November 28, 2005

No Boundaries Logo

The first item brought before the Committee, by Dick Hinkley, Director of the OIT-E-Government Services, was the introduction of Paul Sandlin (OIT/E-Government Services staff) who will be replacing Kathy Record as Kathy is moving on as the Associate for the OIT Chief Information Officer. Dick also introduced Lisa Leahy who will also be working with Dick and Paul in the OIT/E-Gov Services.

The Committee discussed how to get Paul on board and bring him up to date on everything the Committee has done and is currently involved in. Kathy has met with Paul and discussed with him some of the Committee's work/accomplishments. Paul will also be attending the Subcommittees to help bring him up to date on accessibility happenings. Members can contact Paul on their own if they choose to. It was noted that transition is a process and there is a need to keep communicating.

Kathy Record reported on preparing the 2005 Annual Report. She noted the following:

  • Will use the same format as previous reports
  • Will do an introduction at the beginning as there may be different readers
  • Will name all the players
  • Address past areas and will have a separate section for the Web
  • Will use reports from the September Retreat
  • Will put together a rough draft and send out to the entire Committee for review/comments
  • Time frame on the report is October to October

Recommendations Made:

  • Include graphics (examples: chart on HiSoft website testing, screen shots on training, screen shots of NexTalk).
  • Awards deserve mention
  • Note presentations that were done
  • Note the HiSoft licenses issued (48/49) with 2 hours of training
  • Note involving people outside of state government (vendors, universities, presentation from EASI, working collaboratively with outside resources)
  • Note statistics on how many agencies have been given assistance to move over to the state web template.

The 2006 report may be organized differently or maybe this year. Anyone having other thoughts/ideas for the Annual Report please send them to Kathy Record.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

Accountability Subcommittee: Chair Floyd White had nothing to report at this time.

Awareness & Visibility Subcommittee : Chair Bruce Prindall reported they have had one meeting. They are working on an award for the students who have designed websites to come up with award to present for web designed.

The mission/goal of the Awareness & Visibility Subcommittee is to bring accessibility into the lamplight. Educate the public on what is going on with the state.

Internet/Intranet & Web Development Subcommittee: Chair Ellen Wood reported on CSUN's mid-March conference which will include the Web Cast presentation along with NexTalk. Focus on Maine bringing in accessibility, what were the road blocks, where we were, where we are now. Ellen with work with Floyd and Kathy Powers for the next CSUN conference.

Ellen reviewed the goals for the Web Subcommittee to include:

  • Work being done by the Web Coordinators and Web Masters
  • HiSoft testing (Governor's Office now has the software)
  • AccVerify for the WC to test their own local websites
  • Looking into manual evaluation of web sites
  • Do testing with folks outside of Maine State Government
  • Addressing Word documents for accessibility
  • HiSoft for WC
  • Work on next level of training

Do we purchase speech-enabled software?

Discussions:

  • Meet with the E-Gov team and bring them up to date regarding speech enabled software (Browsealoud | ReadSpeaker).
  • The main purpose of getting this time of software if for cognitive disabilities.
  • A link to Browsealoud is available at the Maine State Library website http://www.maine.gov/msl/accessibility/browsealoud.htm
  • Is a plugin too hard for some folks?
  • ReadSpeaker does not highlight well.
  • Need to connect with folks to try out Browsealoud.
  • Need more feedback on these products, could set up something to watch folks using it.
  • Look into bringing in web applications in relation to AccVerify, AccMonitor, etc.

Dick Hinkley commented on the new IT infrastructure and organization as it related to architecture that we adhere to and accessibility being part of the core development.

Dick also noted an Architectural and Standards group will be meeting.

Telecommunications Subcommittee : Val report the group just got organized and they are working with the closed captioning issue. The two areas being looked at are public service announcements (PSAs) and revisiting the Accessibility Charter to expand it to be more inclusive outside of IT. What is the definition of IT and we need to not go beyond the CIO's capabilities. Whose jurisdiction is media under?

Val commented on the need to inform folks about captioning and contracts containing language it has to do certain things. Do we want to work on developing action plans on what we want to cover regarding IT accessibility?

Dick Thompson commented on the current Communication Directors/Officers group headed by Jim Crocker, Dept. of Conservation.

NexTalk Update : Floyd talked about the current work study being done from the UMO researching how and if NexTalk is working as it should. There are about 80 calls to make and approximately 2/3 have been done. Once the survey is complete a report will be published of the results. Pending the results of the survey, we will work to put in place an action plan to resolve any issues that arise from the study/survey. He also noted he has called the vendor regarding the upgrade that was due in November.

Membership Subcommittee: Carmen reported that Carolyn is working on the documentation to be sent out asking for nominations for the accessibility awards. Language for the awards has been written and approved by the Membership Subcommittee members.

Saying "THANK YOU' to Kathy Record!

After the meeting adjourned, Kathy Record was presented with a certificate, flowers, and a cake (with purple frosting) from the IT Accessibility Committee in appreciation of her work and efforts in moving the Committee forward in meetings its goals and mission. Thank You Kathy!

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