TEITAC got the job done!

TEITAC proudly presented its report to the United States Access Board on April 3rd concerning revision recommendations regarding the standards for section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the guidelines for section 255 of the US Telecommunications Act.

What is TEITAC?

The Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC is definitely easier to use!) is

a federal advisory committee providing recommendations for updates of accessibility standards issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and guidelines under section 255 of the Telecommunications Act.

TEITAC was formed by the Access Board in 2006. TEITAC issued its report to the Board in April 2008.

What is the United States Access Board?

According to the Access Board mission statement, it is

an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.
Note that on the newsletter page you can subscribe to the Access Board newsletters to stay in touch with the various activities of the board.

Thanks to Accessibility SIG member - and TEITAC committee member, Whitney Quesenbery, who brought this newsworthy item to our attention. Another Accessibility SIG member, Mike Paciello, of the Paciello Group, was the co-chair of TEITAC.

The work of this committee was a huge effort and can affect all of us. Look at the membership list of TEITAC and you will realize that although the Acts may pertain to the United States, there was world-wide participation in the committee evaluating the guidelines. Just as the United States law known as "Sarbanes-Oxley" started out in the United States but soon began to affect companies around the globe, the guidelines and standards developing from the Telecommunications Act and the Rehabilitation Act will also have wide-reaching effects. Working in committees writing or reviewing standards and guidelines is an excellent work opportunity, volunteer or otherwise, for all technical communicators. It is work that comes with a built-in feel-good factor, knowing that you are using your communication skills to contribute to something that can truly benefit all members of society.

P.S. With regard to the title, TEITAC completed their report. Next, the recommendations need to be implemented (hopefully without hassle) and then people need to familiarize themselves with the changes. There is still work to be done, but TEITAC did their share to take us to the next level.

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