Good Morning. On behalf of the Access Board, I would like to welcome you. This is the beginning of a process that will be both exciting and rigorous.
As you may know, the Access Board has a lot of experience with advisory committees and this is the largest advisory committee ever convened by the Board. Many interests are represented and we are especially pleased to include guests from other countries. Each of you is an expert in your respective field, and we believe that collectively, you will develop a balanced set of recommendations. The Access Board will carefully consider your recommendations and intends to then issue updated rules for technology accessibility that reflect new developments and take into account lessons learned from our past iteration of the Section 255 guidelines and Section 508 standards.
In addition, because we conduct a very open and inclusive process, we invite input from members of the public. They will have opportunities to participate in subcommittee work and to deliver remarks during public comment periods.
In addition to chairing the Access Board, I serve as Deputy Administrator of the General Services Administration. After the Access Board issues updated guidelines and standards the work is not yet over. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council must then revise the Federal Acquisition Regulations to incorporate the revisions. The FAR is prepared, issued, and maintained under the joint auspices of several federal agencies, including GSA, so we intend to facilitate that process to ensure enforceability of the revised 508 standards.
I have asked Jim Elekes, a public member of the Access Board from South Carolina to serve as a liaison to the committee. His job will be to attend meetings and keep the rest of the Board informed about your progress.
At this point, I would like to turn the meeting over to your co-chairs, Mike Paciello and Jim Tobias. They have worked closely with the Access Board staff in preparing for the advisory committee. We have confidence in their leadership skills as well as subject matter knowledge and know that they are eager to get started. Mike and Jim…?