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At last week’s 2015 Section 508 Interagency Accessibility Forum for Federal Government employees and contractors, one of the workshops I sat in on outlined GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy’s (OGP) Section 508 Program.  The following are my notes from the session.

GSA/OGP Section 508 Program Overview

This workshop was presented by John Sullivan, Program Director for GSA’s government-wide Section 508 support program. The OGP provides support for Federal Government agencies in their implementation of the Section 508 law.

  • About John and the Program
    • Charged with providing technical assistance to the community as part of the Section 508 law
    • John is an enterprise architect by trade – think of things as processes and workflows
    • Runs the Section 508 government-wide support activities
    • Works with the accessibility community to assist agencies to:
      • Ensure Section 508 is in solicitations
      • Increase website and application accessibility
      • Bring uniformity to Section 508 programs across agencies
    • Section 508 Priorities – Government-wide
      • Access Board – Section 508 Refresh
      • OMB Strategic Plan
      • ACoP CIO Council
      • GSA Governmentwide program
    • Core idea – focus on building accessibility directly into the process versus bolting it onto the process after the fact
      • Supporting agencies in their improvement of program maturity
      • Align GSA Action plan with ACoP
      • Align GSA training schedule with ACoP & Access Board trainings
      • Focus GSA resources on agency assistance
      • Create more data-informaed guidance material on how to buy, build and be accessible
      • Understand aggregate federal performance improvement
  • Google DAP analytics is the primary source of site use data – use this to align activities with actual risks
  • Life Cycle Support Services
    • Assessments
      • Agency self-reported Program Maturity Assessments (to OMB, twice annually)
      • GSA – Doing random sampling of opportunities that are on FedBizOpps
      • GSA – Website assessments scoring
    • Analysis
      • Identify common Section 508 program weaknesses
      • Identify common training needs
      • Identify policy reinforcement needs
    • Assistance
      • Provide Agency 508 PMs with solicitation review and website assessment information
      • Offer direct assistance to agencies in need
    • Training
      • Coordinate training access providers
      • Target training to audiences
      • Include executive training for CIOs and CAOs
      • Ensure training program supports identified weaknesses
    • Collaboration and Outreach
      • 508 coordinators meeting

Slides from this presentation can be found at www.peatworks.org/federalforum.

In my next post I’ll share my notes from the second plenary session – a discussion between Adrienne Biddings, Policy Counsel at Google, and Deborah Kaplan, Section 508 Coordinator at HHS, on Google’s Section 508 accessibility challenges and strategies.