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IDEAS 2001: Accessibility for All, Empowerment through Section 508 Federal conference educating the public and private sector on Section 508 and disability employment policy.


GSA #9881

September 26, 2001
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON -- The annual Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase (IDEAS) Conference will be held Tuesday, October 2, through Wednesday, October 3, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Governmentwide Policy hosts the IDEAS conference, the federal government kick off event for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. There is no cost to attend IDEAS.

Between 1,000 and 1,500 federal agencies representatives are expected to attend the two-day conference. IDEAS is an annual federal conference featuring workshops, discussions and exhibits highlighting methods to increase employment of people with disabilities. The IDEAS 2001 theme, Accessibility for All, Empowerment of Section 508, expands on the network of public and private sector partners working together to improve accessibility and opportunity for Americans with disabilities

"Educating the public sector on the impact of Section 508 is imperative in the fiscal upcoming year," states the IDEAS Planning Committee Chairperson, Ophelia Falls, Director of Outreach at the GSA Center for IT Accommodation. "IDEAS focuses on the implementation of Section 508 highlighting federal agencies' success stories and strengthen the Federal government as a model employer."

The keynote speaker for the Opening Ceremony on October 2nd at 8:30 am is Bonnie St. John, a nationally-recognized motivational speaker.

Technology companies nationwide have been invited to participate in this year's conference. Vendors will showcase accessible solutions, including assistive technologies, universal design principles, and service programs, which emphasize federal compliance with Section 508. An Exhibit Hall Reception is scheduled for October 2, from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Featured topics for the workshops include Procurement, Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility, Section 508 Best Practices, and Employment Policy. Craig Luigart, Chief Information Officer of Department of Education, will moderate a Section 508 Industry Panel on October 3, at 10:30 am. The panel includes representatives from Compaq, CESSI, Information Technology Association of America, and Information Technology Industry Council and Microsoft.
For more information or to register online please visit: http://www.section508.gov