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GSA Hosts Successful IDEAS 2007 Event

GSA # 10420

November 14, 2007            
Contact: Jen Millikin, (202) 501-1231
jennifer.millikin@gsa.gov                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

WASHINGTON – Ensuring that federal facilities and information technology systems are accessible to all employees was a key focus of this year’s interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase (IDEAS) conference, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Held at the Washington Convention Center, the annual two-day conference also featured a town hall discussion on how to make the federal workplace accessible to all employees. Terry Weaver, Director of the Information Technology Accessibility Division, presided over the discussion. Specifically noted was GSA’s sponsorship of the development and implementation of Buy Accessible tools as part of its role to provide technical assistance for Section 508. The tools are available to anyone cost free at buyaccessible.gov.

GSA, the procurement arm of the federal government, can help agencies acquire the products and services needed to ensure full accessibility, according to Kevin Messner, Acting OGP Associate Administrator. “With buyaccessible.gov, agency staff can easily procure accessibility compliant electronic and IT products and services,” Messner said.

The Workplace Investment Act of 1998 strengthened Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act to require that all federal departments, agencies, contractors and federally funded companies make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Over the years, OGP has developed the IDEAS conference as the premier event linking industry and education to local, state, and federal government to meet requirements under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. “Designing for accessibility helps those who currently have disabilities, but an injury, illness, or aging can affect anyone,” Kaczmarczyk said.  “We build an accessible electronic and information technology environment so employees with disabilities can remain productive members of the federal workforce.”

Sessions at this years IDEAS conference included government best practices based on IT Accessibility and Section 508 compliance for Web sites, e-learning, software and hardware. In all, the event featured 33 exhibitors, 16 panels and two keynotes. 

To learn more about the conference and this year’s exhibitors, visit ideas508.com.

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Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government.  GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles.  GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 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? GSA Deputy Administrator David Bibb serves as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Access Board.


IDEAS