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September 12, 2005
IT Accessibility Committee Meeting Record
September 12, 2005 Annual Retreat
Pine Tree Arboretum
Facilitator: Gloria Payne, Bureau of Human Resources
Pauline Lamontagne, Chair
Carolyn Bebee, Co-Chair
First Session of the Annual Retreat from 8:30 a.m. to Noon
Gloria Payne and team members introduced themselves prior to opening the session for business. The committee proceeded to update their accomplishments and work on goals and objectives to continue moving forward with their mission and vision. Both Kathy Record and Carmen Fournier were given appreciation for all their hard work in working with the IT Accessibility Committee (ITAC).
Membership Subcommittee - Carolyn Bebee
- The team is working on developing criteria and putting together a plan for nominations for two accessibility awards (Leadership and IT Technology Accomplishment). This process should be completed by end of September.
- A recommendation is also being reviewed to develop a Certificate of Appreciation for past members and a plan is currently being drafted.
- In reviewing a process for selecting a Chair for the IT Accessibility Committee, it was agreed to remain on a volunteer basis. Pauline Lamontagne has volunteered to sit in as Chair for another year. In filling the position of Vice Chair, when the Chair is not available to attend a meeting, we will seek a volunteer from those present at the meeting to sit in as Acting Chair.
- In lieu of using CPrint for note taking at the IT Accessibility Committee meetings, we will continue to have those services provided by Carmen Fournier , OIT.
- According to our Charter, areas of membership are filled to cover different (broad) areas. However, we are open to recruitment. We are becoming more visible and getting some interest. This year Jan DeVinney did resign and Alan Parks has joined the IT Accessibility Committee from the University of Maine .
- In relation to marketing, the subcommittee has done some research, met with some people, and are looking to focus in on the Governor's Office and their PR person.
- We are working on an initiative with BHR to get accessibility out there, providing accessibility to state jobs (applications), adding the awareness of accessibility to the BHR state employee introduction process and the BHR website.
- Maintain membership
- Complete the awards process
- Fill the Chair position for the Awareness and Visibility Subcommittee
- BHR - work with web site
- Expand orientation for new employees on accessibility awareness/education
- Formalize cognitive issues
In wrapping up the Membership report, it was noted to have communication about the ASC be copied to Jan DeVinney, Betty Lamoreau, and Jon Steuerwalt, and go back and look who else. What are the ground rules on responding to and forwarding to E-mail communication relevant to the ASC?
Some "Challenges" for the IT Accessibility Committee include: 1) accessibility language included in the Purchases RFP/Contract template, 2) Training materials not in PDF format (HAVA), 3) HAVA software accessibility; and 4) Jurisdictional issues of government agencies.
Betty Lamoreau and Kathy Record will put together accessibility language for all state contracts/RFPs. It was noted that Kathy does review IT contracts/RFPs for accessibility language.
"Parking Lot" items include: 1) Expanding influence beyond the Executive Branch (SOS, BMV), 2) Redo the template contract language, 2) Bring accessibility awareness to the Judicial and Legislative Branches (needs to cover ALL Maine State Government),
HAVA: Software being used at town offices for browser based registration, is it accessible? Need full accessibility from voter registration to actual voting by the public. Eric requested a memo be sent to the Committee describing the process. It was noted that the Secretary of State's Office does not fall within the Executive Branch. Accessibility policies/standards currently cover Executive Branch offices only. It was agreed the ASC needs to move forward with the Executive Branch and work toward bringing in the Judicial and Legislative branches.
Other "Tasks" the ASC needs to address is "Cognitive Disabilities". It was noted the Membership team was looking for someone with expertise to look at the issues and how to address them. It was agreed that Alan could bring input to addressing this task. Would this be part of the Web Accessibility Subcommittee? Do we have someone who could lead us to folks with cognitive disabilities? Have not solved the How To yet. We will work on this exploratory area of cognitive disabilities and the Web.
To address "Public Relations/Marketing" a recommendation was made to put together an article on Katrina and how people with disabilities were impacted. Bring awareness to the Governor's Office; involve Pat Ende from the Governor's Office.
Telecommunications Subcommittee - NexTalk = Floyd White
Once the NexTalk software tool was discovered to replace TTY for the deaf a project manager was assigned (Lisa Thompson) to push forward to get NexTalk implemented. Floyd volunteered to work with Lisa and others. There is a new NexTalk software release coming in October 2005.
- The DOL pilot was put into place and up and running with some minor issues currently being addressed.
- All small agencies (about 28) have been contacted (by phone) in person to let them know what is going on and who they needed for users. All small agency users are in place and have been instructed to download and install the product.
