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Minutes of the August 16, 2001 meeting
Nineteen people from 11 different departments attended the meeting.

The goal of today's meeting was to talk about different accessibility policies and work towards the creation of a draft policy. Marge Pecht asked the group to consider what would work best in the New Jersey government culture while thinking of ideas for the policy.

Jim Powers distributed State Web Accessibility Policy Comparison packets summarizing the accessibility policies of 14 states. It describes the policies in five categories: scope, compliance, policy statement, roles and responsibilities, and guidance.

The most focus was on the policy of Connecticut because of its similarities to New Jersey and because of the success the state has had with the policy. Marge explained the Connecticut policy works because they took an active role in making agencies aware of the policy before working to be compliant. The group agreed that it wanted to pattern the New Jersey policy after Connecticut.

The group debated if the policy should follow the WC3 or 508 requirements. It was decided if the policy makes compliance mandatory for departments it should follow the 508 requirements. If compliance is voluntary, the WC3 requirements should be followed.

The group decided on the following guidelines for the draft policy:

· The policy will be voluntary at first for departments and agencies. The group wants to wait and see how many departments comply on their own.
· The policy will be modeled after the Connecticut policy.
· The policy should be worded to strongly encourage departments to comply.
· The scope of the policy should include all Web sites and Web-based applications.
· The policy will apply to new and updated sites from when it's enacted.

The group debated if a third-party vendor should be held to the policy standards, but no conclusive decision was made.

Marge will begin to write a draft policy based on the Connecticut policy and what was discussed during the meeting. It will be on the website after it's finished.

A trip to the Joseph Kohn Rehabilitation Center in New Brunswick is being planned. Information and dates will be posted on the website.

Marge will try to arrange for someone from Connecticut to come down and speak to the group about their accessibility policy. For the next meeting the Connecticut policy should be reviewed.

To be addressed at the next meeting:
· Discuss the draft policy.
· Discuss the steps needed to make the draft into a policy.
· Make a timeframe for implementation.
· Form an education sub-committee
· Try to arrange a JAWS demo during the meeting.

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