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Minutes from the October 18, 2001 meeting

The goals of today's meeting were to discuss the draft policy and form a subcommittee to begin planning the awareness seminar.

The first issue discussed was the relocation of future meetings. Because of construction at Riverview Plaza, the group decided to move the meetings to a building with better parking. Possible sites include the Department of Labor building, Thomas Edison College, or the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped. Marge Pecht will look into finding a new space for the November meeting.

The group then discussed the policy. The group agreed on how the purpose and scope were stated. It was decided that "Internet" shouldn't be used in the policy scope because it leaves out Intranet. Instead, the group agreed on "Web sites" and "Web services." Both will be explained in the definitions section.

Marge reminded everyone that the definitions section will grow as the policy grows.

Next, the group discussed the introduction. Everyone agreed the introduction is needed because it gives background and explains why the policy is important. The group agreed to move the last point ("Given the benefits to citizens . . .") to the front of the introduction because it shows support within the state for the policy.

The group came up with several changes for the policy statement after going through each bullet point.

In the first bullet point, the wording will be changed from "strive" to "take reasonable steps." The group felt this was stronger and clearer than "strive." A definition of "reasonable steps" includes each department taking into account issues like budget and resources to determine what actions to take towards accessibility.

In the second bullet point, the group added "content providers" to the list of people who should become familiar with the guidelines. Marge will define it to include all the people involved in the steps of Web development, such as writers and graphic designers.

Marge asked if the group would prefer to follow the Access Board or the WCAG for the policy guidelines. The WCAG standards are easier to meet, but the Access Board standards may be closer to any future federal requirements. The group agreed to follow the Access Board guidelines because it comes from a federal agency. The policy will mention the WCAG as a good resource for additional information.

Marge will remove the WCAG description because it isn't needed if the policy will follow the Access Board standards. Instead, a link will be provided for more information.

A few suggestions were made for the management section of the roles and responsibilities. The group agreed the section should expand on what managers can do to make a new site accessible and how to update an old site.

Marge will distribute the updated policy before the next meeting. Group members should review it and e-mail Marge anything they feel should be included or changed. Members should also review the roles and responsibilities sections that were not covered at the meeting.

A tentative timeline was set for finishing the policy:

November - finish the content of the policy
December - clean up the policy's language
January - send the policy for approved

The group also discussed the planned seminar to promote awareness about accessibility. The group agreed March would be a good month to have the seminar. Marge asked the group to think about possible speakers and locations.

A small subcommittee was formed to plan the seminar. It plans to meet before the November meeting. If anyone else is interested in joining the subcommittee, please contact Marge.

Agenda for November meeting:

  • Finish working on the policy
  • Plan the awareness seminar
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