US Access Board to Hold Technology Listening Sessions in Chicago

Posted on Friday, 24 September 2010 by Mike Paciello

Received e-mail from Tim Creagan of the US Access Board regarding the following special event. Encourage all Chicago-based accessibility and disability friends to participate:

Disability and accessibility colleagues in the Chicago area are encouraged by the US Access Board to attend and speak at a special Listening Session on September 30, 2010 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

The Listening session is designed to elicit comments about what the Federal Government can do to use technology in new and better ways, and to influence technology accessibility. This is a joint effort of the Chief Information Officers Council, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the Office of Government-wide Policy of the General Services Administration and the Access Board.

This listening session is being conducted in response to a memo dated July 19, 2010 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on “Improving the Accessibility of Government Information” and signed by Vivek Kundra. As you know, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) requires Federal agencies to buy and use electronic and information technology (EIT) that is accessible. The July memo directs agencies to take stronger steps toward improving the acquisition and implementation of accessible technology.

In order to better understand the needs of diverse communities and provide better solutions, the U.S. Council of CIOs, in collaboration with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy and the U.S. Access Board, is holding the first in a series of listening sessions to engage citizens and employees in expressing concerns and proposing ideas.

DETAILS ABOUT THE LISTENING SESSION:
Public Forum on Information Technology in the Federal Sector (Sept. 30, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time)

As part of a new administration initiative, members of the Chief Information Officers Council and the Chief Acquisition Officers Council will join the Board in conducting the first in a series of listening sessions on ways to promote access to information technology (IT) in the Federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Questions to be explored through this session include:
• What can the federal government do to use technology in new and better ways and to influence technology accessibility?
• What can technology do to improve access and opportunities for people with disabilities and enhance their interaction with the federal government?
• Are there emerging technologies being used by the federal government that people feel left out of?
• What can the federal government do to make technology more accessible?

Members of the public are invited to attend the session to offer their ideas for improving IT accessibility or to share access concerns. Feedback from this session and future ones will be shared with responsible agencies to implement improvements.

For more information, contact Kathy Johnson at johnson@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0041, or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).

MORE DETAILS:
Meeting Location: The listening session will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel, Courtyard Marriott Magnificent Mile 165 East Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60611 in the Ontario B & C rooms.

Accommodations: The listening session will have sign language interpreters; CART (real time captioning) services, Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), microphones and materials will be available in Braille, large print and electronic formats. The hotel is wheelchair accessible. Anyone needing other accommodations should include a specific request when registering in advance.

NOTE: We are unable to provide remote “listening-in” capability at this first listening session. At least 3 more listening sessions are planned around the country (one will be in Washington, DC in December at the IDEAS conference) so there will be other opportunities to comment.


About Mike Paciello

I am Founder and Principal of The Paciello Group. I've been in the accessibility business since the mid-80's. In that time I've worked professionally as both a usability and accessibility engineer. In 2006, along with my friend and colleague, Jim Tobias, I was appointed co-chair to the United States Federal Access Board's Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC). In years past I've been involved in several well known accessibility ventures including ICADD, WAI, and WebABLE (my first official web site and start-up). Most recently, TVworldwide.Com and I launched a new internet channel, WebABLE.TV. The channel is dedicated to building greater awareness about technology and people with disabilities. Please follow me on Twitter via @mpaciello.

I am thrilled to hear that TPG will be part of the state blanket contract allowing our agencies to use your unique expertise and broad knowledge of accessibility. This is a bright day for citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sarah Bourne, Director of Assistive Technology – IT Division, Commonwealth of Massachusetts