October 20, 2009

No Boundaries Logo

IT Accessibility Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
09:30 - 3:30 p.m.
University of Maine - Augusta

Facilitator: Hank McIntyre
Note taker: Katrina Beaudoin with help from Eric Dibner

Attendees: Pauline Lamontagne, Leah Smith, Eric Dibner, Floyd White, Bruce Prindall, John Shattuck, Paul Sandlin, Steve Campana, Katrina Beaudoin, Henry Quintal, Richard Thompson

Not Present: Doug Bird, John McMahon, Kathy Powers

Agenda item: Agenda Review/Ground Rules Request

Agenda item: Kickoff Keynote by Richard Thompson

About 12 years ago accessibility began to come to the forefront(there was a brief history of how the CIO position was reestablished and then how ITAC was established).

Recognition of Kathy Powers for her contributions and advocacy

Acknowledgment of improvements related to web accessibility

"Achilles heel" is in the area of new systems and development. We are still significantly inefficient in our management of data.

It is time to make accessibility part of normal, daily operations.

Challenged ITAC to reconsider charter

Cited statute- Responsibilities of the CIO- "Set policies and standards for the implementation and use of information and telecommunications technologies, including privacy and security standards and standards of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act for information technology."

ITAC established to advise the CIO"

Here is the charge

  • Develop goals to strengthen policy role
  • Develop and revisit standards
  • Focus on systems being developed, deployed
  • DevCon- developers should be informed
  • Enforcement should be embedded in policies

Questions/Comments & Responses

E. Dibner- Training and education is necessary. Bodies needed to enforce and to help make things happen.

R. Thompson- This has to become part of what people already do.

P. Lamontagne- Example given- T.O.R.Q.- the committee had conversations but they were not effective.

J. Shattuck- People got far down the road before considering accessibility.

F. White- Direct information is needed about what is in the works and where we are. Lots of work with Rider B- it is vital for vendors of software to understand expectations regarding accessibility. Cost is likely related. How many waivers have been authorized for accessibility?

R. Thompson- Fewer then a half dozen. Perhaps the committee could be involved in review of the waivers.

F. White- Why did they want waivers? Pre-built so less expensive?

R. Thompson- Concerned about those who didn't request a waiver but went forward. Training & education is needed- can't enforce if we don't at least try to raise awareness.

Office of CIO taking a more active role in purchases. Rider B- contracts- some vendors sign regardless of intention/ability to comply. Accessibility needs to move to (rider) A.

Contracts for Rider B not enforced- never review if accessibility requirements were met.

Someone- what about things that don't require a contract? For example, T.O.R.Q., business contract bypassing IT. How can that be prevented?

R. Thompson- Tom Howker should now be catching. It is an IT expectation to greatly reduce that, but it doesn't mean it won't ever happen.

Soon all IT related invoices will have to be approved by IT.

This all relates to how ITAC can help define policy. Bring in people who can help move it along.

ITAC should point out issues and make recommendations. CIO will endorse and be responsible for implementation.

P. Sandlin- Sometimes IT staff approving things and it's missed. In these cases there are usually accessible alternative solutions available. No poor intentions, but it happens. If VPAT done- proves looked at & not about it. If VPAT not done- not good.

Someone- What about staffing for the committee?

R. Thompson- will do what he can and commits to report back at the next meeting.

S. Campana- what about legacy systems?

R. Thompson- example- Advantage- revisit to make improvements with upgrades

S. Campana- Inventory of applications will be valuable. Looking at exploring tool that will identify apps on network- money currently lacking.

P. Sandlin- Floyd's checklist is useful. There is no perfect accessibility solution, just try to get a close as possible.

F. White- Measure- Can a person with a disability do their job in a timely manner? It's more about usability.

R. Thompson- suggested Mary Silva, Director of Project Management Office, be invited and reeducated about the importance of accessibility so she can then update and inform staff.

Agenda item: History & Accomplishments

Discussion Lotus, Microsoft, policy, tools. Failures caught after the fact. Successes don't hear about much. Provide decision makers with educational material and checklists to pass on. Problem is with vendors now.

