Operational Work Plan Outline For 2003 - 2004

No Boundaries Logo

The 2003 - 2004 work plan is framed around the six focus areas and required administrative functions identified by the Committee. This year each focus area was assigned a lead, who may not be charged with accomplishing the tasks in the work plan, but will monitor progress of all efforts. The areas and leads are as follows:

Accountability, Floyd White
National Policy, Kathy Powers
Resources and Support, Val Wood
Telecommunications, Jan DeVinney
Training, Laurie Wills
Visibility and Awareness, Mary K. Silva
Administration, Kathy Record

The work plan was drafted during an all day planning session and refined during a subsequent session. Some items were identified as a low priority, but left on the plan in order to keep them visible should time allow them to be done.

The final objectives are as follows:

Accountability (Floyd White)

  • Complete contract/accountability subcommittee work and develop implementation plan for new procedures. This sub-committee has drafted additional documentation that will be provided to vendors when bidding on technology contracts to ensure they understand Maine's policies and standards. One issue that needs to be highlighted to vendors that accessibility is not achieved if we do not have usability.
  • Establish a web sub-committee. The Committee hired an intern during the summer of 2002 to review web accessibility in the State of Maine. The deliverable was a report where she had documented her findings and made recommendations. This year the Committee will charter a web sub-committee to review and implements these recommendations as appropriate.
  • Publish a summary of lawsuits to show the cost to comply vs. the cost of non-compliance. This effort will be to demonstrate to those responsible for compliance to the accessibility policies the consequences other states have faced for failure to provide equal access to technology.
  • Sponsor a State of Maine Best of the Web accessibility competition. In order to recognize those who have worked very hard to bring their web sites into compliance, the Committee, with the support of the Commissioner of DAFS, would like to sponsor a contest for state webmasters. It's hoped that this type of positive recognition will encourage all webmasters to strive to be number one.
  • Publish article recognizing efforts by those who participated in the summer web pilot program. This is another effort the Committee feels is important in order to provide positive feedback for those who have put out extra effort to improve the accessibility of their sites.

National Policy (Kathy Powers)

  • Increase Maine attendance and visibility at national accessibility events. The Committee recognizes that national conferences on accessibility are valuable ways for Maine staff to learn of other efforts, as well as promote progress that Maine has achieved. This year the Committee will work to increase the number of events Maine attends, as well as the number of individuals who get the opportunities to attend and/or participate. Additionally, the Committee will require those attending to report out on what they were able to gain from their attendance. Two opportunities already identified are a National web cast in Washington DC in December and the International Assistive Technology Conference in LA in March.
  • Draft articles on a quarterly basis on what other states are doing in the area of accessibility and publish them in existing state newsletters. While this was identified as a low priority item, the Committee felt if resources could be identified to take on this task it would be education for state employees to be able to hear about other state's efforts in this area.

Resources and Support

  • Determine how best to get dedicated resources to meet objectives in the 2003-2004 Work Plan. The Committee has been challenged with getting dedicated resources to assist with initiatives to improve the accessibility of IT throughout the state. It was agreed that the Committee will look at contracting out some work and/or pursue opportunities for interns that can assist with work over school breaks.

Telecommunications

  • The goal of the full committee is to have consistent/reliable methods of communication for the deaf and hard of hearing in State Government. The Telecommunications Sub-Committee has determined that NexTalk will provide one solution to meeting the goal given the number of TTY calls that currently go unanswered. By July of 2004 the State of Maine will have purchased NexTalk and the Committee will have developed an implementation plan.

Training (Laurie Wills)

  • Charter a training sub-committee. The Committee will charter a training sub-committee, with representation from state training organizations, to work all the objectives within the training focus area.
  • We must identify target audiences for specific training opportunities, and work to integrate accessibility training into all technology training offered. The Committee recognizes that with time a premium for all employees; accessibility training must be relative to an individual's position and responsibilities so it's important that we identify training opportunities this year and who the audience is we need to reach. We also feel it's important to work with the training organizations within state government to ensure that all technology training includes accessibility.
  • Review the feasibility of developing individual accessibility training modules that would be scheduled by State Training.

Visibility and Awareness (Mary K. Silva)

  • Involve state business partners in accessibility efforts. This task highlights the overarching objective of the Committee to integrate accessibility awareness into our everyday business processes and practices. Making outside contractors aware of our accessibility policies even before they may actually win a contract will ensure that expectations are set before any work is actually begun.
  • Develop best practices web sites. We must provide our webmasters with information on resources that will assist them in creating accessible websites. We currently have resources posted, but this year we plan on getting out to speak more often to the webmasters to remind them of what is available and find out if we may wish to augment what is already available.
  • CIO to do Cabinet presentation on Accessibility. This presentation will be a demonstration of what IT accessibility actually means and the impact when an application and/or website is not accessible. The goal is to educate those at the highest levels about this most important endeavor.
  • Accessibility presentations at Bureau Director's meetings. The Committee will conduct accessibility presentations at senior management levels throughout state government with the goal being education of those in senior management positions.
  • National recognition of individuals/organizations who lead the way for accessible technology. Nationally there has been a push to recognize accessibility efforts. The Committee will look to give Maine visibility by submitting efforts where appropriate demonstrating Maine's commitment and progress in this area.

Administration (Kathy Record)

  • Provide administrative support as required to full IT Accessibility Committee.
  • Ongoing Membership Sub-committee work. Membership committee responsibilities go beyond the scope of ensuring members meet all of the seat requirements developed by the Committee. They have also been working on ideas of how best to provide outreach to disability advocates and communities and this work needs to continue throughout the year.
  • Draft annual accessibility report in December of 2004.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If I have a question about accessible technology but am not sure who can assist me, who should I call?

If you're not sure of who can provide you with the resources you require start by contacting Kathy Record (kathy.record@maine.gov or 624-7573) in The Office of the Chief Information Officer. As staff for the IT Accessibility Committee, she can provide you with the assistance you need.

When does the IT Accessibility Committee meet, and can anyone review their minutes?

They meet the 3rd Monday of every month and all notes are posted on the website:
http://www.maine.gov/cio/accessibility (This time is subject to change. Please contact Kathy Record if you plan on attending a meeting.)

What is the best resource to help me understand the requirements of Section 508?

While there are numerous resources to on this topic, the Department of Justice website provides an excellent overview.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/508home.html

How do I find out the schedule of training sponsored by the accessibility committee?

There are multiple ways to get this information:

  • The accessibility website http://www.maine.gov/cio/accessibility/
  • Contact Kathy Record in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (624-7574 - kathy.record@maine.gov who serves as staff for the Committee.
  • Check with your agency technology officer as training notices are often sent to the ISMG membership.

I need training on making my web site accessible; where would I begin to look for resources?

You can begin by going to the accessibility website training link at:
http://www.maine.gov/cio/accessibility/training.html

[Back to the Table of Contents]