July 17, 2006

No Boundaries Logo

Members
Pauline Lamontagne, Chair
Carolyn Bebee
Paul Sandlin
Kathy Powers
Floyd White - not able to attend
Ellen Wood
Eric Dibner
Bruce Prindall
Leigh Wilkinson
Alan Parks

Agenda:

Update on Accessible Documents/Effective Communication Policy

  • Update draft and send to team for their review on Friday, June 30
  • Team review and comments prior to sending to the OIT Policy & Strategic Planning Division
  • Need list of best practices for the RFP

Subcommittee Updates

Accountability

  • Floyd send Judy Beloff an e-mail as a reminder for Dick to review and respond to the proposal

NexTalk

  • Update on intern/contract/scope of work
  • DOL Career Centers
  • Status of upgrade
  • What is built into the plan for sustainability?
  • Report on intern's findings and recommendations to resolve any issues
  • Random spot checking with University staff

Awareness & Visibility

  • Recommendations for membership

Internet/Intranet & Web Development

  • Privacy module

Membership

  • Adding someone to the Committee from DHHS
  • Waiting for a response from the CIO on folding accessibility awards into the CIO's award process

Telecommunications

  • Membership

Other Business/Updates

  • Review the portfolio for projects that have accessibility qualities (Paul will check with David Blocher to see if Karen Tang (intern) can do this
  • Training AITDs on the importance of accessibility
  • Training on AccVerify and Manual Check List
  • Project Managers trained on accessibility
  • Web Coordinator Role - get AITDs involved
  • Agency Web Site quarterly reports - examining quarterly reports to find the 10 least improved agencies and work with these agencies

Notes:

Action Item:

After a brief discussion on making power point presentation accessible on the Internet, Carolyn agreed to send out an e-mail on where accessible power point presentations are being used.

Carolyn asked to report on the Membership Subcommittee as she may have to leave the meeting early. She is working with Jim Lopatosky, AITD for DHHS, on getting someone from DHHS as representation on the IT Accessibility Committee. In her discussion with Jim, she noted the person would have to be committed, have knowledge of what DHHS is doing and knowledge of accessibility in OIT. Jim will explore with DHHS staff and get back to Carolyn.

Accessibility Awards: Need to finalize including IT accessibility in CIO award presentation at the FUSION 06 Conference being held October 3 at the Augusta Civic Center . We don't have the concrete mechanism in place and we need a description on accessibility awards.

1. Update on the Accessible Documents/Effective Communication Policy - Eric Dibner

The policy needs further review, language changes and discussion at the August meeting. Eric did a walk through of each page of the draft which noted changes from Mary Cloutier.

It was agreed that the Best Practices and Standards should follow the policy as they need to be review and revised from time to time. The policy itself would remain as originally written. It was also agreed that the policy needs to make sense to the user.

Action Item:

Committee members were asked to review the Accessible Documents/Effective Communication policy and provide their feedback to Eric.

InforME Update: InforME is the state portal. The contract with NEI (New England Interactive - vendor for the state portal) has been extended for 18 months. The goal is to have an RFP out and available by end of this year; choose a vendor by this time next hear to allow for a 6-month overlap time in case there is a change in the vendor for the State of Maine portal (InforME).

The IT Accessibility Committee would like to be involved and have input in the RFP, particularly the bid evaluation. The InforME portal is governed by a board.

http://www.maine.gov/informe/board/ = link to the InforME Board

A comment was made regarding the Judicial Branch using PDF files and not being accessible. Action Item: Paul will pursue with their Public Information Officer regarding this issue.

Accessibility Law for the State of Maine : The Accountability Subcommittee, led by Floyd, continues to wait for a response from the CIO.

Internet/Intranet Web Development: The subcommittee is discussing multi media; the need for alternate formats; captioning. Multi media is: broadcast; audio on the web and offering transcripts. The subcommittee is also discussing flash accessibility and narrated power point presentations.

A policy and best practices needs to be written for flash. A goal for next year is to strive for standard validated codes. Focusing on content, we need to work on the best way to present it, how do we make it accessible; if we have too many choices than we don't learn how to do it well; what is everyone using; what is the preferred software. The subcommittee needs to review their goals for this year - what we have accomplished and have not accomplished.

How do you make PDFs accessible; if written in Word correctly they can converted into a PDF file.

Awareness and Visibility Subcommittee: Currently has 2 members and looking for more.

Sidebars:

  • Review IT portfolios for projects that have or should have accessibility. Paul checked in with David Blocher and the intern, Karen Tang, will be doing this.
  • There are 74 Web Coordinators: some are heavily involved in web design/accessibility and some are not; some of these are also backups.
  • 10 least improved websites: Paul has done some work on this; the intern, Scott, is also working on testing websites for those using templates or not using templates.
  • Web Coordinator: this is not a 'Real' position; may want to target different people (directors, business folks, commissioners) to be more involved and focused on accessibility. Lack of accessibility does impact state employees and Maine citizens. We need to become more accessible.
  • Training, time and money are needed to design and maintain websites.
  • There are outside vendors designing State of Maine websites (redoing DOT, DHHS).
  • How much knowledge do Project Managers have on accessibility when it comes to website project design?
  • PFR has a major web design project being done. Those we know about we are trying to get to them.
  • DECD has some web initiatives they are kicking off; they are focused on marketing.
  • Education, Secretary of State, DHHS, DAFS, and Agriculture are working to get their sites on the templates and having them accessible.
  • PUC has signed an agreement with OIT who will act as their Web Coordinator to help them move forward.
  • Do the Legislature and Judicial branches have access to use AccMonitor? We can set them up if necessary
  • Judicial and Legislative websites are being run through the website testing via InforME. They are not being removed from the report - do not want to appear we are hiding something. Can we invite them to be on the Committee?

Action Item:

Need to re-read the Charter it if allows to bring in outside representation (see paragraph below from the Charter).

Membership

The Accessibility Committee membership shall include expertise in all of the major disability, accessibility and information technology specialty areas. Major core areas represented on the Committee should include deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, mobility and speech impaired and cognitive considerations. Members must have a vested interest in accessibility and represent a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge including legal, policy, national perspective, human resources, purchasing and various technologies.

The Committee may establish project related work groups to address specific issues identified by the CIO or the Committee. The Committee is responsible for designing an ongoing process for membership recruitment, selection and decision making criteria. The Information Technology Accessibility Coordinator shall be responsible for facilitating administrative support to the committee members and committee meetings, including interpreters and materials in alternative format.

IT Accessibility on the Internet:

  • there are several things happening toward accessibility;
  • there are many different pieces;
  • the education effort has and is helping agencies to move forward
  • it is a primary means of communicating with the public
  • some departments communicate more with the public than others do
  • need to keep the education moving forward

The next ITAC meeting will be August 21.

Agenda items for the August 21 meeting

  • Final review/discussion of the Accessible Documents/Effective Communication Policy
  • Annual Report
  • September Retreat
  • Subcommittees: What have they accomplished (for the annual report)
  • Goals (accomplished; not accomplished and need to be carried forward)

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