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Section 508 for Beginners. 2008. What is Section 508?. Part of 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998 Provides comparable access to those with disabilities as to those without

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What is section 508 l.jpg
What is Section 508?

  • Part of 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998

  • Provides comparable access to those with disabilities as to those without

  • Includes any Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) that is developed, procured, maintained or used by the Federal Government and the US Postal Service

  • Law with teeth…Government can be sued

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Why Enforce the Law?

  • Obviously, It Is a Law

  • It is the right thing to do

  • An agency can be sued and systems can be pulled out of production

  • Supports Federal and State initiatives

    • President’s Management Agenda

    • New Freedom Initiative

  • You have a vested interest

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Why Enforce the Law?

Do you have problems with?

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Why Enforce the Law?

Do you have one or more of the conditions

listed on the previous slide?

…what about family members?

…or your friends?

…or your co-workers?

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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U.S. Census Data 2006

  • These numbers are approximate as of the American Community Survey, 2006

  • 41.3 million people with some type of long-lasting condition or disability

  • 11.8 million people with sensory disability

  • 25.7 million people with some type of physical disability

  • 15.9 million people with mental disability

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/2006acs.html

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • Law consists of three subparts

    • Subpart B - Technical standards for six categories of products

    • Subpart C – Functional performance criteria

    • Subpart D - Information and documentation requirements

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • Subpart B consists of standards for:

    • Software applications/operating systems

    • Web-based information and applications

    • Telecommunication products

    • Video and multimedia products

    • Self-contained, closed products

    • Desktop and portable computers

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • Subpart C

    • Technologies or components for which there is no specific requirement under the technical standards in Subpart B

    • Covers operation, including input and control functions, operation of mechanisms, and access to visual and audible information

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • Subpart D

    • Consists of information, documentation and support

    • Requires manufacturer upon request, to provide compliant electronic text for all documentation associated with the product

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • When determining the appropriate standards to use:

    • More than one category of standards may apply

    • Not all the standards in a category are necessarily applicable

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Dissecting the Law

  • Technical Requirements drive the procurement, not Section 508

  • Legal liability only pertains to the Procurement of IT, Services and Maintenance

  • Federal Government is liable for non-compliance, not the contractor or manufacturer

Section 508► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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An Example of a Best Practice

US Patent and Trade Office

Their Process

Their Program

Their Training

Common Requirements

Hardware and COTS


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USPTO 508 Processes

  • USPTO has processes for the following:

    • Purchase of IT Hardware and COTS Products

    • Credit card Purchases of IT Products

    • Development and Maintenance of IT Software Systems

    • Creating or Maintaining Web Products

Section 508 ►USPTO Process►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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USPTO’s Section 508 Program

  • Staff available to help at any time

  • Features include:

    • Assistance with procurement

    • Consultation and testing during all phases of product development

    • Testing before product deployment

    • Training classes

    • Evaluation of latest technologies


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USPTO Section 508 Training

  • Training classes offered at USPTO include:

  • Writing accessible documents

  • Authoring Section 508 compliant web pages and applications

  • Developing compliant software

  • New and emerging technologies including AJAX and Flash


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Common Requirements

  • Person buying or creating a product signs a checklist certifying compliance

  • USPTO interpretation of Section 508 is based on the Letter of the Law, not the spirit of the law

Section 508 ►USPTO Process►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Common Requirements

  • Check-and-balance

  • Non-compliant products will be pulled from the internet/intranet or stopped from going into production or returned to the vendor

  • Only Section 508Coordinator can authorize exemptions or waivers

Section 508 ►USPTO Process►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Hardware and COTS

  • Includes IT Hardware and COTS products and services

  • ProductPurchaser is responsible for compliance

  • Of vendors who meet the functional requirements, determine who best meets the applicable Section 508 standards

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Appendix: USPTO Forms

The following slides contain samples of

forms used by the USPTO’s Section 508

program.


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EIT Procurement Checklist

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Purchase Card Pre-Purchase Worksheet

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase► Software ► Web ►Training


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AIS Checklist

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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USPTO Accessibility Office Information

  • In the USPTO, the Accessibility Office is responsible for all EIT 504 and 508-related actions plus product evaluation and determining compliance

  • If you would like more information about the USPTO Section 508 Program you can contact:

    Joyce Miller

    • [email protected]

    • 571-272-5422


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What is Market Research?

  • The act of collecting and analyzing information about capabilities within the marketplace to satisfy agency needs

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Why Conduct Market Research?