- Ring groups have been set up within each agency/department.
- NexTalk website is up and running and updated on a regular basis with new NexTalk numbers.
- TTY Numbers are scheduled to be disconnected on certain dates.
Not everybody has the product on their desktop. The system is licensed based on User ID to log in.
- Getting people to use NexTalk
- There is no monitoring system in place to monitor who is logged in.
- Working with Verizon for toll free numbers being requested by agencies.
- There is no way to monitor use.
- How can we monitor who is using NexTalk? Alan recommended using UMaine IDS students to do a project testing on who is using NexTalk.
- Implement NexTalk within the Department of Health and Human Services
- Release of TTY phone lines
- Getting information out to change stationery, business cards, etc.
- Need a basic communication plan (multi-channel communication plan)
- Notify Web Coordinators to keep "TTY" on the website and not change to "NexTalk".
- Put communication document together and distribute, put on website.
- This is a business issue; need to send communication to agency administrators.
- Is this something at the Commissioner level to send out an internal memo?
- Users that have been set up send them instructions and test within your agency/department.
- Need to get information out to the right folks to change their TTY numbers on letterhead, business cards, etc. A resource to use for communication would be the Web Coordinators, send instructions to ALL state employees. Suggest sending to Admin Secretaries and Admin Assistants. .
- Send out to ALL state employees, via Global Distribution List, to change stationery, business cards, etc.
- Continue to roll out NexTalk
- Implement NexTalk within the Department of Health and Human Services (next 6 months)
- Need monitoring piece.who is on line to take calls?
- Need a call testing system, monitoring, are consumers getting accessibility?
- Research Video Remote Interpreting
- New TTY directory being issued
- Continue updating the NexTalk website
- Expand beyond NexTalk
- Implement NexTalk within the Department of Health and Human Services
Web Subcommittee - Ellen Wood (Ellen's written report to the IT Accessibility Committee is attached below)
- Personnel: Built a directory of state Web Coordinators (WCs) and Webmasters (WMs) and 33 agencies registered by Sept 05 (only 6 Executive branch agencies still to register)
- Evalaution: Evaluated and purchased accessibility enterprise software for testing all state sites. HiSoftware chosen with - 50 AccVerify licenses; AccMonitor for testing and monitoring; Link Checker; Hi-Caption
- Resources: Installed AccMonitor and ran 2 tests on state web sites by Sept 05
- 46 of 50 AccVerify licenses handed out to agencies with trainng as a perquisite and at no cost to theses agencies
- Training: Provided basic web training at no cost with Hisoftware trainings, Contribute for administrators with guides developed, 4 half day (quarterly) accessibility workshops with about 45-60 attendeees each time
- PR: Support public relations for accessibility with attendance at the CSUN Conference,a website developed to share conference notes, and a national online webcast given through the EASI organization on " Maine 's Road to Accessibility"
Web Accessibility Subcommittee, Goals for 2005 - 2006
(Please note we list goals that combined both the accessibility policy and the web standards which require the government templates. These go together to build an accessible, usable egovernment presence. Action steps need completion for most of the goals)
- Personnel : All Executive Branch agencies of Maine State Government designate a Web Coordinator and list all staff (including managers) who works on their agency web pages in the online Webmaster Directory. (This policy facilitates communication, training, standards compliance, and server security and refers to Web Standards- http://www.maine.gov/oit/standards/webstandards.htm)
- See Personnel action plan for all steps related to Directory and FTP
Subset to personnel
- Research agencies not participating in accessibility training sessions (possibly track attendance at webmaster meetings, quarterly workshops, etc. through ASPEN ) and plan a follow-up to engage them.
- Advocate for web coordinator/webmaster job position and description
- Create a development path for these positions (web coordinator/webmaster)
- Evaluation: Continue to monitor, evaluate, and analyze web accessibility for all Maine State Government web sites (http://www.maine.gov/oit/accessibility/policy/webpolicy.htm)
- Continue quarterly AccMonitor testing of all state websites.
- Recommend, develop and implement toll gate process for Executive Branch agencies as they launch new websites based on the government required templates. (an initial and final accessibility review before website launch)
- Create a plan for a manual evaluation with a template or set of rules besides AccMonitor, (possible peer review)
- Develop a plan and implement user testing by people with disabilities in the community
- Resources: Each agency will have improved access to accessibility tools and web testing.
