From today’s FEDERAL REGISTER
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
[Docket No. SSA-2011-0041]
SUMMARY: This notice announces a listening session that the CIO Council is conducting in response to a memo dated July 19, 2010 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on ``Improving the Accessibility of Government Information''. 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 Federal Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC), in collaboration with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the GSA Office of
Government-wide Policy and the U.S. Access Board, has held several in a series of listening sessions to engage citizens and employees in expressing concerns and proposing ideas.
The next listening session will be at Stanford University 370 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 and will include time for generating a dialogue with technology companies.
It will also include time for general comments from the public. Representatives from technology companies, persons with disabilities, their advocates, and government employees are invited to participate.
DATES: Listening Session: Friday, June 17, 2011, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time (PT).
Persons wishing to speak at the listening session can pre-register by contacting Emily Koo at (410) 965-4472 or Innovate.Accessibility@ssa.gov. Pre-registrants will have priority to speak during the session. Registration will also be available in person
at Stanford University on the afternoon of the listening session.
ADDRESSES: Meeting Location: Hewlett Teaching Center, room Hewlett 200,
370 Serra Mall, Stanford CA 94305. Accommodations: The listening session will have sign language interpreters; real time captioning services, assistive listening devices and microphones. Materials will be available in Braille, large print and electronic formats. The meeting location is wheelchair accessible. Anyone needing other accommodations should include a specific request when registering at least three (3) days in advance.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: mailto: Emily Koo at (410) 965-4472 or
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their EIT accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development
of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d), agencies must give employees with disabilities and members of the public with disabilities access to information that is comparable
to access available to others without disabilities. Effective implementation of Section 508 is an essential element of President Obama's principles of open government, requiring that all government and data be accessible to all citizens. In order for the
goal of open government to be meaningful for persons with disabilities, technology must also be accessible, including digital content. In July 2010, the OMB took steps to assure that the Federal government's progress in implementing Section 508 is stronger and achieves results more quickly. Section 508 requires the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide technical assistance to agencies on Section 508 implementation. GSA has created a number of tools, available at http://www.Section508.gov, to help agencies develop accessible requirements,
test the acceptance process, and share lessons learned and best practices. For example:
The BuyAccessible Wizard, http://www.buyaccessible.gov, helps build compliant requirements and solicitations; The Quick Links site, https://app.buyaccessible.gov/baw/KwikLinksMain.jsp, provides pre-packaged Section 508 solicitation documents;
The BuyAccessible Products and Services Directory, https://app.buyaccessible.gov/DataCenter/ provides a registry of companies and
accessibility information about their offerings; and
The Accessibility Forum 2.0 blog http://buyaccessible.net/blog/ provides a venue where stakeholders may share ideas and success stories, or engage in conversations on improving accessibility.
The OMB has directed that several actions be taken to improve Section 508 performance:
This listening session will focus on what other steps the Federal government can take to increase the accessibility and usability of government information and data for persons with disabilities.
Specific input from private industry is sought for the following
General input is sought on the following questions:
Feedback from the listening session will be used by, and shared across, agencies to improve accessibility and usability.