February 27, 2006

No Boundaries Logo

IT Accessibility Committee Meeting
Monday, February 27, 2006
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
COB - Conf Room 300

Pauline Lamontagne, Chair
Carolyn Bebee
Paul Sandlin
Kathy Powers
Floyd White
Ellen Wood
Eric Dibner
Bruce Prindall
Leigh Wilkinson
Val Wood
Alan Parks


Policy Adoption Process

Subcommittee Updates

  • Accountability
    • Status of RFP Project for an accessibility law
  • Awareness & Visibility
  • Internet/Intranet & Web Development
  • Membership
    • Researching NASCIO for a national award template
  • Telecommunications
    • Accessible Documents/Effective Communications Policy

Other Business/Updates

  • Annual Report
  • E-Government Accessibility issues (meet with AITDs)


Present:Pauline Lamontagne, Chair Leigh Wilkinson Val Wood Eric Dibner Alan Parks Guest Mary Cloutier

Following introductions, the meeting was opened for business

Policy Adoption Process - Mary Cloutier

Pauline gave a brief history regarding the "Accessible Documents & Effective Communications Policy" presented by Eric at the January meeting. It was also noted that Mary and Eric did meet prior to this meeting to discuss the policy process, and this policy would be the first policy to go through the newly designed policy adoption process.

A hardcopy of the adoption process was distributed at the meeting (also attached to these notes). Mary noted that the ISPB policies that have already been approved are still in place and remain as such. However, the ISPB no longer does exist; the OIT/Policy and Strategic Services office has been tasked to review all policies out there for content and re-writing as needed to fit today's IT environment.

The goal is to develop a sweeping policy statement; allow for removal of standards, procedures, best practices and not change the policy statement. The adoption policy has been brought before the CIO Council for review/comment. Two changes have been made to the original draft brought before the CIO Council. 1) remove the words "two weeks" and 2) remove formal voting by the CIO Council and the IT Executive Committee.

The document was reviewed page by page with Mary and questions were asked and responded to. Who is the Point of Contact = the owner of the policy; What is Legal Citation - show what the policy/standard is based on.

Mary reviewed the structure of a policy and how policies get adopted. It is important to let it be known that a policy is being drafted; formal announcement to allow feedback from folks that will be impacted by the policy.

There was a question raised regarding the APA process. This process applies to policies/rules, etc. that would impact the public. Most state IT policies do not impact the public.

OIT is also going to be implementing an audit process for policies after a period of time to make sure the policy is being followed; folks are using it; it is really happening. Is the policy working out or does it need review/changes.

Once a policy is written and adopted there is also a need to implement the policy - need someone to implement it. Who enforces policies? Enforcement would be through the E-Government Services office. Web Coordinators have responsibility to make sure the IT accessibility policies are carried out and E-Gov Services office would be the enforcement agency. It was noted that agencies do have ADA coordinators who could help and work in making sure IT accessibility policies are in place and being followed.

The Policy and Strategic Planning office will take the effort to distribute polices to affected parties; post them, and train or make presentations to promote awareness of these policies, etc. In relation to maintenance; policies will be reviewed to make sure they reflect current organizational needs. The "Cover Sheet" will be periodically reviewed to track the information is current and accessible.

When changes are needed to a policy, procedure, standard, etc. the document will have to go through the policy adoption process. However, the Director of Policy and Strategic Planning Services can decide to abbreviate the process at his/her discretion.

It was noted that it would be a good use of time to promote, advertise, and announce the drafting of policies, etc. Need to let the people know to allow for vetting.

A question was raised regarding the definition of information technology. What does the CIO office cover and not cover - what needs to be in the CIO's jurisdiction such as NexTalk, video conferencing?

Policies that affect contracts in the procurement of services we buy and create in house, do we need input from the vendor? Policies that are in the vetting process are public documents, and vendors may comment - just as anyone else can. You might want to bring these drafts to their attention, as often vendors can offer helpful comments.

Will we be receiving some official notice on current policies needing to be revamped? There is no schedule set for revisiting current policies. A recommendation is to fold in existing policies into the communications policy being drafted if it "makes sense" from the customers' point of view to do so.

Conclusion : Eric will be adapting the Accessible Documents & Effective Communications policy to the new policy adoption process and bring back to the Committee for final review/approval prior to posting for presentation to stakeholders and solicit comments for a period as determined by the Director of Policy & Strategic Planning.

Subcommittee Updates

Internet/Intranet & Web Development

In Ellen's absence, Alan reported on the Internet/Intranet & Web Development Subcommittee. Alan noted that Kelly at InforME would be doing another full AccVerify run on state websites. He also noted that on March 30 there would be an AccVerify training workshop.

AccVerify Workshop

Folks wanting to attend this workshop will have to register. This will allow us to focus on those folks who really need this training and do not register; we can call them and hopefully make arrangements to have them attend. This will also allow folks an opportunity to take advantage of the expertise that is out there.

One issue that needs to be addressed is making sure that the Web Coordinators, once they have run the AccMonitor reports on their agency websites, they work with their Web Masters to make sure they understand what the fixes are and how to do them.

NexTalk Update - Eric

The NexTalk Committee is assisting folks who do not or have not turned on the NexTalk program on their system to allow them to handle phone calls. Had to buy 100 more licenses. There is a new upgrade to the product which is substantial and a fair amount of work needs to be done.

Membership Subcommittee - Pauline for Carolyn

Next week Carolyn will be getting information together and sent out on the awards project.

Other Business

  • Due to his retiring, Val Wood's resignation from the ASC was announced. Val was asked by the Chair to think about someone he would recommend replacing him on the Committee and bringing name to the next meeting. Val also noted that someone would have to be selected to serve as Chair to the Telecommunications Subcommittee; perhaps Eric Dibner could take over as Chair.
  • Summer Intern: Paperwork is being submitted for a summer intern; currently working on reserving slots in order to reserve the resources to fund the positions. It is important to note that in the current financial environment nothing in certain but it is promising.
  • Change in meeting day: Due to Carmen's schedule to staff the CIO Council meeting the Committee agreed to move the ASC meetings from the fourth Monday of the month to the third Monday of the month. Carmen will make arrangements to do this and send out updated calendar schedules.

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