Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Review and Modification to Agenda
Michael Paciello, Jim Tobias, Co-Chairs, TEITAC reviewed and modified the draft agenda: all morning subcommittee meetings on February 7 will run unopposed; meeting minutes from the November 2006 meeting will be reviewed and approved on February 8.
Panel on 508 Exceptions and the Acquisition Process
Robert Baker of the Social Security Administration (SSA), Bruce Bailey of the Department of Education (ED), and TJ Cannady of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) discussed how each of their agencies addresses Section 508 requirements in the context of procurement. Each speaker emphasized the importance of the agency’s core mission in driving the procurement process. Each agency emphasized different aspects during each phase of the procurement process. SSA for example, conducts a thorough review of the products and standards and tries to pick products which are as conformant to section 508 as possible. Throughout the vendor process, issues are documented. ED conducts extensive testing, and then relies on the results of the testing process to go back and have developers fix problems. IRS focuses on the agency mission and then determines which section 508 provisions apply or do not apply. They then conduct market research before the solicitation is issued. All agencies look at the life cycle of the product and see what best meets the needs of the agency, consistent with the mission of that agency. A question and answer period followed.
Discussion on Editorial Work and Goals
Committee co-chairs Mike Paciello and Jim Tobias directed a discussion on the editorial format of the final work product of the committee, and a discussion of goals which might be set to achieve that final work product. David Capozzi of the Access Board responded to questions about the format of the final committee report. He said that it should be specific rather than general, and should contain recommendations for measurable provisions, so that people would know when they were in compliance with the standards.
Plenary Discussion on Framework for the new Standards, Including “Sufficient Techniques”
Co-Chair Jim Tobias discussed one potential approach: a "two level" framework, with relatively few, high level items that should not change much over time, and a "sufficient techniques" level that would be platform-dependent and would change over time. This discussion was supplemented by comments from TEITAC members Andi Snow-Weaver and Gregg Vanderheiden. After extensive discussion among the TEITAC members, there was no consensus as to whether the committee wanted to adopt a two-level approach; members wanted to review a draft proposal of what such a document would look like before deciding.
Committee members had many questions about the approach of using “sufficient techniques,” including whether the sufficient techniques were authoritative or not. One outstanding question was whether they should be incorporated into the standards themselves or whether they were merely guidance material. There was extensive discussion of how “sufficient techniques” would be implemented, and how the implementation of “sufficient techniques” could lead to the Access Board becoming the repository of hundreds of requests for decisions on which “specific techniques” could be adopted by manufacturers or agencies. After discussion for the remainder of the morning, discussion of the issues was adjourned for the public comment period.
Public Comment Period
A public comment period was held at the conclusion of the morning’s session. Terry Weaver, GSA, made a comment regarding “equivalent facilitation” in the current standards and guidelines. It is treated like every other solution. It is validated by the agency procuring official at the respective agency doing the procurement. These decisions and evaluations are made in the context of the agency business needs and the requirements of Section 508. As an example, Ms. Weaver noted that the National Security Agency, because of the business needs of the agency, would not want a copier with voice output, or with a memory which could store the contents of a document. This is an example of where the business needs of an agency would strongly direct the course of procurement. The requirements of Section 508 would be considered during the course of the procurement as well, but the potential accessibility solutions might differ from that of an agency with a different mission.
There was a break for lunch, and then the entire meeting room was evacuated due to a fire alarm on the premises. Discussion resumed after about a thirty minute break.
Continuing Discussion on Editorial Work Product and Goals
Discussion of the issues from the morning resumed, including continued discussion on sufficient techniques and how this could work in the context of a two level framework of standards: one high level provision, which would be fixed and unchanging, and one set of lower level “techniques” which could be amended and changed. There was some discussion as to how lower level “techniques” would become part of the standards given the need for frequent changes, due to rapidly changing technology. Concern was expressed over how the lengthy rulemaking process would adequately address the need for accurate, timely, information. The review and adoption process for the lower level sufficient techniques could be implemented by a procedure known as a direct final rule, where techniques which had been previously vetted and approved informally would be posted in the Federal Register, with an opportunity for comment. In a direct final rule proceeding, the proposed material would be adopted unless public comments suggested different approaches or raised objections. This procedure would allow for frequent updates in a timely manner.
