The Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC), which will provide recommendations on updating the Board’s accessibility criteria for electronic and information technology and telecommunications products, held its third meeting February 6 – 8 in the Washington, D.C. area. The Committee is reviewing standards for electronic and information technology procured by Federal agencies issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and guidelines used to enforce the Telecommunications Act.
At the meeting, members received updates on the work of subcommittees and deliberated on Committee goals.
A key item on the agenda was discussion of the Committee’s goals in reviewing the design requirements and how its recommendations should be presented to the Board. The Committee also explored a new framework for the section 508 standards that could facilitate future updating on a regular basis, which is considered necessary due to the ever-changing nature of the technologies covered and the regular emergence of new technologies and innovations. Consideration was given to a two-part structure for the standards consisting of a set of general access principles that would remain relatively constant and a separate section comprised of detailed technology or product specific criteria that would be revisited and updated periodically by the Board as needed.
As with previous meetings, the agenda included briefings on different aspects of accessibility and section 508’s implementation. To provide background on how the section 508 standards are used by Federal agencies in the procurement process, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service held a panel discussion on strategies for assessing product compliance. Members also heard a presentation on cognitive impairments and the design of information technology from an invited speaker, Professor Clayton Lewis of the University of Colorado and the Coleman Institute, and a briefing on interoperability of assistive and information technologies.
Subcommittee sessions were also held during the meeting. There are eight subcommittees organized by the Committee at its first meeting that are focused on different subject areas such as web and software, audio/video, telecommunications, and general interface. Subcommittees typically deliberate and share information in between full committee meetings. Subcommittee chairs provided progress reports to the full committee on the final day of the meeting.
For further information, visit the committee’s website at http://teitac.org or contact Timothy Creagan of the Access Board at email@example.com, (202) 272-0016 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY). Information on the committee and its meetings is also posted on the Board’s 508 Update page.