Thought these minutes might be interesting to some of you.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 14:31:58 EDT
From: Jamal Mazrui <74444.1076@COMPUSERVE.COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list EASI <EASI@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: June telecomm minutes
Here are the minutes of the first meeting of the Telecommunications Access
Advisory Committee. It is convened by the Access Board to develop
accessibility guidelines for the new telecommunications law.
National Council on Disability
Telecommunications Access Advisory Committee
June 12-14, 1996
Wednesday, June 12.
Jo-Anne Basile, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
Brenda Battat, Self Help for Hard of Hearing People Betsy Bayha,
World Institute on Disability Stephen Berger, Siemens Rolm
Communications Roberta Breden, Telecommunications Industry
Association Judy Brewer, Massachusetts Assistive Technology
Partnership Center Mary Brooner*, Motorola Julie Carroll,
American Council of the Blind Neal Chandra, Broad Alliance for
Multimedia Technology & Applications Tim Cranmer, National
Federation of the Blind Steven Crosby, Lucent Technologies
Michael Delcasino, AT&T James Fruchterman, Arkenstone Mark
Golden, Personal Communications Industry Association George
Hanover, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association Steven
Jacobs, NCR Project Freedom Holly Kaplan, American
Speech-Language & Hearing Association Lars-Goran Larsson,
Ericsson Willis Mann, National Association of State Relay
Administrators Mary McDermott, United States Telephone
Association Jack O'Keeffe, Pennsylvania Citizens Consumer Council
Paul Schroeder, American Foundation for the Blind Jenifer
Simpson, United Cerebral Palsy Association Al Sonnenstrahl,
Consumer Action Network, A. G. Bell Association Marcia Straehly,
Pacific Bell Karen Peltz Strauss, Council of Organizational
Representatives Leigh Thorpe, Northern Telecom Jim Tobias,
Inclusive Technologies Gregg Vanderheiden, Trace R & D Center Ann
Whelehan*, NYNEX Norman Williams*, Gallaudet
*alternate (listed only when substituting for a member)
(Judith Harkins, Gallaudet, June 13-14; Alfred Lucas, Motorola,
Shelley Bergum, Deaf & Disabled Telecommunications Program
Alexandra Enders, RESNA
Robert Segalman, US Society for Augmentative & Alternative
The first meeting of the Telecommunications Access Advisory
(TAAC) was convened at 9:30 am, Wednesday, June 12, 1996, at the
American Speech-Language and Hearing Association conference center in
Judith Heumann, Access Board Chair welcomed the members. Board
Executive Director Lawrence Roffee presented an overview of the Board,
its responsibilities and relationship to other federal agencies.
Office of Technical and Information Services Director David Capozzi
outlined the Board's responsibilities under the Telecommunications Act
of 1996 and the role of the Committee to provide advice on the
substance of the regulations the Board will issue. Capozzi also
introduced Roberta Breden, appointed by Heumann to chair the
Committee. Elizabeth Lyle, FCC, read a welcoming letter from FCC
Chairman Reed Hundt and outlined the duties of the FCC under the Act
and the relationship to the Access Board and the TAAC.
Each Committee member briefly introduced him- or herself and
he or she hoped to get from, and contribute to the process.
The remainder of the afternoon consisted of panels and
various topics. The first panel gave an overview of the activities
leading to inclusion of accessibility requirements in the Act, from
both the disability and industry perspectives. The second
presentation covered the industry perspective on the future of
telecommunications. The third presentation discussed the concept of
"Universal Design" applied to telecommunications. Examples were an
information kiosk accessible to blind persons and talking Caller-ID.
During the public participation portion of the program, one
addressed the problems a person who is deaf has with voice mail
Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14.
The meeting began at 9:30 with a video outlining the requirements
Federal Advisory Committee Act under which the TAAC is chartered. The
Committee then discussed its draft protocols and recommended several
changes. A draft, revised according to comments will be sent to
members for approval.
The Committee considered applications for reconsideration of
from two organizations and voted to add the two additional members,
Motorola and the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
The Committee spent the remainder of Thursday and all of Friday
identifying and discussing issues to be addressed in the guideline
development process. The following major points were raised:
Good definitions are critical.
- Telecommunications equipment should be construed broadly. -
A change in information format (e.g., text to Braille, text to
speech) to provide access is not an excluded "change in form
or content" under the definition of telecommunications.
Keep the service in mind when developing guidelines.
- The service and the equipment should be compatible.
Keep in mind how the guidelines will be applied and to whom. -
The guidelines should be usable by small and large companies;
"readily achievable" might be different for each.
- Subjective evaluation takes time, adds to development time.
The technology is changing rapidly.
- The guidelines should be flexible.
- Guidelines should be performance based.
- Performance shouldn't matter whether it is achieved by
- Guidelines should include how to implement/plan for
There should be alternative methods for solving problems.
Guidelines should provide for timely and appropriate
The guidelines should take into consideration non-traditional
telecommunications equipment. - Computers used as telephones
should be covered. - Teleconferencing should be captioned.
Accessibility should be "practical"; not too hard for consumers
to use. - Documentation should be available in usable formats.
To the maximum extent, accessibility should be integral to the
design. - Minimize the need for assistive technologies.
There should be user-controlled choices for input and output,
redundancy. - Standard interfaces for adaptive equipment
should be available. - Voice services should be available in
text, and vice versa. - Equipment should not strip information
content from the source
(don't lose information needed to provide access).
- Equipment and systems should be portable.
- Graphical user interfaces need an alternative system of
operational and navigational controls.
Guidelines should incorporate the principle of Universal Design.
- Universal Design should be a process not a product. -
Universal Design should become part of the normal business
- Guidelines should help develop a public expectation of
- Guidelines should encourage integration of solutions for
- Manufacturers and product developers need to consider the
of technologies before they are introduced.
- Manufacturers and product developers need to ensure adaptive
devices, when needed, are available and don't interfere with
Guidelines should be easy to understand and implement.
- Manufacturers and product developers should be able to
barriers in order to know what needs to be done.
- Manufacturers and product developers need to know how to
to different consumer needs.
- Manufacturers and developers should be able to confirm that
potential solution works (easy tests).
- It should be clear when a performance criterion is met. -
Guidelines should incorporate product development checklists.
During the public comment period, the issue of incompatibility of
computer modems and TTYs was raised. The Committee was urged to
consider requiring modems to incorporate the new V.18 standard.
The Trace Center set up a "listserv" for the Committee.
members can post any materials and non-members can receive all the
correspondence. Non-members who want to post materials can submit
them to Roberta Breden, email@example.com, or Dennis Cannon,
firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe, send e-mail to:
with the message:
subscribe TAAC-L <firstname lastname>
with no subject.
The Committee established a task group to develop a "trial
format and framework for the guidelines, to be discussed at the next
meeting. Members of the task group are Roberta Brosnahan, Todd
Colquit, Steven Crosby, Alan Dinsmore, James Fruchterman, Judith
Harkins, Steven Jacobs, Mary McDermott, Gerard Nelson, Karen
Peltz-Strauss, Paul Schroeder, Leigh Thorpe, Jim Tobias, Gregg
Vanderheiden, and Norman Williams.
Future meeting dates are: August 14-16, September 25-27, November
December 16-18, and January 14-15.
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