Dell's commitment to diversity and to providing the best customer experience enables us to listen to, understand, and meet or exceed our customers' needs, all of which help us to remain competitive in the marketplace. The company itself reflects a myriad of skills, experiences, backgrounds, and styles, all of which promote an environment of inclusion and respect for the many different people and cultures Dell and its employees encounter every day. That environment also helps us appreciate and respond to the needs of customers with disabilities.
Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act requires that Federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. More information on Section 508 requirements can be found at http://www.section508.gov.
- Tools for the visually impaired include screen-reading software and Braille PDA devices;
- Dell assists users who have auditory impairments with the use of light and listening devices;
- Dell assists users who have physical disabilities with adjustable hardware and gross/fine motor-skills hardware.
Dell has also teamed up with EVAS (Electronic Vision Access Solutions), an industry-leading provider of Accessible Plug & Play Computers, to create computer systems designed specifically for people who are visually-, physically-, hearing-, or learning-disabled. EVAS offers a wide range of access-technology products for people with disabilities. These include speech synthesizers, screen readers, refreshable Braille displays, Braille printers, large-print software, CCTVs, OCR reading systems, specialized keyboards, ability switches, TTY devices, and voice-recognition software. Over 1000 Access Technology Products are available directly from EVAS.
Web Content Accessibility
To exemplify our commitment to customers with special needs, Dell has taken action on several levels, with the goal of meeting, and where possible exceeding, both the W3C-WAI and US Section 508 standards.
Dell's approach to developing functionality and usability of our web applications includes several initiatives:
- Dell has developed functionality on its website, www.dell.com, for the express purpose of:
- Enhancing the customer experience by removing barriers to access and usability;
- Increasing overall customer satisfaction with the dell.com browsing and shopping experience;
- Reducing errors such as missing alt tags; and
- Rapidly rolling out new features and functions as they are developed.
- A global team of developers, product managers, and regional leads participate in the development process, providing guidance and feedback regarding feasibility and implementation of designs, and how well such designs will work for customers.
- Dell tests the usability of its web applications via usability testing, customer feedback surveys, focus groups, analysis of web metrics, and a variety of remote-testing strategies.
- Dell engages in such testing throughout the design cycle, and its development teams respond to the feedback with enhancements to remove barriers and to make the site easier to use;
- Dell gives high priority to enhancements that will improve the usability of the website by customers with disabilities;
- Dell publishes standards that developers are required to follow when coding new applications or web pages;
- Dell's proprietary content-publishing system is coded to address and remedy common accessibility issues;
- Dell employs Watchfire's accessibility module to monitor the site for compliance with both W3C WAI and US 508 standards. Developers track and respond quickly to issues that these Watchfire reports bring to light; and
- Any customer who experiences a site-access or usability issue is encouraged to contact a Dell representative immediately to request assistance and to provide feedback. These real-time interactions allow Dell to evaluate and address the effectiveness of its tools, and to make continuous improvements in both accessibility and usability of Dell.com.
Enabling the Use of Adaptive Devices
Moreover, Dell.com undergoes ongoing testing by users who employ adaptive devices to access the Internet. Dell continually makes enhancements to its website in response to requests and testing. To facilitate both reading and navigation, Dell has made the following improvements:
- Large-text functionality;
- Coding enhancements to optimize interoperability with adaptive software;
- Dell's masthead menu has a "skip to main content" jump embedded, so that screen readers do not have to read the masthead on every page;
- For users with screen readers that cannot read drop-down menus in the masthead, Dell has implemented functionality to allow users to navigate through the primary navigation categories to get to all areas of the site through a fully functioning Site Map available in the footer of all Web pages;
- Additional HTML heading tags have been added to help with in-page navigation;
- Additional accessible functionality has been added to the search box on each Web page;
- Dell has eliminated pop-ups across the website that are not user-requested.
Dell is aware that there are always areas for improvement and enhancement of its website, and as such, is always working to deliver the best usability and accessibility experience for its customers. However, where we experience road-blocks to development, or where customers need additional assistance, Dell offers the alternative of contacting us by phone-with both Relay and TTY service for our hearing-impaired users.
The Dell website contains Flash and PDF files. You can download the PDF reader, and a flash player both from Adobe.