IPMA News -- August 2001

Edited By Bob Monn and Shelagh Taylor

DSHS Creates Web Accessibility Testing Lab

Other News:
-- Three Washington projects among Civic.Com's Civic 50 awards announced last month
-- Gov. Locke profiled in July issue of Government Technology magazine
-- News from the annual ESRI user conference in early July
-- Fishing, hunting licenses for sale on-line
-- New Web-based child care information clearinghouse for employers
-- DSHS client services take a giant step into future with on-line Community Services Office
-- New DSHS Internet site allows citizens to report Welfare fraud

July 12, 2001 IPMA Board Meeting


DSHS Creates Web Accessibility Testing Lab

--by David Brummel, e-Government Analyst, Department ofSocial and Health Services

Imagine you are a personwho uses a computer with a screen reader or speaker to access DSHS Web sites.Imagine you own a computer with a 28.8K modem, Pentium I processor and15" monitor and use Mozilla to access DSHS Web sites.Now try to imagine you are a DSHS Web developer trying to create Websites that are accessible to these clients.How will the Web sites render and perform in the different computerenvironments of the public?

Well, DSHS Web developers don’t have to wonder any longer.

On July 23, DSHS opened a new Accessibility Testing Lab. Createdfrom equipment donated by different administrations, the lab contains a varietyof computers, operating systems, and browsers that mimic the environments ofthe public. The lab alsocontains the latest and most widely used screen readers, screen speakers andspeaking browsers such as Jaws for Windows, IBM HomePage Reader, Outspoken,WeMedia and Dragon Naturally Speaking.

With this equipment, Web developers are able to test their Web sites to ensure they are accessible totheir clients.

The idea for the lab came from the DSHS e-Government Team as one of a series of recommendations formaking DSHS Web sites more accessible and user friendly.To leverage resources, it was recommended one lab be created that couldbe used by all administrations instead of each administration having to buildindividual labs of their own. The hardware and software that makes up the lab was recommended by a group of Webdevelopers from different DSHS administrations.

The lab is located in OB-2 and is supported by Information System Services Division staff.A special feature of the lab is that the computers connect to theInternet via Earthlink accounts using analog telephone lines.The hardware, software, ISP and analog lines were configured to replicatehow the public might access DSHS Internet sites.

The testing lab is expected to evolve over time as more hardware and software is acquired and new screenreaders and speakers are introduced. Ifyou have any surplus hardware or software you would like to donate to the lab,please contact the DSHS e-Center at 902-7610 or E-CENTER@dshs.wa.gov.

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Other News

--Compiled by Bob Monn and Shelagh Taylor

Three Washington projects among Civic.Com's Civic 50 awards announced last month

The Access Washington customer support system, the DIS Digital Government Applications Academy, and the Diabetes Electronic Management System (DEMS) were recognized last month by Civic.Com magazine as 2001 Civic 50 award winners. These awards are intended to recognize innovative public information technology projects. See the complete story (Link no longer available) including the list of award winners and a synopsis of each project.

Editors' Note: If one of our readers knows which agency developed DEMS, please contact us so that we can give appropriate credit. The Civic.Com article omitted this information.

Gov. Locke profiled in July issue of Government Technology magazine

Governor Locke was interviewed by Government Technology magazine for its July 2001 cover story. See the complete story.

News from the annual ESRI user conference in early July

If you interested in GIS software developments, you should read this report on the annual ESRI user conference held last month in San Diego. The article was published in Directions Magazine which reports on GIS news. ESRI is a leading GIS software vendor.

Fishing, hunting licenses for sale on-line

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began offering Internet sales of various Washington state recreational licenses in early July. See July 2, 2001 WDFW news release (link removed 05/01/04).

New Web-based child care information clearinghouse for employers

In early July the Office of Trade and Economic Development (OTED) announced a new web site offering information on work-related child care programs for small and medium-sized businesses. See July 3, 2001 OTED news release (link removed 05/01/04).

DSHS client services take a giant step into future with on-line Community Services Office

In mid-July DSHS announced its on-line CSO including the nation's first statewide electronic application process for social services. See July 19, 2001 DSHS news release (link removed 05/01/04).

New DSHS Internet site allows citizens to report Welfare fraud

In late July DSHS announced the availability of an on-line complaint form that can be used by the public to file complaints about suspected fraud by DSHS vendors or recipients of public assistance programs. See July 27, 2001 DSHS news release (link removed 05/01/04).

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July 12, 2001 IPMA Board Meeting

Members Present: Jim Albert, Mary EllenBradley, Thomas Bynum, Phil Grigg, Sheryl Hall, Dennis Jones, Dennis Laine,Mike McVicker, Bob Monn, Darrel Riffe, Doug Tanabe and Shelagh Taylor

Mary Ellen Bradley, IPMA Chair, opened the July 12, 2001, meeting of the IPMA Boardof Directors at 7:35 a.m.

REPORTS

Secretary/Treasurer: Dennis Laine identified acorrection to the June Board meeting minutes in that the Forum PlanningCommittee had held the debriefing meeting. The minutes from the June 2001,Board meeting were approved as amended. Bob Monn will make the correction onthe web site version.

Thomas Bynum presented the June financial status and activities reports. The Boardapproved the reports.

Business Planning: After weighing severalalternatives proposed by IPMA’s Merrill Lynch broker, Keith Cameron, the Boardvoted to invest $10,000 in shares of EMC Corporation.

Phil Coates reported that he had met with a local GHB Insurance agent to review theIPMA’s coverage needs. IPMA’s liability insurance coverage has been upgraded tobetter reflect the current events produced by IPMA. Until mid June only theForum was explicitly covered. Now, all events are covered.

Executive Seminar: Phil Grigg reported thatpreparations for the 2001 Executive Seminar at Skamania Lodge September 17 -19, 2001, are proceeding on schedule with the exception of speakers. Philreported a good deal of churn among the speakers. They need three more speakersto complete the agenda. Several board members had suggestions and volunteeredto follow up on them and get back to Phil if something could be worked out.

Phil reported that registrations are coming in faster than in years’ past. Sincethere is a finite limit as to the number of registrants that can be accommodated,he alerted Board members who haven’t yet registered, that they should do so.

Forum: Dennis Laine reported that the format of the debriefing held at Anthony’s Restaurant worked well. It wasnoted at the meeting that there were not many sessions at the Forum that weredirected to Programmers and Analysts. There will be an effort to remedy that inthe plans for the 2002 Forum.

Professional Development: Sheryl Hall reported thatthe June Professional Development panel discussion at St. Martin’s went wellwith 41 attendees.  She reported thatthe session received very good evaluations by those who attended.

The next event will also be held at St. Martin’s and the subject will be SoftwareDevelopment.

Communications: Bob Monn took input from theboard on the addition to the IPMA web site of special areas for Board business, Corporate Sponsors, and Forum vendors. Bob asked for the Board’s directionon making e-mail addresses of Forum attendees available to CorporateSponsors. The board directed Bob not to provide e-mail addresses of Forum attendees to the Corporate Sponsors. The e-mail addresses will remain under the IPMA controland use of these addresses will be considered on a case by case basis. The board approvedthe structural changes made to the web site.

NEW BUSINESS

There will not be a board meeting in the month of August.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 a.m.

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