Table of Contents
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility and commitment of the Commonwealth acting through its branches, officers and departments to assure that persons with disabilities have equal access to electronic equipment and information technology; and
WHEREAS, since 1973, states have been obligated to provide accessibility to all government facilities, services and communications consistent with the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
WHEREAS, this obligation was further extended by the Telecommunications Accessibility Act of 1988, further established under Titles II and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and under section 509 of the Rehabilitation Act as reauthorized in 1992; and
WHEREAS, the Governor, as the Supreme Executive Magistrate of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, has the authority for ordering and directing the affairs of the Commonwealth agreeable to the Constitution and laws of the land;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, William F. Weld, Governor of the Commonwealth or Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby establish the state policy providing equivalent access to electronic equipment and information technology:
I. AREAS OF IMPLEMENTATION
- All state agencies will develop procedures for identifying electronic equipment and telecommunication access needs of present and potential employees and consumers and for providing electronic equipment and telecommunications access as needed.
- In carrying out the Commonwealth's commitment to providing equal access, the Department of Procurement and General Services and all other purchasing divisions shall develop procurement policies and other related documents that shall incorporate language relating to bid selection criteria for blanket contracts, that will provide for equal access electronic equipment and information technology by focusing on functional performance rather than specific brands or manufacturers.
- The Department of Procurement and General Services shall define electronic and information technology as any equipment, software, interface systems, operating systems, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment used in the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data or information.
- The definition of comparable access shall mean electronic and information technology accessibility designed to ensure, regardless of the type of medium, that individuals with disabilities can produce information and data, and have access to information and data, comparable to the information and data and access respectively of individuals who are not individuals with disabilities
II. DESIGNATED STATE AGENCY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FEDERAL GRANT
- The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing ("Administering Agency"), shall serve as the designated state agency. The Administering Agency shall receive those funds made available to the Commonwealth through the federal grant program known as the Technology-Related Assistance For Individuals With Disabilities Program through the Department of Education.
- The Administering Agency shall recommend to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance training procedures for all appropriate agencies as well as a policy directive to all divisions, departments, agencies, commissions and entities.
- The Administering Agency shall also recommend adaptations to already existing large information systems that will provide for equal access for individuals with disabilities.
Given in the Executive Chamber in Boston this 12th day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three.
William F. Weld, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth