AT508 Internet TV for Assistive Technology holds Webcast of National Town Meeting to Rescue Section 508, June 20, 2003 2:00pm Eastern Time
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LIVE WEBCAST - AT508 National Town Meeting to Rescue Section 508

Internet TV Channel and leading assistive technology portal, an affiliate on the network, is offering a free live video webcast of the National Town Meeting to Rescue Section 508, to be held June 20, 2003 2:00 PM ET, on-line at The event will highlight Section 508 of the National Rehabilitation Act on its 2nd anniversary and feature prominent expert panelists from the community of those people with disabilities who will issue a “Federal Agency Report Card on Section 508 Compliance”. The panel will be led by world-renowned disability columnist John Williams of and Mike Paciello, President of The Paciello Group (TPG), a leading international authority on Internet and software accessibility. Other panelists from industry and government will be announced shortly. The meeting will be webcast with open captioning of the streaming video, or “webcaptingsm”, developed by to assist federal agency clients in complying with Section 508.

Rescuing 508 Town Meeting Webcast Discussion Areas to be Addressed

  • Section 508 is the single most influential disability mandate since ADA, perhaps of all time.
  • The Administration is faltering in its support and enforcement of Section 508 on behalf of its employees with disabilities, subsequently industry support is waning.
  • The time is NOW to take action to reposition Section 508 and enhance its value proposition.

Subject Matter Areas from Panelist Mike Paciello’s Presentation

Purpose of Section 508

  1. To give “teeth” and definition to the existing version.
  2. To ensure accessibility of E&IT to Federal Employees and Citizens.
  3. To foster innovation.
  4. To create THE model (State and Local Govt’s; International Govt’s).
  5. To Position accessibility as a competitive advantage


  1. Initial launch, awareness promotion
  2. Strong commitment to enforcement and standard by agencies including SSA, DoED, Agriculture, FCC, VA
  3. Focused effort on Web Accessibility
  4. Creation & support for organizations including ITTATC, Accessibility Forum, & Interagency Software Developers for 508, Buy Accessible

Issues/Concerns/Report Card

  1. Inconsistent enforcement between agencies
  2. Unfunded mandates are difficult to take seriously, enforce
  3. Process Loopholes
  4. VPATs
  5. No standard quality assurance, usability, and/or certification measures
  6. Continued existence of major inaccessible E&IT deployments (Go-Learn; Key Web Sites)
  7. Industry awareness


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Town Meeting

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Click here to download the text transcript of the webcast.