General Accessibility Statement
Since its inception in 1981, SGI has always been at the forefront of the technological revolution. SGI is committed to finding new, different, and more efficient ways to gather and synthesize information through high-performance computing, high-end visualization solutions and complex data management.
It is important to SGI that its systems and software be accessible to everyone. Those with disabilities should not be limited in their use of electronic and information technology.
Today, 75% of the 30 million adults with significant disabilities are underemployed because their access to technology has been limited. Because of the underemployment of those with disabilities, in 1998 President Clinton signed into law an amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The amendment to Section 508 requires federal agencies to procure, develop, maintain, and use electronic and information technology that is accessible to people with disabilities.
Utilizing the talents of those with disabilities has always been a priority for SGI. SGI has worked extremely hard to make its cutting-edge technology accessible to the disabled. One example of SGI's commitment to its disabled users is its development and implementation of AccessX. Since 1999, SGI has provided, on its Applications CD for IRIX® 6.2 and beyond, a graphical application product called AccessX that allows movement-impaired users to set and activate special keyboard features, making the system far more usable for those unable to use the mouse.
Pursuant to the guidelines set by Section 508 and SGI's longtime corporate philosophy, SGI is currently putting in place procedures under which every new product developed by the company will be subjected to the requirements set out in the regulation before being released. SGI has a long-standing commitment to people with disabilities and is committed to meeting the requirements of this newly enacted statute.
Understanding Section 508
Section 508 requires that Federal agencies, when developing, procuring, maintaining or using electronic and information technology, ensure that this technology is accessible to and usable by federal employees and also to members of the public with disabilities seeking information or services from federal agencies.
The Access Board, the federal agency committed to accessible design, provides guidelines to the application of accessibility standards prescribed in section 508. More detail is available on the Access Board Web Site. Here is a summary of the guidelines:
(a) These standards do not apply to any electronic or information technology operated by agencies, the function, operation, or use of which involves intelligence activities, cryptologic activities related to national security, command and control of military forces, equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system, or systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions. Systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions do not include a system that is to be used for routine administrative and business applications (including payroll, finance, logistics, and personnel management applications).
(b) These standards do not apply to electronic and information technology that is acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract.
(c) Except as required to comply with the provisions in these standards, section 508 does not require the installation of specific accessibility-related software or the attachment of an assistive technology device at a workstation of a federal employee who is not an individual with a disability.
(d) When agencies provide access to the public to information or data through electronic and information technology, agencies are not required to make products owned by the agency available for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than that where the electronic and information technology is provided to the public, or to purchase products for access and use by individuals with disabilities at a location other than that where the electronic and information technology is provided to the public.
(e) This part shall not be construed to require a fundamental alteration in the nature of a product or its components.
(f) Products located in spaces frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair, or occasional monitoring of equipment are not required to comply with these standards.
508 Standards Applicability depends on the ultimate function and mission of the information technology being deployed, whether or not the subject technology is intended to be publicly accessible, whether or not the technology would be fundamentally altered resulting in a different product, and other important factors. SGI information technologies are designed to fulfill unique U.S. Government civilian, military, and intelligence requirements in the areas of high-performance computing, high-performance visualization, and the management of complex data. Many of those systems deployed are generally to be used by specialized personnel under security scrutiny in order to safeguard integrity of information. The decision tree provided below could be utilized by the customers to decide 508 standards applicability of the information technology being procured or the application deployed.
SGI supports accessibility technologies for all applicable procurements; applicable product lines, and continues active assessment as an integral part of the design and deployment of new products and services.
Section 508 Standards for Electronic and Information Technology organizes the accessibility assessment in the following areas: Section 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems, Section 1194.22 Web-based Internet information and applications, Section 1194.23 Telecommunications Products, Section 1194.24 Video and Multimedia Products, Section 1194.25 Self-Contained, Closed Products, Section 1194.26 Desktop and Portable Computers, and Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria. The areas of Section 1194.23 Telecommunications Products, Section 1194.24 Video and Multimedia Products, and, Section 1194.25 Self-Contained, Closed Products are not applicable to the current product portfolio offered by SGI.
SGI is aggressively undergoing voluntary product accessibility assessment in the following areas. Once completed, results would be published and links provided here.
Section 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems