IITAA Standards Workgroup Meeting Minutes - 10/10/2007


  • Patrick Beaird, CMS
  • Ray Campbell, Chicago Lighthouse & IL Council of the Blind
  • Richard Chamberlain, WIU
  • John Cunningham, CMS
  • John Gunderson, UIUC
  • Willie Gunther, IATP
  • Jamie McCoy, DHS MIS
  • Audrey McCrimon, DHS CAWS
  • Loyd Nicks, UIC
  • Janet Peter, Great Lakes ADA
  • Dave Porter
  • Kevin Price, UIC
  • Hadi Rangin, UIUC
  • William Richard, IATP
  • Melissa Romanotto, DHS DRS
  • Ron Sanderson, CMS
  • Susie Saputo, DHS MIS
  • Mike Scott, DHS DRS
  • Gene Walker, DHS DRS
  • Terrence Wright, IOES
  • Martha Younger-White, DHS CAWS


Since the last meeting we have had discussions with Janet Lambert of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission and Ken Salaets of the Information Technology Industry Council. Janet reviewed the Section 508 standards having to do with telecommunications, video, and multimedia. Janet will get back to us on suggestions for what to require regarding captioning. (Missouri took a phased approach.) Ken encouraged us to harmonize with existing IT accessibility standards. He also shared insights on what is going on at the federal level. His organization is encouraging TEITAC to stay in alignment with WCAG 2 and other international standards.

Discussion of the IITAA Standards Draft (10/5/2007)

  • This initial draft is very much based on current Section 508 standards, except the web portion, which is from the Illinois Web Accessibility Standards 1.8 Draft.
  • Wording in Application section, paragraph three, item (ii) is unclear.
  • Working in Application section, paragraph two, sentence two is confusing.

    Add explanation that most IT will comply with the Technical Requirements, but someone may develop and innovative solution and demonstrate and document that this alternative approach achieves the Functional Performance Criteria. Complying with the Technical Requirements means you comply with the letter of the law. Complying with the Functional Performance Criteria means you comply with the spirit of the law. We are leaving the door open to other technical approaches. 

  • Would like to see more specifics in the software section - for example, a standard about heading navigation.

    It is to come in the future. The 508 Refresh (TEITAC) document combines software and web into one conceptual group called user interface. For now we agree that we should retain the organization of the current Section 508 standards, but will will update our organization as other standards become final. (Remember that we are required to re-evaluate the IITAA standards at least once every three years.)

  • CMS has begun to discuss modifying the IT governance process to take accessibility into consideration at the functional/constructive level for custom application development.
  • Another approach to the organization of the standards is to provide technology-specific guidelines in addition. Then test for 508 compliance to get some successes. The implementation are practical help for now, but also are forward-thinking.
  • We could break the Technical Requirements into two levels so we would end up with three tiers:
    1. Functional Performance Criteria
    2. Technical Performance Criteria - the 508 standards
    3. Implementation Guidelines - for specific technologies. Web could be our first set and maybe kiosks in the near future.
  • We are trying to get something accepted and harmonized out now, and then we can focus on adding the implementation guidelines in the future as other standards (508, WCAG 2, EZ Access, etc) are revised. Right now we have to work with 508 and WCAG 1.0 as our first step.
  • The web section of the Technical Requirements contains too many programming-specific guidelines. They should be removed. Also, IWAS 1.1 - Use valid, standard web programming code - is too ambiguous.
  • I disagree.
  • The web standards were extracted from the full IWAS document, which include an explanation (what, why, how) for each standard. In trying to fit them in with the 508 standards it becomes obvious that the IWAS standards are very different. How can we include the full explanation in our standards document?
  • Maybe in an appendix. We can refer to it in an introductory paragraph in the web section.
  • The wording of some of the IWAS standards - e.g., "avoid" - also is different from 508.
  • We are planning to revise IWAS with those of you who are technically inclined and interested. In some cases we probably can make the web standards more absolute (eliminating words like "avoid"), but in other situations there need to be exceptions. Maybe the exceptions can be included in the main text.
  • We are having a technical meeting with the Web Accessibility Best Practices group on 10/16 in Champaign to discuss the scripting-related we standards. We could have a follow up meeting to go through all the IWAS 1.8 standards in detail. We will try to schedule this in the next 2-3 weeks.
  • We don't want to drop the bar because we have to exclude anything that is not absolute, but we also don't want to end up as vague as 508.
  • We should remember to consider the reading level of the standards document as a whole.
  • The full IWAS (including the what, why, and how for each standard) could be first implementation guidelines (3rd tier) document.
  • We will contact the Trace Center to see how close they are to adopting new kiosk guidelines. Maybe those could be the second set of implementation guidelines.
  • It seems that wheelchair-related access issues are missing from our Functional Performance Criteria. I think that 508's intent was to cover it in the current 1194.31 (f), which mentions "limited reach". This corresponds with our "Limited Use of Hands" criterion, which does include "individuals with limited fine motor control, reach, or strength." Maybe we can tweak the wording of that one to make it clearer that it is meant to cover reach issues.
  • Do we need to keep the Intelligence and (National) Security Systems exceptions? Yes, because they may apply to Illinois Emergency Management Agency. It would be best to err on the side of keeping it even if it is not terribly relevant.
  • Would contracted training provided to DHS customers be considered incidental to a contract? No, the standards would apply to such a training.


  1. Re-read the draft standards.
  2. Email suggestions, comments, and questions to dhs.accessibility@illinois.gov.

Next Meeting

The next IITAA Workgroup Teleconference will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at Hay-Edwards Building, Room 325, 400 W Lawrence, Springfield from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. The teleconference number is 1-800-930-8829. The passcode is 9125949#. If you need a special accommodation, please email dhs.accessibility@illinois.gov.