- Promote regular use of AccVerify on all agency websites
- Research and study feasibility of implementing resources to support cognitive disabilities. (Run trials with software like BrowseAloud, ReadSpeaker XT)
- Research and implement other resources for webmasters
i. Allow browsers than IE on limited desk tops (check policy) for webmasters/coordinators. (particularly Firefox)
ii. Facilitate and model use of webmaster Forum for improved sharing
iii. Increase PR about e-government accessibility
- Training :
- Meet the needs of all agencies for training in web software (Dreamweaver and Contribute), the government templates (Executive Branch agencies) and how to make their web content accessible
i. Continue InforME's free monthly training presentations at webmaster meetings as well as online resources and individual help desk services. (at no cost)
ii. Establish perquisites for working on the web
iii. Develop a plan for a basic online tutorial on web accessibility
iv. Develop a plan for Word documents to easily move to the web and be accessible
v. Develop a plan for an "Accessibility" team or individual to go out to help individual agencies who need support beyond training offerings
- Continue to offer quarterly half-day workshops open to all webmasters, coordinators, and their managers
- Explore the need for training/awareness of issues in captioning for videos, accessible FLASH, accessible PDFs or other
The quarterly training is basically workshops for Web Coordinators (special training for specific people). However, the training is aligned with the BHR statewide training. This special training will be entered into the state training database.
Ellen's Web Sub-Committee Report to IT Accessibility Committee
September 9, 2005
Members : Ellen Wood (Chair), Kathy Record, Kelly Hokkanen, Alan Parks , Bruce Prindall, Leigh Wilkinson, and Eric Dibner. Kim Wing, intern for the OIT joined us for the summer 2005.
The following goals were met during the 2004-2005 year.
Goal : Mandate that all state employees who have access to and work on state web pages register with the Office of OIT per the Web Standards
Accomplished : Webmaster Directory is built, most agencies have a named web coordinator and web coordinators are registering their agencies' webmasters. As of September 1, 33 top level departments are registered. ( See attachment #1 )
Goal : Evaluate enterprise evaluation software to use for testing for all state sites for accessibility at least twice a year and begin testing State websites for accessibility.
Accomplished : Evaluation and purchase of software was completed fall 2004. We bought a Hisoftware package that included 50 AccVerify & Repair licenses, AccMonitor (enterprise website accessibility testing software), 50 Link Checker licenses and 50 Hi-Caption (a tool for captioning.
Accomplished : AccMonitor is installed and the first two tests were run (first test Spring 05- See attachment #2 for results, the second test -August-September 05 is still being complied at this time). InforME was able to customize AccMonitor to follow Maine 's Accessibility policy ( designed to meet or exceed all Federal Section 508 requirements and all WCAG "Priority 1" Checkpoints and most WCAG "Priority 2" Checkpoints. )
The purposes of this software are to evaluate the improvement of State websites over time, to inform agencies about the level of compliance of their sites, and to identify potential problem areas.
Goal: Each agency will have access to accessibility tools and web testing.
Accomplished : 46 licenses of AccVerify are now handed out with appropriate training for web coordinators (and many back-ups coordinators) complete (at no cost to the agencies). AccVerify and the Link Checker is used regularly by agencies but no official training on Hi-Caption was offered. Hi-Caption will be a later focus, once web accessibility is improved and if there is a need.
Goal: Make basic web design training available for every state employee who works on web pages affiliated with Maine State Government.
Accomplished : An initial review of the current training course curriculum was completed, new or updated classes with continued accessibility training and how to work with the new template added. Review continues.
Accomplished : Basic Training at no cost
- InforME continued to provide free monthly training presentations at Webmaster Meetings, as well as online resources and individual help desk services.
- Wrote guide for Contribute 3 for Administrators and modified a quick guide for Contribute 3 users (thanks to University of Denver for sharing).
- Trained 17 web coordinators for Contribute 3, Accessibility, and Use with the Government Templates, new class on Sept 15
Open lab for web coordinators with Tim Swan and Ellen Wood facilitating: August 2005: ~12 attendees
Goal for Half Day Quarterly Workshops : Offer quarterly free half-day accessibility workshops open to state webmasters and their managers.
