The National Association of State Chief Information Officers on Tuesday announced the winners of its annual State IT Recognition Awards, recognizing 10 projects across a range of disciplines, including cybersecurity, digital services and business process innovations.
NASCIO selected its winners from about 90 submissions. Among the awards was one for a CIO office’s exceptional achievements, which went to Illinois CIO Jennifer Ricker’s office for its work on Accessing Illinois, an initiative to improve accessibility of state services to residents with disabilities.
In a recent interview, Ricker said the program dates back to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when government offices shut down and members of the public were driven to online offerings in greater numbers.
“At the same time as everything shut down like that, the public was in many cases looking toward government and government services even more significantly than they ever had before,” Ricker said. “So you sort of had these two things converging at the same time, which is no longer or really minimal ability to walk into a brick and mortar and see somebody face-to-face from the government to get assistance.”
The program has spawned greater accessibility of state websites and other online services, such as Illinois’ unemployment benefits portal, as well as a heightened use of video conferencing software from Cisco Webex and expansions of that platform’s accessibility features. Mike Scott, chief information accessibility officer at the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology, told StateScoop the company was receptive to the state’s requests for new features and speedy at implementing changes to its software.
“That’s benefitting people with disabilities not only in Illinois, but all over the world. And it’s pushing their competitor products to be more accessible as well, so I think that was a really exciting and really rewarding aspect of the whole effort, to have an impact much bigger than even just Illinois,” Scott said.
Business Process Innovations
State of North Carolina: When Minutes Mattered: Automated COVID-19 Reporting System Saved Hospitals’ Time and Reduced Administrative Burden
Cross-Boundary Collaboration & Partnerships
State of Nebraska: United Effort for Law Enforcement
State of Michigan: MILogin: Michigan’s Digital Identity Program
Data Management, Analytics & Visualization
State of Tennessee: Vaccination Registration and Administration Solution
Digital Services: Government to Business
State of Arizona: Underground Storage Tank Compliance and Reporting Goes Digital
Digital Services: Government to Citizen
State of Texas: Texas by Texas (TxT) Digital Assistant
Emerging & Innovative Technologies
State of Ohio: The Ohio Benefits Program is BOT “In”
Enterprise IT Management Initiatives
State of Tennessee: Tenncare Cloud Services Project
Information Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations
State of North Carolina: Prison Telehealth Program: Efficiency and Innovation In North Carolina Correctional Facilities
State CIO Office Special Recognition
State of Illinois: Access Illinois: Elevating Accessibility for Residents with Disabilities