June 27, 2005

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IT Accessibility Committee Meeting
Date; Monday, June 27, 2005
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
COB - Conf Room 300



  • Pauline Lamontagne, Chair
  • Carolyn Bebee, Co-Chair
  • Kathy Powers
  • Kathy Record
  • Floyd White
  • Ellen Wood
  • Eric Dibner
  • Bruce Prindall
  • Leigh Wilkinson
  • Val Wood
  • Alan Parks

Carolyn Bebee, Co-Chair open the meeting by having folks present introduce themselves, noting that Jon Steuerwalt was attending this meeting as a member of the IT Accessibility Law Subcommittee along with Floyd White, Carolyn Bebee, and Carmen Fournier.

Agenda Item #1: IT Accessibility Law Subcommittee Report (ITALS)

Floyd gave a brief history of the ITALS which was setup to research and bring to the IT Accessibility Committee a recommendation to move forward, or not take the effort, in developing an IT accessibility law for the State of Maine . The ITALS did there extensive research and presented a report to the IT Accessibility Committee to move forward on developing an IT accessibility law. Floyd turned the presentation of the report over to Carolyn. Carolyn noted she would focus on the high spots realizing that the Committee may not have had an opportunity to read the report in its entirety if at all.

The ITALS used the ITTATC website to research what states do have a law in place and did extensive further research on which states to contact and get their input on what is working and what is not working having a law in place. Three sets of questions were written to be used during interviews, depending on the person or group being interviewed.

The Committee chose the state of California to contact to set up interviews and gather information from those interviews to help them in their decision making process. There were two separate interviews held, one with Cynthia Waddell and one with Mike Paravagna & Neal Albritton from CA. The interviews were approximately 2.5 to 3 hours each. Interviews were recorded and transcribed.

The ITALS folks met on a regular basis and worked diligently to come up with a final report for the IT Accessibility Committee. Please see Attachment A "Report" for more detailed information.

Conclusion: The IT Accessibility Committee agreed to accept the report from the Accessibility Law Subcommittee and discuss recommendations at a future meeting. Folks not present at this meeting will need time to read the report and the meeting notes. Also a copy was given to Kathy Record to pass along to Dick Thompson, CIO for this review. Further discussion will be included on the agenda for the July meeting.

Agenda Item #2: Finalize Charter and Other Business

Charter : Work is not completed on the charter. However, the list of members will be removed. Kathy Record and Pauline will work to review and update the charter as needed and present at the July meeting. Kathy will send an electronic copy to the Committee prior to the July meeting.

Web Standards and Accessibility Language for State Contracts : Kathy Record presented a memorandum that will be going out to ALL state departments/agencies requiring them to ensure that all computer applications and websites be accessible to people with disabilities and that they comply with the ADA. The Division of Purchases and the CIO's Office require that this text be included in all request for proposals (RFPs) which require web development, application development, software licenses or enhancements. For more detailed information please see Attachment B "Memo".

Kathy Record will be reviewing the above mentioned RFPs, if accessibility is not included the person involved in the RFP will be contacted.

NexTalk Policy: There is a NexTalk policy in place awaiting the CIO review/approval. Kathy will forward this policy to the ASC members.

Annual Retreat : The date of September 12 and/or 19 was selected for the IT Accessibility Retreat. This will be an all-day retreat, location to be determined. Coffee at 8:00 a.m. meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Leigh Wilkinson will check with Gloria R. Payne in the Bureau of Human Resources to see if she would be available and willing to facilitate the retreat. Catering will also be provided.

Conclusion : An agenda needs to be set up for the annual retreat.

UPDATE : Since the meeting, a location has been confirmed. The retreat will be held at the Pine Tree State Arboretum and Gloria has agreed that she can facilitate the retreat.

Summer Intern: Kim Wing, the summer intern for the CIO's office, was given an opportunity to bring the ITA IT Accessibility Committee up to date on what she has accomplished to date. Kim has done a lot of reading of manuals, policies and standards. She has attended MRS web team meetings as they are moving forward in a very positive and organized way to incorporate their current website into the new State templates. Kim has also been meeting with Ellen Wood and getting some very good feedback/input on improving state websites to make them accessibility compliant using the State templates. Other tasks Kim has taken on/accomplished are:

  • Attend Dream weaver training
  • Met with Kelly (InforME) to get an overview of their role
  • Working with Paul Sandlin (Web Coordinator for DAFS)
  • Working with BGS on reviewing their website
  • Working on the OIT Accessibility website
  • Attend NexTalk, Web Masters/Coordinators meetings
  • Working with Bureau of Labor Relations on their website
  • Will be working with Ellen on the next quarterly meeting

Agenda Item #3: Marketing Accessibility

The recent EASI presentation was discussed and noted this could certainly be considered a marketing tool for accessibility. Further work needs to be done to market IT accessibility.

Agenda Item #4: Updates from Subcommittees

Ellen's updates included:

Kelly (from InforME) using ACCMonitor (enterprise version of HiSoft) tested state agency websites. The report from this testing is below: Ellen noted some of the errors could be very small and easily fixed. This test will be run quarterly and reports will be sent to the Web Coordinators.

Maine Website Accessibility Initiative

AccMonitor Test Results Summary - Baseline Test, May 2005

Total Webs Tested: 88

Total Pages Tested: 13,199

Total Pages Passed: 5,615

Total Pages Failed: 7,584

Percent Pages Passed: 42.54%

Percent of Webs with over 50% pages failing: 75%

Percent of Webs with 100% pages failing : 39%

Top Sites (% pages passed):

  • DAFS - Maine Lottery
  • DAFS - Financial & Personnel Services
  • DAFS - Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery
  • DAFS - Chief Information Officer
  • DAFS - Computer Training
  • Maine State Library
  • Maine.gov Portal
  • DAFS - BIS
  • PFR - Board of Professional Engineers
  • Atlantic Salmon Commission

Note: Passing these tests do NOT ensure that a site is accessibility compliant. Many critical accessibility requirements cannot be tested by automated software and will require manual review. Passing AccMonitor is only the first step toward compliance.

Most Common Errors:

  • No "skip navigation" links (a small number of these are 'false positive' errors)
  • Missing ALT text for images
  • Missing/incorrect markup for form fields
  • Missing DOCTYPE tag

Leigh reported that InforME staff were in the process of designing an interface for state job applications. He also reported on the state template training noting that two rounds of training had taken place and the training keeps getting better and better. This training is taking away the excuse not to use the templates and also giving support as needed.

Floyd reported that the NexTalk committee was meeting on an ongoing basis to review issues and work on resolutions. He also recommended setting up a press release from the Governor once NextTalk is in full swing.

Carolyn reported that the Apple demonstration is scheduled for August 22 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (prior to the regular IT Accessibility Committee meeting).

Topics for the July 25 meeting agenda

  • Further discussion on an accessibility law for state government
  • How do we market accessibility?
  • Subcommittee reports
  • Update on annual retreat
  • Finalize Charter
  • Finalize web language on contracts


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