Agenda item: Set criteria for Establishing Goals

Prioritized topics:

  • ITAC structure- roles for getting work done, chairperson, who should be represented as members?
  • Recommendations to CIO- policies, standards, implementation plans
  • Outreach/communications- ITAC website, recognition
  • Plan for change in administration- documentation- status report, accomplishments of ITAC, resources/tools for effectiveness
  • Revisit charter? Reviewed and agreed priority to study it is low- should "develop policies" be added? ITAC Coordinator role needs to be revisited

Agenda item: Goal Planning
Format for each topic-

  • Purpose: 1 sentence statement
  • Objectives: Clear- Understandable
    • Specific- benefit who/how
    • Measureable- how many/much
    • Achievable- can it be done?
    • Realistic- resources/capacity
    • Timely- by when?
  • 20-25 minutes per topic

Topic 1- ITAC Structure- succession plans, member roles, sub-committees/projects

Purpose: To identify team with resources to meet charter goals


  • A. Identify membership/member roles
    • Chair, permanent members, guests- invite individuals to provide consultations
    • Clarification of membership, individual roles
    • Description of chair role & categories of representation
    • Specific- Leadership will define chair role, revisit categories of representation and define member role
    • Measureable- written role description
    • Achievable- yes
    • Realistic- Membership Committee- Bruce Prindall will convene- Pauline & Kathy
    • Timely- by December meeting
  • B. Succession Plans
    • Purpose: To ensure constituency represented on ITAC? Methodology for appropriate representation and means for transfer of leadership
    • S.M.A.R.T.- same as membership
  • C. Sub-committee/Projects
    • Purpose: Do we need? Yes or No
    • If yes, What do they do? What are the Roles and is work request reasonable?
    • If no, Is there another alternative?
    • Specific Measure: Documentation of structure of subcommittees.
    • Time: November meeting

Topic 2- Recommendations

Purpose: Define policies, standards and implementation plans to provide to CIO in coming year.


  • Specific- list of topics/who responsible
  • Measure- document sent & accepted
  • Achievable- yes
  • Realistic- create list of who do we need to talk with ITAC
  • Timely- November meeting

Topic 3- Communications/Outreach

Purpose: To educate decision makers in order to make IT accessibility a routine consideration with all applicable procurement/development


  • Specific- who? Commissioners, senior staff, project managers, developers, procurement
  • How/what? Communication plan, SOPs?, checklists, Rider A, Active website, DevCon/Conferences, Extended IT leadership
  • Measure- never see flat line or reduction in application certification, waivers reduced, % of accessible applications
  • Achievable- long term
  • Realistic- tools? AccVerify or alternative tool, resources- to be determined, inventory of what is available
  • Timely- ongoing

Topic 4- Planning for Change in Administration

Purpose: To ensure continued support of ITAC goals by succeeding administration


  • Specific- who? Incoming administration how? Provide education via status report, brief history, include current/future recommendations, define audience, meet with appropriate parties, make "business case" for existence
  • Measure- still here and functioning
  • Achievable- yes
  • Realistic- resources- content, accomplish goal setting work, gather history data, testimonials from senior leaders, past members- non-State employees, users
  • Timely- complete package by 10/2010

Topic 5- Revisit Charter

Purpose: Is it up to date? Does it accurately reflect ITAC purpose and goals?


  • Specific- who? Us- our challenge from CIO how? Agenda item at next meeting
  • Measure- revisions made? Or not? Final document
  • Achievable- yes
  • Realistic- none
  • Timely- next meeting- November


Revisited discussion of transition of committee chair position Pauline felt she is no longer able to provide time and attention the position requires

Acknowledgement that Bruce had offered to take on chairperson position

Consensus- Bruce Prindall new chairperson

Next Steps:

  • Bruce will convene membership committee to discuss member roles, succession planning, what to do if chair not available?
  • Sub-committee/Project discussion at November meeting
  • Recommendations- discussion of topics at November meeting
  • Outreach/Communication- Ongoing agenda item
  • Planning for change in administration- done by 10/2010
  • Revisit charter- November meeting agenda item