Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 355 – Visually impaired/technology access
HOUSE BILL NO. 355
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H0355......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
VISUALLY IMPAIRED - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Adds to existing law to
provide legislative findings; to provide standards for state purchases that
assure that technology applications provide access for the visually
impaired; to adopt procurement requirements; and to provide an exception.
03/08 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/09 Rpt prt - to Educ
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-sixth Legislature First Regular Session - 2001
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 355
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACCESS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; PROVIDING
3 A STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT; AMENDING CHAPTER 54, TITLE 67, IDAHO
4 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-5416, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE A
5 STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE POLICY; AMENDING CHAPTER 54, TITLE 67, IDAHO
6 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 67-5417, IDAHO CODE, TO DEFINE
7 TERMS; AMENDING CHAPTER 54, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW
8 SECTION 67-5418, IDAHO CODE, TO ADOPT AN ASSURANCE OF NONVISUAL ACCESS;
9 AMENDING CHAPTER 54, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SEC-
10 TION 67-5419, IDAHO CODE, TO ADOPT PROCUREMENT REQUIREMENTS; AMENDING
11 CHAPTER 54, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION
12 67-5420, IDAHO CODE, TO ADOPT PROCEDURE FOR IMPLEMENTATION.
13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
14 SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. The Legislature finds and declares that:
15 (1) The advent of the information age throughout the United States and
16 around the world has resulted in lasting changes in information technology;
17 (2) Use of interactive visual display terminals by state and state-
18 assisted organizations is becoming a widespread means of access for employees
19 and the public to obtain information available electronically, but nonvisual
20 access, whether by speech, Braille or other appropriate means has been over-
21 looked in purchasing and deploying the latest information technology;
22 (3) Presentation of electronic data solely in a visual format is a bar-
23 rier to access by blind and visually impaired individuals, preventing them
24 from participating on equal terms in crucial areas of life, such as education
25 and employment;
26 (4) Alternatives, including both software and hardware adaptations, have
27 been created so that interactive control of computers and use of the informa-
28 tion presented is possible by both visual and nonvisual means; and
29 (5) The goals of the state in obtaining and deploying the most advanced
30 forms of information technology properly include universal access so that seg-
31 ments of society with particular needs, including individuals unable to use
32 visual displays, will not be left out of the information age.
33 SECTION 2. That Chapter 54, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
34 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
35 ignated as Section 67-5416, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
36 67-5416. POLICY. It is the policy of the state of Idaho that all programs
37 and activities which are supported in whole or in part by public funds shall
38 be conducted in accordance with the following principles:
39 (1) Blind and visually impaired individuals have the right to fully par-
40 ticipate in the life of the state, including the use of advanced technology
41 which is provided by the state or state-assisted organizations for use by
42 employees, program participants and members of the general public; and
1 (2) Technology purchased in whole or in part with funds provided by the
2 state to be used for the creation, storage, retrieval or dissemination of
3 information and intended for use by employees, program participants and mem-
4 bers of the general public shall be accessible to and usable by blind and
5 visually impaired individuals.
6 SECTION 3. That Chapter 54, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
7 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
8 ignated as Section 67-5417, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
9 67-5417. DEFINITIONS. In this act the following words have the meanings
11 (1) "Access" means the ability to receive, use and manipulate data and
12 operate controls included in information technology.
13 (2) "Blind or visually impaired individual" means an individual who:
14 (a) Has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correct-
15 ing lenses or has a limited field of vision so that the widest diameter of
16 the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty (20) degrees;
17 (b) Has a medically indicated expectation of visual deterioration; or
18 (c) Has a medically diagnosed limitation in visual functioning that
19 restricts the individual's ability to read and write standard print at
20 levels expected of individuals of comparable ability.
21 (3) "Covered entity" means the state or any state-assisted organization.
22 (4) "Information technology" means all electronic information processing
23 hardware and software, including telecommunications.
24 (5) "Nonvisual" means synthesized speech, Braille and other output meth-
25 ods not requiring sight.
26 (6) "State" means the state or any of its departments, agencies, public
27 bodies or other instrumentalities.
