June 19, 2006

No Boundaries Logo

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

Agenda:

Update on Accessible Documents

What is the "normal" policy process (how to create one - see attached document)

Subcommittee Updates

  • Accountability
  • Awareness & Visibility
  • Internet/Intranet & Web Development
  • Membership
  • Telecommunications

Other Business/Updates

Notes:

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

Comments :

The policy has not yet reached the OIT Policy & Strategic Services staff for review and approval by the CIO. The electronic presentation section needs more work and it was noted that electronic presentations need to have accessible formats (i.e. transcripts). The policy is divided into three sections: the policy, best practices, and resources. Best practices should not be part of a policy because best practices can and do change. The resources section will contain information on where to go for assistance.

Actions:

  • Eric will update the latest draft version and send out to the Committee members on Friday, June 30.
  • Someone needs to be responsible for holding a list of best practices and imbed them in the RFP.
  • Committee will review, with comments, at the July 17 meeting before being sent to Policy

Sidebar : The Committee thanked Bruce for taking the notes at the May meeting.

Subcommittee Updates:

Accessibility Law Proposal - Floyd White

Comments:

Floyd reported that Dick Thompson, CIO had not yet reviewed the proposal for moving forward with a project to work on writing a state IT accessibility law. Eric noted at the TEF (Technology Exchange Forum) the topics discussed were: accessibility policy; ADA , and application development. Eric also noted there would be a screening process for applications to past through before development (check list process to be applied to applications of $250,000 or more). It was thought that perhaps the check list process should apply to all IT applications and do an audit of the very large applications.

Floyd noted that he did review some of the portfolios that were available to help determine how to press forward with accessibility. Floyd found the reports he did look at to be overwhelming. It is important to have all the facts on IT application development in order to take any action. We need to get to the Project Managers for accessibility of applications/software.

Also brought to the Committee's attention was the moving to a matrix management process in IT. This process will take time to make this transition; will need to work to bring everybody together and agree this is what should be done for the good of Maine State Government.

Paul shared his work with DHHS regarding a special website being worked on and the need for accessibility. The site is http://www.maineflu.gov; the site was designed after the fact they had been notified of the need for accessibility and using the state website template. Would a law have helped with this? There would be value in having an IT accessibility law.

Actions:

  • Floyd will send Judy Beloff (CIO's Secretary) an e-mail to reminder about Dick needing to review and respond to the proposal.

Awareness & Visibility - Bruce Prindall

Comments:

Bruce noted that the subcommittee has dropped to 2 members and he is open to recommendations for new members and would prefer folks from outside of DOL.

Actions:

  •   Please send your recommendations for membership to Bruce.

Internet/Intranet & Web Development - Ellen Wood

Comments:

Ellen noted the meeting basically consisted of a HiSoft demo which included a discussion of concerns regarding HiSoft. There is a new upgrade version that will be coming out soon. HiSoft will look into setting up the possibility of doing quarterly reporting. If we do want more licenses we should use the price they have now before we let it go. The state did get in at a good time. Also, we need to look at the security side. If we do buy more licenses we do not need to get the software; the state has a maintenance agreement with HiSoft. We will need to set up training on the "Manual Check List". Looking to set up workshops in the fall.

Actions:

  • Privacy Module: Alan is researching online accessible tools to search out privacy information that has been out there for a long time and will report back to the Committee at the next meeting.

Membership

Due to working on a delayed project that needed to go out today, Carolyn was not able to attend this meeting. In an e-mail to the Committee, Carolyn noted the Membership Subcommittee was on hold waiting for responses. DHHS is in the midst of exploring possible candidates for us to become member(s) of the IT Accessibility Committee. Also waiting for a response from Dick Thompson on whether to fold our awards into the CIO's awards process (Kathy Record did have a positive reaction to doing this). The Membership Subcommittee will reconvene once this information is available.

Sidebar : A question as brought up about having folks representing application development to be on the committee with a response that both Floyd and Paul did represent application development.

Telecommunications Subcommittee - Eric Dibner

After a short discussion on the Telecommunications Subcommittee and NexTalk, it was agreed that NexTalk was now a separate entity headed by Floyd and Eric would lead the Telecommunications Subcommittee. Some items, for consideration, to be researched by the Telecommunications Subcommittee could be broadcasting, streaming video and other telecommunication items needing accessibility and that the IT Accessibility Committee should be involved in. Eric noted that the subcommittee does need more members.

NexTalk

Comments:

We do have an intern (Jenny) in place testing NexTalk users and assisting those that have not downloaded NexTalk on their PCs to do so. We are looking at extending her contract to continue further testing.

DOL: There are discussions and decisions being made regarding the DOL Career Centers; how the phones will be answered is being considered in DOL; a meeting at DOL will be set up for Managers on what would/should be changed and this meeting may also be a training session at the same time.

In discussing the work being done by Jenny on user calls, Floyd noted there are around 300 daily logins - we have made progress. We need support going forth with Jenny for accessibility; need to work on her "scope of work" so she can finish all the user calls (folks suppose to be connected and are not connected); Jenny helps these folks download.

ACTION ITEM : We need approval from the IT Accessibility Committee to spend approximately $6,000.00 to finish this project - the Committee approved the spending as needed for this NexTalk project.

Floyd noted there is a major update coming; we would like to use Jenney for this upgrade provided her contract allows it. There is a project plan in place and we have submitted a portfolio. There is no cost to this Committee so far; this will be a project cost of about $40,000; the new upgrade will result in a single point connection. This will be a statewide system across state government; Desktop Services will be working with us on implementing the new upgrade.

Actions:

  • Floyd needs to get back to the Committee on what is built into the plan for sustainability.
  • Floyd gave an update of the new upgrade project at the July 17 meeting.
  • Put together a report of what Jenny found out and what are the recommendations to resolve any issues.
  • Do some random spot checking with University staff to see how good it really is and how much better it is?

Other Business

Bruce did talk with Michaela Loisel to get accessibility into the management training curriculum using the component from the new employee training and inserting it into the management training.

Project Management for OIT statewide: Need to include accessibility in the project manager's training. What are the skills and competencies project managers should have? There are Business project managers that are not getting the benefit of the OIT classes; we need to create a structure for all project managers that are IT or not IT. Business owners need to understand the role of project managers, have the awareness and access to guidelines.

What level of a project needs a project manager? Any IT project should have a project manager; Business managers just want to get the job done; the project deserves a project manager and a sponsor. What are the issues around sponsorship? Sponsorship in the private sector has a different role vs. the public sector; sponsorship is a decision making role; in doing project management training we should get the sponsorship folks involved too. We are on the path and it will take time to get there.

Web Coordinator Role: Paul reported on his discussions with Dick Hinkley and awaiting a response. E-Government does apply to accessibility and is a key component. Currently Web Coordinators are appointed by the agency; need to get the AITDs involved and connected with the agency's Web Coordinator. Web Coordinator does not mean just web pages; there are many other issues involved such as system integration.

Agency Web Site quarterly reports: Paul and Kelly have not examined the quarterly reports to find the 10 least improved agencies and work with these agencies to move forward in improving their web sites for accessibility, etc. AccMonitor reports are currently being done for June.

AITDs need to get training on accessibility - it is on the radar.

Folks want and need more training on using AccVerify and the Manual Check List. Who is the person to contact at HiSoft for questions?

Actions:

  • Review the portfolio for projects that have accessibility qualities - Paul with check with David Blocher to see if Karen Tank (intern) could do this.

The next ITAC meeting will be July 17.

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