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Bill LaPlant

Chair, INCITS V2, the IT Access Interfaces Technical Committee
of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards 




  • a Federal employee since 1968, first as a Computer Systems Design Engineer for the U.S. Air Force, then as Manager of the DOD Computer Standards program, and finally as technology and usability researcher for the U.S. Census Bureau. 
  • negotiated the successful adoption and use of GENCODE by DOD (1981 to 1983).GENCODE was the name of SGML (Standard Generic Mark-up Language) prior to its adoption as an American National Standard and later as an International Standard.This adoption was critical to the initial success of the Computer Aided Logistics System (CALS) and has resulted in an on-going saving for the taxpayer of at least $1 Billion per year for DOD technical data (e.g., weapons systems documentation). SGML is the predecessor standard to HTML (Hyper-Text Mark-up Language) and XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) which would not exist in their present forms without the success of GENCODE and SGML. The World-wide Web would not be the success it has become without the existence of the mark-up and linking concepts originally embodied in GENCODE and the creation of a support industry for its development, use, and exploitation. as a member of the DOD Protocol Standards Steering Group in 1982, predecessor to the Internet Engineering Task Force Steering Group (IETF-SG), participated in the decision by the DOD to adopt TCP/IP (as opposed to OSI) as the core Arpanet (Internet) protocols.
  • has served since 1994 as the senior standardization expert for the U.S. Census Bureauís Standards Management Team.
  • serves as the Alternate for the National Institute for Standards and Technology on the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), and is the proposer (with Neil Scott of Stanford) and organizing chair of the INCITS IT Accommodation Standards Study Group, and is the Chairman of the Technical Committee INCITS/V2, IT Access Interfaces.
  • developed approaches to ensuring accessibility for the U.S. Census Bureauís data and information by people with disabilities.  One of these being the Census Bureauís standards for the development of accessible software and accessible web pages. These standards were first adopted by the Census Bureau in July, 1999 and revisions incorporating requirements based on the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (36 CFR Part 1194) have been issued. 
  • In 1998, Bill started a research effort with Stanford University to further the work of the Archimedes Project, funded by a $250,000 grant from GSA.Working with the Census Bureauís National Processing Center (NPC) the research has demonstrated the efficacy of the Archimedes Project Total Access System (and the Synapse Adaptive Total Access Portô) in the NPC environment. NSF is now funding a second 3 year, multi-million dollar, Digital Government project on IT Accommodation at Stanford for which the Census Bureau serves as the lead agency. The IT Accommodation Research Team, under Billís leadership, has won one of the last Federal Hammer Awards, recognizing a revolutionary way of improving access for people with disabilities to data and information. 
  • He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (and itís Computer; Engineering Management; Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Societies and itís Standards Association), a Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (and itís Special Interest Groups on the Computer Human Interface and on Computers and the Physically Handicapped), a member of the Usability Professionalsí Association, and the Standards Engineering Society. Bill is a founding member and Director of the International Coalition of Access Engineers and Specialists.  
  • Bill has a BA in Psychology from Hobart College and an MS in Technology of Management from the American University.  Bill has been elected to Pi Alpha Alpha (the National Public Administration Honor Society).  

 contact: blaplant@mindspring.com, blaplant@census.gov 

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