Breaking the Ice

Scheduling time with executive leadership is an effective way to bring awareness to an effort or issue. To help jumpstart the accessibility conversation, interview the Chief Information Officer (CIO) within a department.

 

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Starting a Dialogue

The Access IT California project Team had the opportunity to interview Ron Robinette in December 2016 when was the CIO at the Community Services and Development (CSD). Below are the results of the enlightening conversation. These same questions can be used as a template to open the accessibility dialogue.


What keeps you up at night regarding accessibility compliance here at CSD?

RR: Distributing as much help to low income people of California. If the process is happening or not, ensuring that accessibility is available to our customers. We shouldn’t limit ourselves. Agencies are our direct clients.


From an end-user perspective, what do you think some of their issues are?

RR: There are new employees and new users that need things to be accessible and there are existing users that need things more accessible. For example, someone who has just shattered their wrist needs accessibility assistance immediately in order to be effective with their job. While others may already know what tools they needs and will expect those day 1 as they start working at or with the department.


Who are the stakeholders here at CSD?

RR: Internal staff, partner agencies and low income clients. Any other party interested in, or affected by, the outcome of the project. Stakeholders contribute to various stages of the planning by providing feedback. Stakeholders might only be involved from time to time. Stakeholders may not be a stakeholder for the entire project if his or her contribution is complete.


How can we create more of a sense of urgency regarding accessibility here at CSD?

RR: Discovery of the need would be a good place to start. We would need to determine how we collect all this information. Is it on the intake form and is special assistance needed? Do we know what our client population base is?


How can we raise awareness regarding accessibility here at CSD?

RR: By making accessibility training mandatory for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officers, supervisors, managers and admin support staff. We can advertise the links used by the website accessibility consortium so end-users have a place to start when looking for resources. We can talk with our Business Services Unit intake team to see what questions they are asking new employees when they start at our organization.