Accessible Executive Orders during COVID

Initiative Description

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) staff worked with the Governor's Office of Maryland to provide training to communications staff on how to create accessible Executive Orders (EOs). ICT staff was first approached in March 2020 to support accessibility needs when the Governor began releasing multiple Executive Orders in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. As ICT staff worked to remediate these orders, they also worked with the Governor's Office to identify key communications staff that would be trained to handle the remediation going forward. The initial training was provided April 7th, and focused on using Adobe Acrobat DC specifically to make executive orders accessible through manual and automated remediation procedures. A follow up training has been scheduled for new staff in the Governor's Office. As a long-term solution to this issue, the Governor's Office has identified the need to create screen reader friendly versions to exist in addition to, not to replace, the original executive orders, because the Executive Orders are nearly always posted online at a moment's notice. Staff has also discussed and will confer with ICT staff on how to house the accessible EOs on the Governor's website in a way that is easy for users to find.

Lessons Learned/Replication

Although the initial training to staff at the Governor's Office was successful, we learned that the staff turnover and reassignment is rapid, so we have determined a practice to provide ongoing training to the staff, on a regular basis.

Year of Implementation

2020

State

Maryland

Initiative contact information

Lori Markland
lori.markland@maryland.gov