Resolution 2017-03 National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

Regarding the HUB,State Personnel System


WHEREAS, in 2014 the State of Maryland established a new Statewide Personnel System, a central data sharing and storage system called the HUB; and

WHEREAS, the HUB includes a multimedia web portal to facilitate mandatory training, an electronic time keeping system, and allows seamless sharing of data among agencies, reducing paper and travel costs; and

WHEREAS, after numerous complaints by blind employees concerning the accessibility of this portal, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) addressed these issues by changing program settings to make the portal's structure more accessible; and

WHEREAS, although the basic structure of the HUB is accessible, many of the videos, quizzes, training classes and related documents in the system are not usable by blind employees; and

WHEREAS, all employees are required to use the HUB to participate in mandatory trainings when required by their agency or by the State of Maryland; and

WHEREAS, on many occasions blind employees have been unable to complete these required courses without sighted assistance; and

WHEREAS, the contractor hired to make certain course content accessible provided the answers to quiz questions rather than enabling the blind employees to fill them in for themselves; and

WHEREAS, an HTML5 authoring tool has been suggested to DBM that should allow for the creation of questions imbedded in text that can be answered using JAWS or other screen reading programs; and

WHEREAS, the contract for the accessibility specialist has ended with no indication that it will be renewed or that the recommended software will be purchased because of cost:  Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland in convention assembled this eleventh day of November, 2017, in the city of Towson, Maryland, that this organization demand that The Department of Budget And Management make the necessary investments in the HUB to assure that not only the structure remains accessible but that all content placed on the HUB also be fully accessible; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization insist that the Executive Branch of Maryland State Government establish procedures that are rigorously enforced to ensure that future updates to the HUB and all other electronic information provided by the state is accessible to Maryland's blind employees and blind citizens.