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Since the CMAC Web Site Accessibility initiative began in July of 2000, 51 web sites have been reviewed by committee members and found to be in compliance with the state policy - which is almost 1/3 of the total web sites that we've been tracking. Committee members are currently reviewing another 16 web sites.
We have also been reviewing web-based applications, most notably the PeopleSoft application being implemented by the Core-CT Project Team, and the Online Registration Renewal system being implemented by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
We conducted a workshop at the recent ADA Coalition event at the Legislative Office Building, where we talked about the State's web site accessibility project; demonstrated web sites with accessibility barriers, and talked about how to remove those barriers. People attending the workshop were from municipalities and non-profit organizations, they asked great questions, and I have a feeling that we will be contacted by some of them for some assistance as they get started on making their web sites accessible.
We were asked by the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center at Georgia Tech to participate in a discussion on State Information Technology initiatives on accessible electronic and information technology. The long-range goal of this project is to take the best practices from selected states and develop and implement a way to bring other states on board through education and outreach. What makes this so exciting is that there were only 6 states selected to participate in the planning process, and Connecticut was one of the 6!
We have been working with DOIT IT Contracts & Purchasing on a couple of projects. With their help, we were able to get IBM Home Page Reader added to the IBM Master Agreement for purchase by state agencies. And, in case you weren't aware, and if you are interested in using HPR at home, state employees can also purchase HPR at the state price for use at home.
The other project we've been working on with DOIT is very exciting and the first of its kind in any state in the country.
As of July 1, 2002, all consulting vendors on the state master agreement for web development work must have someone on staff trained in web accessibility or they will not be able to bid on any state jobs. And we are providing the training. Since the middle of May, we have trained 77 consultants from 30 different companies.
I would like to introduce you to my DOIT partner on this project - Kathleen M. Anderson. She is the one that has been working with the vendors, getting them scheduled for training and making sure that they attend. She is keeping the vendor list up-to-date on the DOIT web site, so you all will know who the qualified vendors are. She also makes sure that the training room is all set up for me every Wednesday morning. We should be through training all the vendors by August 14, 2002.
The classes will probably be given on a monthly or as needed basis after that. We have received inquiries from state agencies about registering their employees for this training. If you or someone from your agency would like to take the training, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will put you on the list.
-- Kathleen Anderson,
CMAC Web Site Accessibility Committee