December 19, 2005

No Boundaries Logo

Pauline Lamontagne, Chair
Paul Sandlin
Kathy Powers
Floyd White
Ellen Wood
Eric Dibner
Bruce Prindall
Alan Parks

Before bringing the meeting to order, Pauline asked folks to welcome Paul Sandlin from the Office of Information Technology/E-Gov Services as a new member of the Committee replacing outgoing member Kathy Record, Associate CIO. Welcome Paul!

Subcommittee Updates

Accountability - Floyd White

Floyd reported on the recommendation of the accessibility law group who met on December 9. To push the law proposal ahead, the team (Floyd, Jon, Carolyn) is recommending contracting with an outside source and hiring within OIT a Project Manager. This would involve a Request for Proposal (RFP) and funding support from the CIO's office.

Carmen was asked to send out the notes of the December 9 th meeting to the entire IT Accessibility Committee.

The selected contractor, as a result of the RFP, would bring in the stakeholders, work on a "draft" language for accessibility IT law, and someone in state government would work with the contractor as the Project Manager.

The RFP would include following the Subcommittee's June 27, 2005 Report recommendations very closely.

This is where the rubber hits the road for getting support for a law. If we can get the financial support for this RFP project than it becomes a very important item on everyone's plate.

We would be looking to the Project Manager to develop the RFP and working in conjunction with the IT Accessibility Committee .

Floyd will work to bring this to Dick's attention and report back at the January 23 meeting.

Kathy Powers shared her encounter with Neal Albritton at a conference and he noted to Kathy that he was very impressed with the folks that worked on the IT law research project and would like to be kept informed.

Awareness & Visibility - Bruce Prindall

Bruce reported the team is still working on a charter/mission statement and working on creating an award for students working on websites for accessibility. Kathy Powers noted she was looking at the best approach to get students/teachers involved. Kathy noted that offering college credits or cash awards were a good incentive. Kathy and Bruce will keep in touch as they move forward.

Kathy brought up the Dept. of Education's task for going out to RFP for hardware that does what the Ibooks are doing for the schools. The department did review the old RFP while putting together a new RFP. A draft has been put together and sent out to certain folks for review.

Internet/Intranet & Web Development - Ellen Wood

Ellen updated the IT Accessibility Committee on the following action items.

  • Met with E-Gov staff regarding Browse Aloud for their input on purchasing this product. They discussed the cost involved, who will use it, and can we measure use.
  • Bruce will be sending out a question survey to businesses that already have Browse Aloud on their sites for their comments. The questions will cover areas such as why did you choose Browse Aloud, what other products did they look at, do they have any stats on usage from the target audience, what are their experiences. Need to focus on the Learning Disability areas.
  • Ellen spoke with folks outside of state government to test the product.
  • A meeting is planned for January 14 with E-Gov to hopefully bring this to a closure.
  • There is a site on the Maine State Library to download Browse Aloud. Ellen will put together a mini caption (audio/video) to help folks get the plug-in to test the product.
  • The Web Subcommittee has drafted a matrix for accessible software (purchasing) noting the vendors must complete a VPAT. Someone will be checking to see if Browse Aloud has completed the VPAT.
  • We have been notified there is a MAC version of Browse Aloud available. Need to have this version available before we make a purchasing decision.

It is a positive move to take additional time before making a purchasing decision.

AccMonitor Testing

The third testing with AccMonitor was been completed. Paul noted that the September data was captured and used to compare to the December data. This was done to show progress or lack there of. Some agencies are at the same place (no progress). How should we proceed? What kind of action should we take? As a result of Paul meeting with the AG's office, the report will be going out with all the information on all agencies. Paul is planning to do courtesy phone calls to give folks a heads up this is coming.

Issues that need to be researched are: What do we want to use for a percentage of threshold 100& to pass or 95% and above? What percent of government agencies are using the template now? What percent of people are waiting to be transferred by InforME? What percent of websites are being addressed by vendors?

It was agreed that the agency's original template needs to be presented and approved and a policy needs to be put in place stating the need for this first time approval. Paul will be working on putting this policy together via OIT.

It was recommended that a workshop be put together in January to help folks read and understand the AccVerify report, how to use the report, and help agencies with any issues they may be having with the templates. We need to work with agencies to help them move forward. It would be very easy to address the "common errors" from the AccVerify report at these workshops. It was noted there are 49 people who have had training and have received a license for AccVerify (Web Coordinators). We need training that matches our needs.

The report needs to be made public, make people aware there is room for improvement and provide training for common errors in websites. We need an accessibility lab to address solution for folks.

Kathy Powers reported on a comment she received regarding the great stuff Maine was doing with HiSoft. Maine 's work on accessibility it out there being noticed.

Telecommunications - Eric/Bruce

The staff is currently focusing on captioning on television. Eric is working on a draft clause for contracts regarding accessible media.

A recommendation was made that the IT Accessibility Committee review the Charter before the next meeting and discuss at the January meeting. The question to be address is; do we need to expand the Charter.

Carmen was asked to send out the Charter and IT definitions from Section 508 to the IT Accessibility Committee prior to the January meeting for their review and prepare to discuss at the meeting. (DONE)

The IT Accessibility Committee members agreed to set aside ½ hour at the January meeting to discuss the Charter.

Other Business

Kathy Power talked about the upcoming CSUN conference which includes to presentations from Maine , NexTalk and Web Accessibility. There is an issue of funding that needs to be addressed. Kathy will have an update at the January meeting.

The next meeting of the IT Accessibility Committee is: Monday, January 23, 2006 | Cross Office Building | Conference Room 300.


[Back To Meeting Minutes]