New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped Implements Accessible FormNet

Two Year Study Ends with Selection of Intercon’s Data Collection Solution

Rochester, NY - The Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), part of New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), has found a way to help their staff knock down the difficult barrier of completing the numerous forms that are necessary for providing vocational rehabilitation and other direct services to blind and visually impaired New York State residents, including children, adults, and elderly persons. Intercon Associates, a New York veteran-owned small business provided the solution, Accessible FormNet (COTS) that enabled CBVH to topple that barrier.

The mission of the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped is to enhance employability, to maximize independence, and to assist in the development of the capacities and strengths of people who are blind and visually impaired. CBVH staff relies heavily on forms to carry out this mission. Many of these staff members are themselves, blind or visually impaired.
Representatives from the Accessibility Work Group, CBVH and OCFS have been working on coming up with a recommendation to help their staff with the difficult task of completing forms. This process began over two years ago when CBVH staff attempted to create accessible forms. Although some progress was made, the success of making forms accessible depended upon the version of access technology being used, and the need for extensive man/woman hours to get the job done. In short, it was not viewed as a viable alternative. Last fall, CBVH was introduced to Accessible FormNet, developed for the Federal Government by Intercon Associates based in Rochester, New York. OCFS representatives were then brought into the discussion.
After a thorough investigation of various electronic form products and extensive discussions with individuals familiar with these products, CBVH determined that the Accessible FormNet product would best meet the needs of CBVH employees, including those who utilize access technology.
Accessible FormNet™ makes it easier for businesses and individuals to access and use electronic forms. The software’s unique “Scripting for Accessibility” function enables people who are blind or visually impaired to access and use these electronic forms as well.
From the start, the software was designed with the user in mind – both sighted and visually impaired. In fact, blind and visually impaired Federal employees from the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Education and the 508 Council were key members of the design team assembled by Intercon.
Accessible FormNet™ is used on a worldwide basis by numerous Federal agencies, including the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Joe Ingrato
Vice President
Phone: (585)-244-1250 Ext. 133