  • FAR Requirement

  • Used to gauge the state of the EIT industry in meeting your requirements with products and services

  • Method for identifying products that meet Section 508 requirements

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Market Research

  • Requiring Officials determine technical requirements

  • Identify products that meet those functional/technical requirements

  • Send appropriate 508 checklist to vendors who have the products

  • Take the stand that only vendors who provide completed checklist are eligible for contract consideration

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Informal Market Survey

  • Vendor Internet site

  • Review of similar procurements by other agencies

  • Catalogs, product literature

  • Scientific journals

  • Business publications

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Formal Market Survey Techniques

  • Using a published vehicle

    • Sources-sought announcements in the Federal Business Opportunities (www.FedBizOpps.gov)

  • RFI (Requests for Information) for planning purposes to gather appropriate technical information, approximate cost, and schedule information

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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What is the Buy Accessible Wizard?

  • The Buy Accessible Wizard is a web-based tool that:

    • Guides users through the acquisition process, gathering data and providing information about electronic and information technology (E&IT) and Section 508 compliance

    • Compiles a running summary documenting the process and its results

  • The Buy Accessible Products and Services Directory

    • Access to vendor provided accessibility information

  • The Buy Accessible System makes compliance with the requirements of Section 508 as easy and thorough as possible


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Who Should Use the Wizard?

  • Micro purchasers (IT) with government purchase cards

  • Program technical specialists (IT) that determine acquisition requirements

  • Program requirements officer – responsible for program requirements documentation development, consolidation

  • Contract officers that specify (IT) requirements on behalf of agency programs


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How Can the Wizard Help Your Agency?

  • Standardize the process you use for each acquisition.

    • Document your procedures to demonstrate due diligence

  • Maximize market research. Use vendor-supplied accessibility information about the commercial availability of accessible EIT products and services prior to solicitation.

  • Tailor your solicitations. Ensure there is specific Section 508 language in each solicitation that includes EIT.

    • Require accessibility information.

    • Document accessibility as a factor in source selection

    • Document accessibility as a factor in inspection and acceptance


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Be Our Guest for a Test Drive

  • We invite you to test drive the Buy Accessible Wizard Release 3

  • To access the Buy Accessible Wizard Release 3 go to: http://www.buyaccessible.gov/and use the Guest User login


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The VPAT and Market Research

  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template

  • Completed by the Vendor

  • Information on how a product or service conforms to the Section 508 Access Board standards

  • Optionally, posted on their vendor site and linked to Buy Accessible Wizard Tool

  • Vendors are not required to complete a VPAT

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training



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Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 VPAT

  • Date: 3/30/2007

  • Name of product: Adobe® Dreamweaver® CS3

  • http://www.adobe.com/resources/accessibility/tools/vpat/dreamweaver_cs3_508.html

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Mozilla Firefox 3.0 VPAT

  • Date: 06/10/2008

  • Name of Product: Firefox 3.0

  • General Comments: Information in this VPAT is relevant to Firefox 3.0 running on a Windows 2000, Server 2003, XP, or Vista operating system. Additional developer tools exist in this product that are not installed by default. These optional tools have not been tested.

  • http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/vpat-3.html

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Sample Source of VPAT InformationUsed by the USPTO

http://www.evengrounds.com/resources/vpat-directory

  • Contains a concise list of companies with VPATs

  • Companies can be added to the list

  • Further information on what is needed in a VPAT


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

  • Review vendor’s checklist

    • All standards are equal in importance

  • Do NOT accept “yes”, a checkmark, or “meets standards”

    • Need more information to make informed decision

  • If unsure, ask vendor for more information

    • Since vendor claimed compliance, they should have information readily available

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

  • Review Possible exemptions

  • Check with the agency’s appointed authority

  • Exemptions include:

    • Back Office - Equipment or software which resides in a data center or communication closet that cannot be readily accessed or accessed remotely

    • Fundamental Alteration - altering design and/or alteration of the function of the device or operation

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

  • Review Possible exemptions

    • Commercially non-available at time of buy

    • Support & Maintenance agreements

  • USPTO Position - There is No Such Creature called Undue Burden or Deferred

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

  • Complete processing procurement request

    • Consider a Sole Source purchase

    • Buyer completes checklist and signs it, certifying Section 508 compliance

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Tips for Selecting a Vendor

  • Complete processing procurement request

    • Section 508 Coordinator reviews and initials procurement checklist

    • Buyer processes request with the checklist and supporting documents

      • Market Research

      • Most Compliant Vendor

      • Sole Source Justification

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Micro-Purchase and Section 508Purchase Card Program

  • Effective April 1, 2005 all purchases of electronic information technology (EIT) products must comply with Section 508 requirements

  • This includes (1) GSA schedule purchases, (2) open market purchases and (3) buys that cost $3,000 or less

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase► Software ► Web ►Training


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Requiring Official's Responsibilities

  • Understanding the Section 508 requirements and requesting products that are Section 508 compliant

  • If a product does not conform with Section 508, it still may be purchased, but the file must be documented in accordance with the exceptions listings for Section 508 requirements

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase► Software ► Web ►Training


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Approving Official’s Responsibilities

  • Ensure that the purchasing cardholders within their organization are complying with the Section 508 requirement

