September 15, 2003

No Boundaries Logo

Annual Retreat, Continued
September 15, 2003
Cross Building, Room 300

Attending: Val Wood, Mary Silva, Kathy Powers, Pauline Lamontagne, Carolyn Bebee, Floyd White, Jan DeVinney, Laurie Wills

Facilitator: Valerie Oswald

The meeting began by reviewing charts developed at the offsite to identify redundant suggestions and/or ideas that may have to be reclassified.

Suggestion: Should we assign lead person in each focus area? Discuss this at our next meeting.

Consensus was to not prioritize focus area and it was noted that integration is an overarching theme. We must integrate this work into everyday business process and practices.


Visibility and Awareness

  • Use global e-mail to send policies
  • Include state business partners
  • Develop best practices web sites
  • CIO to do cabinet presentation
  • Accessibility presentation at Bureau Directors' meeting
  • Nationally they are looking at awards/recognition/acknowledgement of groups who are focusing on accessibility.
  • Bring Accessibility Awareness to additional training labs, include Muskie.


  • Complete contract subcommittee work within next two months - put it on paper but not implement in that timeframe. Contract language is not strong enough to enforce standards. It must be clearer so it will provide structure and will show the vendor if they have met the criteria. And, we need not to lose sight of what constitutes access vs. usability. If it takes 10 minutes to do something that it would take others 2 minutes to do, that is not accessibility.
  • Establish web sub-committee. Could this be ISMG resources? Review Anna's report and work on methods of enforcement. Could we actually shut down web sites? What are other methods of enforcement? The sub-committee will need to research other fines and/or sanctions.
  • We should publish summary of lawsuits to show the cost to comply vs. the cost of non-compliance.
  • Do we split accountability for web sites vs. applications? This should be part of our strategic plan.
  • Best of Web - Can we do gift certificates? Government level award? Scholarship for winner?
  • Who has ultimate responsibility for non-compliance? Should each agency have person responsible? Is this a manager's responsibility? Discussion point for later.
  • Can we give people who stepped up to the plate for Anna's effort? Highlight it in MIST.


  • We must define who we are looking at for target audiences for training.
  • Mary, report back to group on training being incorporated into mandatory training.
  • Reactivate training sub-committee. Who was on this?
  • Develop a training module for website on accessibility training which is free and offered to state employees as needed. If possible, track the time and who is taking the courses. How would we get people to take these courses? Training Sub-committee could review this.
  • Have the sub-committee clearly define the difference between training and awareness.
  • Should we develop 2 hour training session and put it into the training catalog? Would this be skills or awareness? Or both?


  • Schedule meeting for membership sub-committee to bring back recommendations to full committee
  • Revisit membership committee work: Outreach to advocates and community should be looked at. Usability study/input. Go beyond the policy area. Look again at composition of committee to make sure that all seats are filled appropriately. One question for composition is should there be an HR person on Committee?
  • Draft annual report by November

National Policy

  • Increase attendance at national events
  • Be engaged/participating in national events
  • Contribute to current newsletters related to how other states are doing, quarterly
  • Publicize our participation in such events
  • Maine has been asked to present at a national web cast in December, based on Anna's report.
  • In March we would like 3 people to attend international assistive technology conference in LA.

Resources and Support

  • Dedicated resources - How do we get them?
  • Webmasters position - Should vendor (InforME be responsible for accessibility? Should we look at amending their contract?)
  • Improved job description for webmasters, how much do we get involved? Can we, should we, be involved?
  • Full time resource to accessibility? Accessibility Coordinator?


  • By 7/2004 we hope to purchase and implement the NexTalk system.
  • The goal is to have consistent/reliable method of communication for the deaf and hard of hearing in State Government. Measure survey results, interview other states and federal government to see how they did their purchasing and get their project information. Also further testing must be done on NexTalk. Will not do relay and/or NexTalk.
  • Mary will follow up on status of DOL machines. I have spoken to DOL and they have agreed to prioritize the machines they're upgraded based on Jan's input. They will be upgrading about 40 this fall and have asked for a list of some that she would like to see on that first pass.
  • Parking Lot
  • Rating of Departments
  • Web site registry

Next Steps

Prioritize goals and create work plan at next meeting which will be NOVEMBER 17th, from 1:00 to 4:00.

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