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GSA Opens 2009 IDEAS Conference on Disability Policy

Conference Part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month

GSA #10638

October 5, 2009
Contact: Deborah Ruiz, (202) 501-1231
deborah.ruiz@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. General Services Administration opened the 2009 Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase (IDEAS). Continuing through Tuesday, this free conference will educate agencies and industry about Section 508 policy, which requires that federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities. Through workshops, discussions, and exhibits, the IDEAS conference will provide a showcase for available and emerging assistive technologies. 

“GSA must lead the way to educate and ensure that agencies have the information they need to fulfill their Section 508 responsibilities,” said Terry Weaver, Director for GSA’s Information Technology Accessibility and Workforce Division within the agency’s Office of Governmentwide Policy. “The IDEAS conference will help give agencies the tools they need to ensure that all federal electronic and information technology are accessible to everyone.”

President Obama recently declared October to be National Disability Employment Awareness Month, calling on Americans to “rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees.” IDEAS 2009 is working toward that vision by making all electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Keynote speaker Kareem Dale, special assistant to the President for Disability Policy, will open the conference. A plenary panel on October 6 featuring OMB's Karen Pica, U.S. Access Board's Tim Creagan, and GSA's Terry Weaver will provide updates on Section 508 policy including the federal government's progress in complying with Section 508 and an upcoming governmentwide survey. The panel will also address GSA’s continuing work to collect Section 508 data from agencies and the applicability of Section 508 to Web 2.0 media.

For details, please visit IDEAS 2009 website.

 

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GSA provides a centralized delivery system of products and services to the federal government, leveraging its enormous buying power to get the best value for taxpayers.

  • Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $24 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.
  • GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 480 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services.
  • GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know? The U.S. General Services Administration has a free tool to help agencies develop Section 508 compliant language for their procurements?  Check out http://www.buyaccessible.gov