In 2019, the Legislature established a legislative staff working group on accessibility measures to address the course of action for digital accessibility standards in the Minnesota Legislative branch in Laws of Minnesota 2019, 1st special session, chapter 10, article 5.
Staff from the House, Senate, and joint offices have been meeting regularly since late summer 2021. They’ve surveyed legislative staff, elicited a business process mapping project to identify how digital information is used in the committee process, contracted an audit with a third-party accessibility audit company, and have been writing a report to the Legislature, which is due in January of 2023.
The meetings have included digital accessibility training from various sources. Presentations and feedback from stakeholder organizations, executive branch agencies, and other states through a National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) presentation have been significant pieces of input that the working group has received. The Working Group has heard presentations from stakeholder organizations such as the Disability Council, State Services for the Blind, MNIT Office of Accessibility, and the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing.
Among training offered to working group members, the Library has collected a few recent books, which you also may enjoy reading: Approachable Accessibility: Planning for Success by Martine Dowden explains the importance of digital accessibility and goes on to explain how to engage your team, create an action plan, and the resources you’ll need along the way. Another recent addition to the Library shows state-level legal requirements and policy by state. Much of this information is about state executive branch and public higher education compliance: 2021/2022 State and Federal Accessibility Guidelines.
The required report will assist the Legislature in its work making legislative information more digitally accessible.
(Update: The final report was issued on January 12, 2023: Legislative Staff Working Group on Accessibility Measures Report.)