Accomplished : Set up 4 major half day trainings and 2 mini ones
- New templates and Accessibility in December 2004 (~46 signed up but 40 attendees after change of date)
- 2 in March for Hisoftware training (Total Hisoft for 4 sessions=61 attendees)
- 3 smaller Hisoft training in April and May
- PDF workshop in August (~46 attendees) A special recognition to Kim Wing who planned and organized this very successful workshop
5 . Public Relations for Web Accessibility
Goal : Foster Public Relations for Accessibility (Web)
Accomplished : Thanks to MaineCite, two members of the Web Sub committee attended CSUN, Technology for People with Disabilities Conference in March 2005. Important networking, free materials from key accessibility presenters, and strengthen networking with EASI group. Website built to share learning from conference (http://www.maine.gov/msl/accessibility/)
Accomplished : International webcast through EASI by three web sub committee members ( See attachment #3)
Accomplished : Case Study written for Hisoftware on the purchase of the software helped with a business problem. Now on their website: http://www.hisoftware.com/case/stateofmaine05.htm, attachment #4
A special thanks to InforME, especially Kelly Hokkanen and Tim Swan, for an excellent Webmaster Resource Center , Webmaster Monthly Meetings, Annual Webmaster Retreat, and Email and Phone Support with Accessibility always a priority.
A special thanks to Kim Wing for her valuable input, perspective, and work for the web sub committee Summer 2005.
Accountability - Floyd White
- A report was produced and brought to the ASC recommending an "Accessibility Law for Maine State Government.:"
- CIO read the report and attend October meeting for his input.
- Prepare points for accessibility law presentation; present to the CIO, Governor's Office, need support from the top, get a sponsor (approach Pat Ende), include statewide organization of software developers.
- Bring the CIO up to date. Next step after the CIO would be the Commissioner of DAFS.
Does the ASC want to move forward with a law? What is the difference between an Executive Order vs. a law? The law will address all branches of government, quasi agencies, and organization receiving state money.
In exploring the development of a state IT accessibility law, members voted unanimously to move forward. Things to take into consideration as we move forward are:
- What is a "good" law
- Attorney and PUC folks review the ground work that has been accomplished
- What is the way to the planning stage?
- Need support from CIO, Commissioner, Governor's Office
- Need sponsorship from the Legislature, consumer groups
- Is it technically doable?
- What is the cost going to be?
As are result of the recommendations from the Subcommittee's report we need to make a presentation to the CIO, set up a subcommittee, define issues for the subcommittee and if they hit a snag they can bring back to the ASC.
For the presentation to the CIO we have a concept; "People have access to all IT software in the State of Maine ." We need to be united in our thinking; The CIO would have a roll in making it happen. In bringing our recommendation for a state IT law to the CIO we need to not hinge the Committee's decision to move forward on the CIO's disapproval. We currently have policies/standards in place and contract language. What we have now could result in accessibility needs enforcement. Can we get more done by using policy or having a law in place? We have federal laws already in place. Working on getting a state IT accessibility law would be a great learning process. Would be a different way to get things done and would get components not covered in federal law now.
Questions about the Recommendations should be identified and responded to.
- Could a policy be as effective as a law?
- Why would it have to be either/or?
- Best use of limited resources? Not lose past year accomplishments.
- Do we need the sustainability of a law?
- Summary points needed to increase stakeholder leverage?
- How many states have a law, has the law been tested, results of law impact?
- What is the cost of not doing it?
- History of 508, what can we learn to implement into a law
- What are we trying to accomplish with a law?
- What is the purpose of a law? Focus?
- What kind of legal advisors do we need?
- Dick's perspective on how most effective? Strategies?
- Build baselines to continue present work?
There is not a good law out there. Maine could be the first! The Chair for the newly set up subcommittee should come from the ASC and involve outside stakeholders.
Second Session of the Annual Retreat 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Gloria reviewed the 2004 Annual Report Operational Work Plan Outline for 2005. The following accomplishments were acknowledged.
Accountability= Floyd White
Telecommunications = Bruce Prindall
Internet/Web = Ellen Wood
Training = Leigh Wilkinson
Awareness/Visibility = Carolyn Bebee
No (MIST articles were discontinued)
Administration= Kathy Record
No (not needed at this time)
The ASC agreed to keep the same focus areas, add Internet/Intranet & Web Development, fold "Training" into all 6 initiatives, and report out on initiatives for all "Focus Areas". Focus Areas for 2005-2006 are:
- Accountability = Floyd White, Chair
- Administration = Kathy Record, Chair
- Internet/Intranet & Web Development = Ellen Wood, Chair
- Telecommunications = Val Wood, Chair
- Visibility and Awareness = Bruce Prindall, Chair
- Membership = Carolyn Bebee, Chair
The discussion on "Distance Learning" included: a) where do we want to go with this, b) training, c) what are the issues, and d) what does it mean. A group will be set up to cover these items.
Web Accessibility Personnel:
- Similar goals but to complete for all Executive Branch
- Target dates of Sept. Oct and Nov to complete directory registration of web coordinators/web masters.
- FTP accounts not registered will be removed (this will ensure accountability)
- Monitor who attends meetings, workshops, etc.