28 (7) "State-assisted organization" means a college, nonprofit organiza-
29 tion, person, political subdivision, school system or other entity supported
30 in whole or in part by state funds.
31 (8) "Telecommunications" means the transmission of information, images,
32 pictures, voice or data by radio, video or other electronic or impulse means.
33 SECTION 4. That Chapter 54, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
34 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
35 ignated as Section 67-5418, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
36 67-5418. ASSURANCE OF NONVISUAL ACCESS. In general, the head of each cov-
37 ered entity shall ensure that information technology equipment and software
38 used by employees, program participants or members of the general public:
39 (1) Provides blind or visually impaired individuals with access, includ-
40 ing interactive use of the equipment and services, which is equivalent to that
41 provided to individuals who are not blind or visually impaired;
42 (2) Is designed to present information, including prompts used for inter-
43 active communications, in formats intended for both visual and nonvisual use;
45 (3) Has been purchased under a contract which includes the technology
46 access clause required pursuant to section 67-5419, Idaho Code.
47 SECTION 5. That Chapter 54, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
48 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
49 ignated as Section 67-5419, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
1 67-5419. PROCUREMENT REQUIREMENTS. (1) Technology access clause. A tech-
2 nology access clause shall be developed by the department of administration
3 and shall require compliance with nonvisual access standards established by
4 the state. The clause shall specify that the technology:
5 (a) Must be compatible with technology used for access by nonvisual means
6 and provide for effective, interactive control and use of operating sys-
7 tems, applications programs, and the logical organization of the data
8 format presented;
9 (b) Must permit use by nonvisual means when integrated into networks used
10 to share communications among employees, program participants and the pub-
11 lic; and
12 (c) Shall be obtained without modification for compatibility with soft-
13 ware and hardware used for nonvisual access whenever technology not
14 requiring such modification is commercially available.
15 (2) Nonvisual access standards. The nonvisual access standards estab-
16 lished by the state pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall include
17 such specifications as are necessary to fulfill the assurances in section
18 67-5418, Idaho Code, and the specifications in subsection (1) of this section.
19 (3) The head of a covered entity, with the approval of the department of
20 administration, may exclude the technology access clause to the extent that
21 the cost of such software or devices for the covered entity would increase the
22 total cost of the procurement by more than five percent (5%). All exclusions
23 of the technology access clause from any contract shall be reported to the
24 presiding officers of the senate and the house of representatives annually.
25 SECTION 6. That Chapter 54, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
26 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
27 ignated as Section 67-5420, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
28 67-5420. IMPLEMENTATION. (1) Applicability.
29 (a) Except as provided in section 67-5419(3), Idaho Code, the technology
30 access clause shall be included in all contracts for the procurement of
31 information technology by or for the use of entities covered by this act
32 on or after the effective date of this act.
33 (b) Nothing in this section requires the installation of software or
34 peripheral devices used for nonvisual access when individuals who are not
35 blind or visually impaired are using the information technology.
36 (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this subsection,
37 the applications programs and underlying operating systems, including the
38 format of the data, used for the manipulation and presentation of informa-
39 tion shall permit the installation and effective use of nonvisual access
40 software and peripheral devices.
41 (2) Existing systems. Compliance with this act in regard to information
42 technology purchased prior to the effective date of this act shall be achieved
43 at the time of procurement of an upgrade or replacement of the existing equip-
44 ment or software.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation is intended to bring visually impaired
individuals recognition and access to information technology by
amending Chapter 54, Title 67 of the Idaho Code by the addition
of several new sections.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, as amended,
requires federal agencies and departments to ensure that their
electronic and information technology is accessible to individuals
with disabilities. Non-visual access has been virtually ignored in
deploying information technology.
RS 10869 is designed to develop standards to ensure that visually
impaired individuals have access to information that is equivalent
to sighted persons, provide information in formats for both visual
and non-visual use, and provide compliance with established non-visual
access standards. Similar legislation has been enacted in 9 other
This is enabling legislation for technology. This legislation will
provide direction to address the visual impaired needs. It is believed
that the fiscal impact would be minimal.
Name: Rep. Gary Young
Larry Streeter (208/331-2998, 208/332-6914)
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 355