HostBridge and Section 508
Terminal-based CICS applications do not meet Section 508 accessibility requirements. HostBridge XML-enables legacy applications, making it easy to integrate critical mainframe data with more accessible interfaces.
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Often referred to as “Section 508,” the law is intended to eliminate technology barriers, provide new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that help achieve these goals.
Most CICS applications were designed to do one of two things: communicate with a 3270 “green screen” terminal (visual transactions) or communicate with other applications (non-visual transactions). Terminal-oriented applications often pose a problem for people with disabilities. Because the interfaces are text-based and generally accept only keyboard input, people with visual or tactile disabilities often find it difficult or impossible to use CICS applications. Yet with decades of data and millions of dollars invested in these applications, companies would gain many benefits from extending legacy access to all their users.
HostBridge exposes CICS application data as XML documents, making it easy to integrate CICS applications with newer, more accessible interfaces. For example, employee benefits and financial data can be integrated into a modern portal interfaces accessible by assistive technologies such as screen readers that add audio to the visual interface or special pointing devices to make the interface more usable to those with tactile disabilities.
By making legacy application data available as XML documents, HostBridge enables continued return on CICS investments and compliance with Section 508 requirements.