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Minutes from the January 17, 2002 Meeting
16 people from 12 departments attended

The meeting agenda for today was to finish the draft policy and to discuss the seminar. Marge Pecht began the meeting by discussing final comments made on the draft policy.

Marge received four e-mails regarding changes on the policy. The first comment was about the Purpose. It suggested taking out the sentence "to enable state agencies to meet their Web site and Web service business goals and information dissemination objectives while addressing the needs of the disabled Internet user" and adding a sentence saying the purpose is to establish and communicate the state position on accessibility and meet the federal 508 requirements. The group agreed with the suggestion and Marge will make the changes.

A second comment suggested that the definition of senior management was too restrictive. It was suggested the definition include any management reporting to the chief executive. That would make the CFO more accountable to include accessibility in the budget. The group agreed this should be added.

The third issue was about the second paragraph in the Policy section. It was agreed senior management, like the CIO, does not need to be aware of the technical accessibility guidelines.

A fourth comment was about the definition of reasonable steps. It was suggested that the definition include providing accessibility without undue hardships and that the nature of the services the agency provides would be among the factors that determine reasonableness. The group rejected this suggestion because a disabled person may still need to find information from that agency. The definition will be left unchanged.

The group came up with a plan on how to proceed with the rest of the policy. After Marge finishes with the policy she will send it to OIT's deputy attorney general to be approved. Jim Powers will write a cover letter to the governor's office to serve as a brief introduction to the policy and explain why it is needed. Marge and Jim Powers will also try to have someone from the governor's office come to the next meeting so the group can make a presentation on the policy.

The group then discussed the seminar. Though there is no date for the seminar, the group would like to be ready with a program when it is scheduled. An important objective while planning the seminar is to keep costs down. The group agreed to do this by using a training room within the state and using state employees or volunteer speakers to make the presentations.

Some members of the group have run into problems when asking department managers how many people they think they might send to the seminar. The group decided it might be a good idea to distribute the policies before the seminar so managers could read them. They might be more willing to send people if they know why it is important.

The group decided it should try to schedule meetings with the senior management at each agency to talk about the importance of the accessibility policy. It was agreed the group would develop a video presentation of how assistive technology reads an inaccessible Web site to show how much information is missed. A few group members will show the video and make the presentation. The group realized departments would be resistant until the CIO and the governor's office are on board.

Jim said he would work on setting up a discussion board so the group can work on the projects between meetings.

For the February 21 meeting:

  • Plan the 10 minute presentation for management
  • Continue planning for the seminar - location, content, speakers
  • Vito DeSantis may bring in equipment for a Jaws presentation of an inaccessible Web site
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