- Research WC/WM job description within Maine State Government (change will be slow).
Web Accessibility Evaluations:
- Continue quarterly AccMonitor testing
- Develop a plan for a toll gate process before launching a website with a second review
- Create a plan for manual evaluation
- Plan for usability testing by folks with disabilities
Web Accessibility Resources:
- Promote use of AccVerify
- Research different browsers on desktops
- Do more forums
- PR on government accessibility
- Review BrowseAloud and bring before the ASC
Web Accessibility Training:
- Meet needs of all agencies in Executive Branch around software
- Content needs to be accessible
- Web Masters meeting
- Online Resource Center
- Pre-requisites to work on the web
- Basic plan for online tutorial
- Plan for moving Word documents to the web;
- Set up team to help outside agencies
- Provide training to vendors
- Continue quarterly workshops
- Work around flash, video, PDFs, High Caption, more browsers
- Research better use of forms
To benefit public relations a paper will be written and presented to CSun.
A question was raised regarding a designated roll for doing the ongoing training. For now Ellen Wood will continue the process currently in place and the process will be revisited within the new OIT organization.
Kiosk needs to be addressed (comes under Telecommunications).
- Move forward on IT accessibility law for State of Maine
- What is happening with the purchasing of hardware and software - system needs to continue to work
- Continue to monitor initiatives in the CIO's office
- Monitor RFPs and Contracts
- Look for gaps in the current process
- Instate development (who is doing it - research portfolios)
- Floyd meet with Dick Thompson and Stephanie Parker
Val noted projects 250,000 dollars or over will be on the watch list from the Project Management Office to make sure accessibility is covered.
- October meeting agenda: IT accessibility law presentation to the CIO; BrowserAloud presentation; and Follow up for 2005/2006 Work Plan.
- For the 2005 Annual Report: Acknowledge Floyd's work on researching, installing, and testing Oracle forms 10g with screen reader technology to prove or dis-prove that forms are accessible from forms version 9I or newer.
- Invite BrowseAloud staff to the Oct meeting
- Ellen send out plug in and other info on BrowseAloud to the ASC members
- There is a good relationship with InforME on web and accessibility
- Need a lead person (Bruce Prindall volunteered to Chair) Thank you Bruce!
- ID marketing \ marketing plan
- Secure a PR person
- CSun articles
- Draft program outline (hire a marketing person)
- Post accessibility articles on Maine.gov site
- Partnering with national accessibility groups/events
- Presentation to the CIO Council
- Upgrade our Charter
- Secure a new Chair (Val Wood volunteered to Chair) Thank you Val!
- NexTalk = review project for status and where it needs to go / other initiatives
- Look at other Telco accessibility issues
- ATM, Video Conferencing
- Clarify Distance Learning
- Video Remote Interpreting
- Computer access
- General business over the phone, 211 messaging, menus
- Produce 2005 Annual Report
- Produce 2006 Work Plan
- Secure summer intern (explore longer contract time for other needs)
- Budget (money available for projects related to accessibility - no budget issues)
Managing Committee Work
- Track Goals / Acton Plan - Ellen send tracking template to the ASC members
- What are the actions needed to meet the goals?
- What is the timeline?
- What are the steps that need to be achieved?
- Who is responsible?
Set timeline for subcommittees Chair to get their goals / action plan completed.
Template out to ASC members October 14
Notes from BHR to Kathy Record October 14
Use September 26 time slot for subcommittee meetings
Planning for next year:
- Focus on "Parking Lot" items too
- Raise awareness to the Governor's Office PR
- Sequence for Accessibility Law
- How do we move forward
- Steps involved
- Other partners
The following are the designated subcommittees within the IT Accessibility Committee , Chair, and members. Chair to the IT Accessibility Committee = Pauline Lamontagne
Carolyn Bebee, Jon Steuerwalt, Carmen Fournier
Awareness & Visibility
Amanda Rector, Deidre Schneider
Internet/Intranet & Web Development
Kathy Record, Kelly Hokkanen , Leigh Wilkinson, Bruce Prindall, Eric Dibner, Alan Parks
Kathy Record, Val Wood, Pauline Lamontagne, Kathy Powers
Agenda for October meeting
- Presentation to CIO on IT accessibility law
- BrowserAloud presentation
- Follow up on 2005/2006 Work Plan
In bringing the annual retreat to a close, Kathy Record commented that the IT Accessibility Committee was an excellent group to work with, and that everyone had done an incredible job for the IT Accessibility Committee and for each subcommittee they Chaired and/or served on to meet the goals set forth for 2004/2005. Thank you to everyone!