codemantra’s Chief Operating Officer, Sanjeev Kalyanaraman, pulled off an extraordinary feat with his team in partnership with Quest Technology Management providing ADA compliance to the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
The Power of Partnerships– Delivering ADA Web Compliance for DCA
Quest Technology Management brings its world of partners and expertise together to deliver many IT technology capabilities, including compliancy. Case in point, Quest partnered with codemantra to complete an ADA compliance-driven webpage remediation project in a 30-day sprint for California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Quest provides its clients and partners a full suite of Cybersecurity, Managed and Cloud, Disaster Recovery, Professional, and Infrastructure Services and Products across the technology spectrum. The abundance of Quest’s offering brings us to a remarkable partner collaboration story.
With over 30 years of experience, Quest has worked over the past few years to develop an exceptional partner program and government practice. The Fulfillment Partner program allows diverse solution providers to market and sell their offerings to state and local government and education clients by leveraging one of Quest’s government contracts, in this case for Cloud Solutions, which includes Quest and its partners’ software as a service products and services. A differentiator of Quest’s Fulfillment Partner program is that Quest has the flexibility to address an agency’s unique requirement by sourcing specific expertise through an array of technology partnerships in addition to its own robust offering.
Government procurement is often facilitated through cooperative agreements, as was the case for DCA. DCA chose to use the NASPO ValuePoint Cloud Solutions contract which encompasses software as a service (SaaS), including codemantra’s web remediation solution. The NASPO ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization provides the highest standard of excellence in public cooperative contracting and is nationally- focused to aggregate the demand of all 50 states.
The DCA web remediation compliance job was huge but straightforward—make certain that the designated webpages and PDFs published by the participating departments within the DCA are compliant with the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In California, that means ensuring that state documents and websites are “AB 434-compliant,” which references the Assembly Bill that states, in short, all information disseminated by any state agency must be available to people who are visually impaired. Providing such compliance is one of codemantra’s core business services.
The job was complicated by the fact that work needed to be completed by the end of DCA’s fiscal year, June 30, and could not be started until the very end of May—an extraordinarily short window. In addition, the scale of the project was vast in the end, following numerous revisions, 225,000 pages of content were vetted. After completing the extensive engineering and editorial project, Sanjeev Kalyanaraman, Chief Operating Officer of codemantra, said he was proud of his team and grateful to Quest for their essential help.
The team accomplished this task with codemantra’s Accessibility Insight (AI) product, which is in fact powered by an artificial intelligence application. A service bureau staffed by editorial experts and Quest’s team also played a key role.
Further complicating matters, DCA, which licenses professionals, including doctors, auto mechanics, and beauticians, comprises 38 separate boards and agencies from the Board of Accountancy to the Veterinary Medical Board with little standardization across each site, so the AI had to learn to navigate multiple information architectures.
“We were consistently impressed with our partner, codemantra, and their team’s focus and skillfulness to accomplish such a formidable task within a one-month timeframe. Their organization and attention to detail resulted in a smooth-running engagement for everyone involved.”
Kalyanaraman echoes the power of partnerships by saying, “The Quest and codemantra teams were joined at the hip. Quest’s project management was impressive; they went above and beyond for a seamless on-time project delivery. This was a very important job for us, and Quest really helped make it an extraordinary success.”
When sighted individuals look at a page, the context of the information on that page is instantly understood—it’s obvious which text is the headline, subhead, photo caption, footnote, etc. “Visually impaired people don’t have that benefit,” Kalyanaraman says. “For them, some digital documents are impenetrable because the contextual information, which we take for granted, is missing.” The AI, he says, is able to accurately predict the context within a document, forecasting its logical structure, reading order, and text flow.
Meanwhile, the editorial team studies photographs and describes their content, sometimes in one sentence or several paragraphs.
Doing Business With the State of California
While the Quest-codemantra offer was extremely price competitive, DCA needed a way to procure it, and choosing the right contract became the next hurdle. Quest’s NASPO ValuePoint Cloud Solutions contract simplified procurement for DCA and accelerated the agency’s approval process.
But Kalyanaraman was most concerned about customer engagement—he wanted to be sure that communication was clear, and that DCA’s expectations were well met. “On a project like this, if communication isn’t good, you get a very bad outcome.”
Thanks to teamwork, the Quest-codemantra team nailed the deadline and delivered almost a quarter-million pages of content that meets California’s stringent AB 434 Conformance Level AA standard.