SAP Agrees to Fix Arkansas ERP System

SAP AG has agreed to upgrade the SAP R/3-based Arkansas Administrative Statewide Information System (AASIS) by adding support for text-to-speech screen-access technology so blind people can use all features of the state's ERP backbone.

The vendor will also replace the R/3 software with its SAP ERP 6.0 product as part of a deal reached earlier this month to settle a complaint filed against it by the state.

The National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas had sued the state in 2001, claiming that the AASIS system was not fully accessible to blind people. The state, in turn, filed a third-party claim against SAP, blaming the vendor for the problems.

Under the Aug. 1 settlement, SAP must complete the work by Aug. 1, 2009.

In a statement, SAP said that it "is pleased that all parties have reached a settlement." The company declined further comment. Arkansas officials refused to discuss the deal.

The settlement resolves the lawsuit filed against the state by the NFB of Arkansas on behalf of two blind state employees who couldn't use some key AASIS functions.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Joseph Espo of Baltimore law firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP, said that SAP failed to link R/3 to the accessibility tools, making AASIS incapable of converting data on computer screens into synthesized speech or another medium.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

Got something to add? Let us know in the article comments.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon