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UPA Appointed to US Access Board Advisory Committee

(January 10, 2007- Broomfield, Colorado) As part of its member advocacy efforts, the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) works with various governmental, quasi-governmental, and private coalition groups to present the viewpoints of the profession and to educate those groups on the usefulness of the profession. 

We are happy to inform you that the latest product of that effort is UPA’s appointment to the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC).  This is a U.S. Access Board Federal advisory committee.

TEITAC will provide recommendations for updates of accessibility standards issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and guidelines under Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act.  These standards cover technology procured by the Federal government.  Members of this advisory committee include representatives from over forty industry, disability groups, standard-setting bodies in the international community, and government agencies.

This is an opportunity for UPA to help shape important U.S. accessibility laws, adding a focus on the usability of access technologies.

All TEITAC activities are open to the public, including a web site and wiki at http://teitac.org with information about all committee activities. The Access Board encourages members of the public to be involved and contribute to sub-committee and task force activities.

UPA is represented on TEITAC by Whitney Quesenbery and Sarah Swierenga (alternate).

Whitney is a UPA Past President and a usability and design consultant with Whitney Interactive Design.  She brings her experience on another Federal advisory committee to the Election Assistance Commission which is working on federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.  In this capacity, she is Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Factors and Privacy. Whitney was a co-author of the Brennan Center for Justice papers on voting system usability and accessibility.

Sarah is the Director of the MSU Usability & Accessibility Center. She has extensive experience in evaluating and enhancing Web applications to address accessibility and usability concerns, and has an active research program in
accessible design. At her prior employer, LexisNexis, Sarah led a corporate accessibility compliance initiative, providing technical consulting on over 50 products, and creating an organizational strategy for implementing Section 508 standards.

For further information or questions in regard to this important effort, you can reach Whitney and Sarah at teitac [at ] usabilityprofessionals [dot] org.


Thyra Rauch
2007 UPA President


The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 2000 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:

  • Shares information about the skills and approach of usability professionals in meeting needs for usable products.
  • Acts as an advocate for usability in consumer, corporate and governmental software, products and web sites.
  • Educates the general public about the usability.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
email: office@upassoc.org
web: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org

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