[blindlaw] Feds Crowdsource Ideas to Reduce Technology Hurdles for the Disabled, Nextgov, March 20, 2012

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Thu Mar 22 19:11:04 UTC 2012


Feds Crowdsource Ideas to Reduce Technology Hurdles for the Disabled
By Joseph Marks   03/20/12

Federal officials launched an IdeaScale page Monday to crowdsource ideas for reducing the technological barriers disabled Americans encounter when they interact with the federal government as employees or citizens seeking information or services.

The page will collect suggestions through April 9.

The crowdsourcing initiative follows a series of more formal public listening sessions, according to the IdeaScale page, and a July direction from President Obama to develop a strategic plan for Section 508, a portion of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act focused on making federal IT more accessible to people with disabilities.

About 30 suggestions had been posted to the site by Tuesday morning, the most popular of which was standardizing 508 guidelines across agencies.

"Whether we are working to achieve the goals of the president's disability executive order, ensuring that people with disabilities have access to services during disasters, improving transportation services or so many other efforts, technology plays a critical role in our success," the White House said in a blog post. "People with disabilities should be able to access their government on an equal footing with all Americans."

The post was authored by Kareem Dale, special assistant to the president for disability policy; Lesley Field, acting administrator for federal procurement policy; and Steven VanRoekel, federal chief information officer.

The crowdsourcing initiative is sponsored by the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, the Chief Information Officers Council, and the General Services Administration.

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