State of Minnesota employees, led by Lt. Governor Flanagan and MNIT Commissioner Tarek Tomes, gathered May 7th in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate 10 years since the passage of the Digital Accessibility and Usability Law. The law requires state government to develop and comply with a standard for delivering equal access to information for all Minnesotans. The event honored key legislators and advocates and provided opportunities for attendees to experience technology used by people with disabilities.
Jay Wyant, the state’s Chief information Accessibility Officer:
We wanted to take the time to honor the folks who made the law possible. The law raised awareness of the value of accessibility and made it possible for the state to dedicate resources toward implementing accessibility and usability throughout state services and systems.
A brief recognition ceremony honored advocacy champions critical in raising awareness of the need for legislation and the legislators who worked to draft and pass the law. Honorees included Senator Ann Rest, Senator Torrey Westrom, Representative Bill Hilty, Mary Hartnett, David Andrews, Dana Badgerow, Chuk Hamilton, Kim Moccia, Jamie Taylor, Colleen Wieck, and Joan Willshire.
Following the ceremony, attendees were invited to immerse themselves in the Experience Lab, which featured interactive stations showcasing how people with disabilities use technology to read and understand information.
In May 2009, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Digital Accessibility and Usability Law, which mandated a digital accessibility standard be used by all executive branch agencies. The resulting standard (PDF) defined the ways in which digital information, like websites, applications and documents, could be made accessible so all Minnesotans, disabled or not, have equal access to state services and programs.
Visit the MNIT Office of Accessibility to learn more about digital accessibility.