The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education under grant number H133E110002. Our mission is to research, evaluate and develop innovative wireless technologies and products that meet the needs, enhance independence, and improve quality of life and community ...more »
No one likes to be chained to certain set of rules and guidelines. Even though most will agree that Rules and Guidelines are needed in order to have structure, most will also agree that having freedom and flexibility to find what works best for your agency. The problem is that there is no place for different agencies to place their success stories or their struggles. This will allow agencies to see what works and what ...more »
What are the essential leadership positions in the Federal government responsible for ensuring Accessible information and communication technology? What should be their roles and responsibilities? Who and or what else should be considered on the topic of roles, responsibilities, and leadership? Who is currently failing to carry out their duties and why?
Is inaccessible ICT the number one systemic barrier to competitive employment opportunity in the Federal government? For example, if an online application system like USAJobs is not accessible to people with disabilities, applicants with disabilities will never get through the virtual front door of applying for a job. Once an individual with a disability is on board, if they are not provided equal access to information ...more »
Leadership Exemplary Practices: 1. Committed Executive Leadership and 2. Accessibility Leadership Team
Creating an Accessibility Team. Possible members include human resources, ADA compliance/coordination, information and communication technology, including the chief information officer and chief technology accessibility officer, procurement, education and training, finance, marketing, and employee resource groups
Policies and Practices
Policies and Practices Exemplary Practices: 1. Written policies that define commitment and identify priorities and goals and 2. Use of specific technical ICT accessibility standards
Sample guidelines that can be adopted: Access Board’s Section 508 and Section 255 guidelines, WCAG 2.0 guidelines developed and maintained by Web Accessibility Initiative/W3C
Does lack of access to ICT result in uncertain or even no employment opportunity? Does inaccessible ICT mean that Federal agencies are not serving customers with disabilities as one of their stakeholders? What type of federal leadership response is needed to overcome this overwhelming challenge? How can the Federal government adopt greater ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION Technology, fulfill its responsibility ...more »
Some commenters mentioned that software purveyors say "we will fix the 508 issues in the next release." If the whole Federal government stood firm and refused to purchase products until they were 508 compliant, the whole industry would rise to the challenge and build that requirement into the system. OMB and GSA must levy fines on agencies that buy systems that are not compliant.
Contracts in which the Government provides computers, telephone service, desks, chairs, copier access, etc as government furnished equipment (GFE's) must provide assistive technology so that contractors with disabilities can have access to these products and services.
I know it's a cheap shot, but these folks were left off your list of statutory roles. Take a look -- we're implied in the law, as the source of complaints. Maybe you can do a better job putting the intended beneficiaries (and those who have to live with mistakes and bad actions) at the *center* of the strategy?
If regulation is the "stick", then perhaps awards are the "carrot." It would not be right to give awards for mere compliance, but what about awards for innovative solutions, program excellence, fewest complaints, most improvement...?
OMB is currently updating its Federal Enterprise Architecture reference models. Now is a great time to ensure the new models, most importantly the new IRM and ARM reference Section 508. The 508 standards should be integral to the IRM and ARM technologies. The BRM references Section 504, individual accommodation, but not Section 508. Ensure OMB's CIO supports this integration.