[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 160 (Thursday, August 18, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51345-51346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21144]


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ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD


On Behalf of the Accessibility Committee of the Federal Chief 
Information Officers Council; Listening Session Regarding Improving the 
Accessibility of Government Information

AGENCY: Federal Chief Information Officers Council, Architectural and 
Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces a listening session that the Federal 
Chief Information Officers Council will be conducting to hear from the 
public on ways the federal government can take stronger steps toward 
improving the acquisition and implementation of accessible technology 
for people with disabilities. In order to better understand the needs 
of diverse communities, the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, 
in collaboration with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the 
General Services Administration Office of Governmentwide Policy, and 
the U.S. Access Board, will hold a virtual listening session, where 
participants may either call in or log onto a Web site to participate 
and express concerns and propose ideas.

DATES: The listening session will be held on September 8, 2011 from 2 
p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.).

ADDRESSES: The listening session will be held by telephone and online. 
Instructions on how to participate are at: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/session-instructions.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Creagan, Office of Technical and 
Information Services, Architectural and Transportation Barriers 
Compliance Board, 1331 F Street, NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-
1111. Telephone (202) 272-0016 (voice) or (202) 272-0074 (TTY). e-mail 
address board.gov">creagan@access-board.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and 
information technology accessible to people with disabilities. 
Inaccessible technology interferes with an ability to obtain and use 
information quickly and easily. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act 
(29 U.S.C. 794d) was created 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, 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.
    On July 19, 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) took 
steps to assure that the Federal government's progress in implementing 
Section 508 is stronger and achieves results more quickly by releasing 
a memorandum to agencies, titled ``Improving the Accessibility of 
Government Information'' (see http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/procurement_memo/improving_accessibility_gov_info_07192010.pdf).
    The OMB has directed that a series of listening sessions be held to 
gain feedback on ways to improve Section 508 performance. The Federal 
Chief Information Officers Council, in collaboration with the Chief 
Acquisition Officers Council, the General Services Administration 
Office of Governmentwide Policy, and the U.S. Access Board, have held 
four listening sessions to engage citizens and federal employees and 
hear their concerns and ideas. Transcripts from the previous listening 
sessions can be found on the Federal Chief Information Officers Council 
Accessibility Committee webpage (http://www.cio.gov/pages.cfm/page/Listening-Sessions). This final listening session will be a virtual 
session, where participants may either call in or log onto a website to 
participate. The listening session will focus on what steps the federal 
government can take to increase the accessibility and usability of 
government information and data for persons with disabilities. Input 
from private industry is sought on the following questions:
     What is private industry doing to implement information 
technology (IT) accessibility that the federal government should 
follow?
     How can implementation of Section 508 be improved?
     What could the federal government ask for that would allow 
vendors to better show that their products meet accessibility 
provisions?
     What support do newly emerging technology companies need 
to build in accessibility in their product and service offerings?
    Input is also sought on the following questions:
     What can the federal government do to use technology 
better or in new ways?
     What can the federal government do to make technology more 
accessible?
     What emerging technologies does the federal government use 
that you cannot?
     What technologies should the federal government use that 
would enhance your interactions with government agencies?
     What are state and local governments doing to implement 
information technology accessibility that the federal government should 
follow?

[[Page 51346]]

     What is academia doing to implement IT accessibility that 
the federal government should follow?
     What can the federal government do to influence technology 
accessibility?
     What can the federal government do to support the 
availability of effective communities of practice on IT accessibility?
     Would the IT industry benefit from a professional 
certification or credential that denotes a company's expertise in 
accessibility? If so, how could it be implemented and what role should 
the government play?
    Feedback from the listening session will be used by, and shared 
across agencies to improve accessibility and usability of electronic 
and information technology. The listening session will be accessible. 
Computer assisted real-time transcription (CART) will be provided. 
Persons wishing to participate in the virtual listening session can 
either call in and speak their comments over the telephone or go online 
and type them on the afternoon of the listening session. Callers should 
dial 1-877-939-0745 and then enter 51300082  to join the 
session; callers must use a touch-tone telephone. Persons going online 
should go to the Access Board's Web site at http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/session-instructions.htm for instructions.

David M. Capozzi,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-21144 Filed 8-17-11; 8:45 am]
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