A more efficient path to online accessibility

Editor’s Note: For more information on the value of using voluntary consensus and consortia information systems standards as the basis for international harmonization, see here.

From: FCW | Comment

By Karen S. Evans

The role of federal CIOs includes a multitude of critical responsibilities—compliance, procurement, records management, privacy and security, as well as bringing mission-supporting technology to the workforce and citizens they serve. To deliver on these core obligations, CIOs must ensure that the services they manage are accessible to all, including users with disabilities.


As our world becomes more connected, a universal standard is not only sensible, but also efficient. In fact, current law and Office and Management and Budget rulemaking support the adoption of such standards: the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and OMB Circular A-119 Revised mandate the incorporation of voluntary consensus standards as domestic standards where possible. The use of consensus standards in place of unique standards, unless illegal or impractical, not only makes maintaining these standards easier for public sector CIOs and federal government employees, but makes accessing information for users with disabilities easier as well.

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