Discussion of Goals
A discussion of goals for an editorial committee was recommended. It was agreed that further discussion about a framework for an editorial subcommittee and a framework for a final report would be continued on the next day following the subcommittee breakout sessions. Committee member Gregg Vanderheiden discussed his “Trace Center Example Filter Tool” and referred the members to the TEITAC wiki [See: http://trace.wisc.edu/semipub/filter] to see a further discussion of his tool. There was discussion and agreement that the committee wanted to see a draft strawman of a project plan, with interim deliverables for the committee to review and use when developing and adopting a plan of action for amending the standards.
In other business, the committee members requested that a formal meeting with the Federal Communications Commission be held, as a follow up to the letter of invitation which was previously sent to the FCC Commissioners after the November 2007 meeting.
Public Comment Period
A public comment period was held at the end of the day, and then the meeting was adjourned.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
The majority of the day on Wednesday was devoted to sequential face-to-face meetings of the subcommittees. Because all subcommittee meetings were open to the public, no separate public comment sessions were scheduled. After brief delays due to inclement weather, the first subcommittee meeting commenced at 8:15 a.m.
Subcommittee Meeting 1: Audio/Video
Led by Tony Jasionowski (Panasonic), Geoff Freed (WGBH) and Larry Goldberg (WGBH, by phone). The subcommittee meeting commenced around 8:15 a.m. and ran until approximately 9:40 a.m.
Subcommittee Meeting 2: Software, Web and Content
Led by Andi Snow-Weaver (IBM) and Curtis Chong (NFB). The subcommittee meeting commenced around 9:50 p.m. and ran until 11:15 a.m.
A presentation and discussion was given by Nancy Ward, who is a colleague of Professor Clayton Lewis, University of Colorado, who spoke later in the day to the full TEITAC about cognitive impairments. Ms. Ward spoke about her work in developing an accessible website for people with cognitive disabilities. The website focuses on government benefits provided to persons with disabilities. A copy of some of her material is posted on the Access Board Website at: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd.
Subcommittee Meeting 3: Telecommunications
Led by Mary Brooner (TIA) and Brenda Battat (HLAA). The subcommittee meeting commenced around 11:25 a.m. and ran until 1:00 p.m.
After lunch, the full TEITAC was convened for a presentation on cognitive impairments by Professor Clayton Lewis of University of Colorado and the Coleman Institute. He had previously spoken to members of the Web and Software subcommittee during the morning meeting, during a presentation by his colleague, Nancy Ward. Professor Lewis’ presentation is posted on the Access Board website at: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/clayton.ppt (PowerPoint) or at: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/clayton.rtf (text).
The presentation was followed by a general discussion about cognition issues as they affect design. After a brief break, the final two subcommittee meetings of the day convened.
Subcommittee Meeting 4: Desktops, Portables, Peripherals, and Other Computer Hardware
Led by Randy Marsden (ATIA) and Rob Nerhood (Dell). The subcommittee meeting commenced around 3:30 p.m. and ran until 5:00 p.m.
During the course of the meeting, the subcommittee members made reference to a Hardware Grid as a means of organizing the discussion. The Hardware Grid [“Analysis of Section 508 1194.26 (Hardware) with reference to the 2007 TEITAC Themes”] is posted on the Access Board website at: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/hardware_grid.xls (Excel) or text format at:
Subcommittee Meeting 5: Documentation and Technical Support
Led by Day Al-Mohamed (ACB), Ken Salaets (ITIC), Michele Budris (Sun), and David Wysocki (Easter Seals). The subcommittee meeting commenced around 3:30 p.m. and ran until 5:00 p.m.
The subcommittee discussed four draft documents.
At 5:00 p.m., all subcommittees meetings adjourned for the evening. A reception was held at a nearby hotel for all members of the general public, Committee and subcommittee members and staff.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
The meeting of the full committee was convened. The committee reviewed and approved the meeting minutes from the November 2006 meeting. The subcommittees reported on their progress and status to date, including any discussions held on February 7, 2007. Subcommittee co-chairs gave brief statements about the status of their respective subcommittees, and a brief summary of issues discussed or identified as being important to the work of the subcommittee.
Committee member Gregg Vanderheiden reported on the work of the General Interface subcommittee. A written summary of his complete report may be found at:
The Web and Software subcommittee co-chairs, Andi Snow-Weaver and Curtis Chong reported the work of the subcommittee. Their report is found at: http://teitac.org/mailarchives/mail_message.php?id=872&listid=3.
