THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

5

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE OFFICE OF ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF HAWAII, TO CONVENE A WORKING GROUP ON ACCESSIBLE GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS.

 

 


WHEREAS, an accessible document is a document created to be as easily readable by a sighted reader as a low-vision or non-sighted reader; and

 

WHEREAS, accessible documents allow individuals who use screen readers to navigate through the document, utilize the properties to move from one part of a document to another, hear descriptions of photographs and images from image tags, and have equal access to the information; and

 

WHEREAS, public agencies that are required to provide accessible documents do not always have staff who understand how to make the information accessible; and

 

WHEREAS, the increasing use of technology to communicate can also present complications and challenges, such as the various state agency websites that post public meeting notices, agendas, and attached resource documents that may not necessarily all be in accessible formats, especially when attachments are scanned copies; and

 

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the largest organization of blind people in the United States. The federation was founded in 1940 on the guiding principles that blind people have an inalienable right to independence, that blind people have equal capacity, and that only blind people themselves can legitimately speak for the blind community. These principles have continually permeated the membership and structure of the ever-growing organization. The ultimate purpose of the NFB is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality; and

 

WHEREAS, the State's Office of Enterprise Technology Services, headed by the Chief Information Officer, is charged with organizing, managing, and overseeing statewide information technology governance, including establishing, coordinating, and managing a program to provide a means for public access to public information and developing and operating an information network; and

 

WHEREAS, and the State's Disability and Communication Access Board serves as the public advocate of persons with disabilities by providing advice and recommendations on matters relating to access, with an emphasis on state and county legislative matters and administrative rules, policies, and procedures, and also provides technical assistance and guidance to state and county entities to meet state, federal, and county requirements for access for persons with disabilities; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii, is requested to convene a working group on accessible government documents; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to:

 

(1) Research other states' laws and use of technologies to provide, in accessible formats, government documents, including documents provided by private entities under contract with the State;

 

(2) Evaluate and recommend strategies to improve the provisions of government documents, including documents provided by private entities under contract with the State, in accessible formats, including identifying means for effective and efficient oversight; and

 

(3) Make recommendations to the Legislature about how to further the policy of providing accessible government documents; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a representative of the Office of Enterprise Technology Services and a representative of the National Federation of the Blind are requested to serve as co-chairs of the working group and to invite one representative from each of the following entities to serve as working group members:

 

(1) The Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa;

 

(2) The Office of the Lieutenant Governor;

 

(3) The Department of Accounting and General Services;

 

(4) The Information Technology and Systems Department at the Judiciary;

 

(5) The Department of the Attorney General;

 

(6) The Office of the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives;

 

(7) The Office of the Chief Clerk of the Senate;

 

(8) The Office of Information Practices;

 

(9) The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission;

 

(10) The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of Human Services;

 

(11) The Disability and Communication Access Board;

 

(12) An advocacy group for blind persons;

 

(13) An advocacy group for deaf persons; and

 

(14) Other interested individuals; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Office of Enterprise Technology Services is requested to submit a report on behalf of the working group of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than forty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the working group serve without compensation; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group dissolve on July 1, 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Chief Information Officer, Administrative Director of the Courts, Director of the Center on Disability Studies, Director of the Office of Information Practices, Executive Director of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii, Administrator of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Director of the Disability and Communication Access Board, and President of the Aloha State Association of the Deaf.

Report Title:

Blind and Deaf Working Group; Accessible Government Documents