National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Resolution A07-03


WHEREAS, the movement from paper documents and forms and the introduction of computer software to handle many tasks has resulted in blind persons having better access to documents than ever before; and


WHEREAS, the use of computer software has, in many cases, allowed blind persons to perform many aspects of our jobs more independently than was previously possible; and


WHEREAS, the ability for us to directly access and convert documents and use software does not require that document writers and software developers have specific knowledge of blindness but rather that they simply follow some guidelines and rules; and


WHEREAS, we are receiving reports and complaints of documents from the state of Minnesota, such as PDF documents containing images of pages rather than text, that cannot be read using technology that we commonly use to read documents; and


WHEREAS, the provision of accessible documents is required by various federal laws and regulations; and


WHEREAS, the state of Minnesota is required to purchase accessible software by Minnesota statute  16C.145 "NONVISUAL TECHNOLOGY ACCESS STANDARDS", which we were instrumental in getting passed in 1998; and


WHEREAS, some communication has begun between Minnesota State Services for the blind, the Technology Task Force of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind, the Department of Administration, and the Office of Enterprise Technology on these issues: Now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota assembled this fourth day of November, 2007, in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, that this organization call upon Minnesota's Office of Enterprise Technology and the Department of Administration to review how accessibility is considered in the purchase of current software and in the creation of documents and to publish their findings; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Office of Enterprise Technology and the Department of Administration to implement changes in existing processes to guarantee that purchased software and documents are accessible in accordance with statute 16C.145.