The subcommittee divided the requirements in 1194.21 and 1194.22 into four groups of related requirements. The grouping was done to facilitate a discussion of related requirements and does not imply that the subcommittee would recommend these groups as changes to the structure of the technical standards. Discussions are focusing on one group at a time, looking for problems and gaps. Themes discussed include harmonization with external standards and testability. Interoperability with assistive technology (AT) has come up in some of the discussions but the major focus on interoperability will occur when the subcommittee addresses Groups C and D which contain most of the software and Web requirements that are related to interoperability.
As general or global issues are identified, they are collected on a page on the web and software section of the wiki website. Any discussion of "content" is deferred until the subcommittee completes its analysis of the current requirements. The initial discussions have just been completed concerning the five requirements in Group A. There are pending action items to be addressed in the Group A subject area before the subcommittee moves on to address the Group B items.
Co-chairs, Brenda Battat (HLAA) and Mary Brooner (TIA) reported on some of the issues that the subcommittee discussed, including acoustic output, and economic incentives. The subcommittee holds weekly teleconference calls.
Co-chair Tony Jasionowski of Panasonic reported on some of the issues under discussion, including a review of Section 508 §1194.24 (a-e) provisions. Particular technological issues under discussion include captioning and next generation optical disks. A separate subcommittee will be formed within the AV Subcommittee to draft comments for submission to and review by the full TEITAC.
Self Contained Closed Products Subcommittee
Co-chair Deborah Cook reported that the subcommittee has had extensive discussion as to whether or not the term “self contained closed product” should be treated as a product characteristic, applicable to a variety of different products, rather than as a specific category of products. The subcommittee agreed to continue the discussion. The subcommittee considered, and rejected for now, a proposal to merge itself with the hardware subcommittee, deciding that a separate group was most effective for now.
Co-chairs Rob Nerhood and Randy Marsden reported that the subcommittee was discussing interactions with physical hardware and would focus on interface elements, as elements are built into a system. By way of illustration, the co-chairs mentioned the example of telecommunications hardware which was capable of providing up to 20 decibels of gain in volume. The hardware to produce such gains would not be considered unless it was built into a system and was not an add-on. The subcommittee considered, and rejected for now, a proposal to merge itself with the Self Contained Closed Products subcommittee, deciding that a separate group was most effective for now.
Subpart A Subcommittee
A report was given by Deborah Buck and Diane Golden. The committee is discussing scoping provisions, definitions, and is looking at how Section 508 is related to Federal Acquisition Regulations during the federal procurement process. They are also looking to clarify how the business needs of an agency align with accessibility.
Documentation and Technical Support Subcommittee
Co-Chair Ken Salaets discussed several issues under discussion, including the scope of the subcommittee and whether keyboard short cuts should be required on every step of a process listed in documentation. Also discussed was describing accessibility and compatibility features in a product and explaining how they can be modified; who supplies alternate formats; what are acceptable electronic formats; and when products have visibly discernible landmarks, how should these be included in the documentation?
A break was held; then a presentation was given on AT-IT Interoperability. All presentations are posted on the Access Board website in both Power Point and text formats.
AT – IT Interoperability: An Overview
http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/marsden.ppt or http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/marsden.rtf.
Introduction by Randy Marsden (ATIA)
Peter Korn (Sun). The Interoperability Stack: An Overview of How AT and IT Interact http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/teitac3rd/korn/
Eric Damery (Freedom Scientific). Real-Life AT Examples, Part 1
Randy Marsden (Madentec). Real-Life AT Examples, Part 2
Sean Hayes (Microsoft). AT/IT Development Programs
Andrew Kirkpatrick (Adobe). An IT Application Developer’s View of AT Interoperability
During the presentations, questions to the panelists were moderated by Randy Marsden.
Public Comment Period
A public comment period was held. Members of the public had an opportunity to ask questions or make comments.
After lunch, an extended discussion on the future work plan for the full TEITAC was discussed, in conjunction with proposed meeting dates. After extensive discussion and a discussion of requirements for future meeting sites (close to Metro, subcommittee meetings to be held the first day of a multiple day meeting, meeting minutes to be distributed soon after a face-to-face meeting, investigating the possible use of “accessible webinar” in between face-to-face meetings), it was decided that the co-chairs, Mike Paciello and Jim Tobias, should develop meeting dates and a framework for accomplishing the work of the committee and deliver it to the TEITAC as soon as practicable.
An opportunity for public comments was offered. However no comments were made. The third TEITAC meeting was adjourned.