. The APO also holds many internal meetings and conferences on accessibility, particularly around developing and testing for accessibility. They also keep all product lines aware of regulatory changes and updates.
How Accessibility is Supported in PeopleSoft
PeopleSoft supports accessibility in its applications in two ways: through PeopleTools (the development and runtime environment), and in the applications themselves. Some accessibility guidelines are simply supported in PeopleTools without requiring coding in the applications. However, PeopleTools also makes it possible for application developers to write their applications to conform to accessibility guidelines. For example, PeopleTools makes it possible for applications to be written containing tags for page elements so that they can be read by assistive technology like screen readers. The majority of guidelines are supported this way in the applications, and require application developers to code to standards. This is true for customer development as well. If customers develop custom pages and components, they must develop those pages to standards just as PeopleSoft applications developers are required to do.
Oracle—PeopleSoft uses both manual and automated testing to evaluate conformance with accessibility regulations. In fact, Oracle’s APO has developed a proprietary tool for internal accessibility testing. This tool is used across Oracle applications.
Screen Reader Mode
Note that PeopleSoft applications provide a mode that optimizes PeopleSoft pages for use with assistive technology like screen readers. This is typically enabled by administrators for their visually impaired users, but end users can also enable Screen Reader Mode at login.
Accessibility Guidelines and Enhancements
For guidelines about how accessibility is supported in PeopleSoft applications, see the PeopleBooks section on Accessibility: https://docs.oracle.com/cd/F13640_01/pt857pbr2/eng/pt/tacs/task_AccessibilityinPeopleSoftApplications-297ff9.html?pli=ul_d17e24_tacs
In addition to the overview, PeopleBooks provides the following information:
- How to set up accessibility layout features
- How to use accessibility layout features
- How to build accessible applications with PeopleTools
- Accessibility improvements by release (for example, improvements in 8.57)
Accessibility enhancements for applications images are listed in Image Update Videos, and the Cumulative Feature Overview tool. Accessibility features for each application are listed in the PBooks for each application. There is additional information on accessibility for PeopleSoft and other Oracle applications on MyOracleSupport.
What To Do if You Encounter an Accessibility Problem
PeopleSoft makes an earnest effort to fully conform to required accessibility regulations. However, if something isn’t working properly we address this like any other bug. When a problem is reported and verified, we fix it in our standard development process. This is true whether the bug is in the application or in PeopleTools. If you discover an accessibility issue, report it to Oracle Support. It will then be addressed through the normal support process.