  • Review any documentation that has been provided

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase► Software ► Web ►Training


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Purchase Cardholder’s Responsibilities

  • Ensure all necessary documentation has been reviewed and completed before purchasing any EIT products

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase► Software ► Web ►Training


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Developing Software

  • Writing the code for a new or revised system, makes it difficult to claim any type of exemption

  • Retrofitting a system for compliance is extremely expensive

  • A system should not go into production if it has Section 508 deficiencies

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Developing Software

  • Most Section 508 standards are simply good old coding practices

  • Always code to the standards and not the accessibility tools (e.g., JAWS, Dragon Naturally Speaking)

  • Currently, there are no tools designed to evaluate software automatically

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Developing Software

  • If JAWS can read a program, that is no guarantee that it is compliant

  • If JAWS cannot read a program, that is no guarantee that it has deficiencies

  • Few sighted people have sufficient expertise with JAWS to use it as an evaluation tool

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Developing Software

  • Allow sufficient time to correct 508 deficiencies and still meet the schedule for production

  • Remember the Contracting Officer is the only person who can authorize changes to a contract

  • Contractor is responsible for ensuring compliance until the Government accepts the system

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Developing Software

  • All software task orders should have a section that requires the product to be 508 compliant

  • Depending on the type of contract, a contractor is responsible for correcting any deficiency at their cost

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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USPTO ProcessInitial Steps

  • Define requirements - They drive the development of the system

  • SDM (Software Development Manager) signs the checklist certifying that the system will be 508 compliant

  • Coordinator reviews the system and initials the checklist

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Initial Steps

  • Checklist becomes part of the requirement documentation

  • Developer determines the applicable standards

  • Developer provides the applicable standards to testing organization

  • There should be testing criteria for each standard and that is what the testers use for determining compliance

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Initial Steps

  • Developer provides the applicable standards to testing organization

  • There should be testing criteria for each standard and that is what the testers use for determining compliance

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ►Software► Web ►Training


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Web Development

  • Most visible 508 area…both internally and with customers

  • The more complex and fancy a site, the more difficult it may be to make compliant

  • This does not imply that you have to “dummy down” the site

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ►Web►Training


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Web Development

  • Web products must comply not only with Section 508, but also any other standards and formats prescribed by the agency’s webmaster

  • No matter what the requirements are to post a web document, Section 508 has priority since it is a law

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ►Web►Training


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Web Development

  • Several tools exist for web evaluations, although differing tools sometimes yield differing results

  • Do not rely on the tools as the final determining factor for compliance

  • Always use at least two different evaluation tools, one of which should be the tool that the Webmaster uses

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ►Web►Training


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Web Development Tool Examples

Wave 4.0:

http://wave.webaim.org/

Web Developer toolbar for Mozilla Firefox:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60

HiSoftware

http://www.hisoftware.com/


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Training

  • Critical area since many requirements for promotion and skills are based on IT training media. People get testy when they miss out on promotions

  • Secondary issue is training site that must support assistive technologies

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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Training

  • Frequent training problems:

    • PowerPoint slides

      • Problems when Informative Animations, Images, and Diagrams are used without text equivalents

      • Use the “Notes” section to provide information

    • Interactivity - Providing a text version of the training is not the same as interactivity

Section 508 ► USPTO Process ►Hardware and COTS ►Micro-Purchase ► Software ► Web ►Training


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State policies regarding adoption of Section 508

Several states have also adopted policies modeled after Section 508 regarding:

  • Accessibility of web sites,

  • Application development,

  • And IT procurement

http://accessibility.gtri.gatech.edu/sitid/stateLawAtGlance.php

February, 2006


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States adopting Section 508

AlabamaMaineOregon

ArizonaMarylandPennsylvania

ArkansasMassachusettsRhode Island

CaliforniaMichiganSouth Carolina

ColoradoMinnesotaSouth Dakota

ConnecticutMississippiTennessee

DelawareMissouriTexas

FloridaMontanaUtah

GeorgiaNebraskaVermont

HawaiiNevadaVirginia

IdahoNew HampshireWashington

IllinoisNew MexicoWashington, DC

IndianaNew YorkWest Virginia

IowaNorth CarolinaWisconsin

KentuckyNorth DakotaWyoming

LouisianaOklahoma


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Section 508 Refresh is on the Way!

  • Current Section 508 standards published December 2000

  • 2008 - Advisory Committee created to review and update Section 508 standards and Telecommunication Act guidelines

  • First update since 2000 of standards and guidelines

  • Advisory committee presented report of recommendations to the US Access Board on April 3, 2008


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Section 508 Refresh is on the Way!

  • Eight subcommittees were created by the Access Board

    • General interface requirements and functional performance criteria

    • Software, Web, and Content

    • Telecommunications

    • Audio/Video

    • Self contained, closed products

    • Desktops, portables, peripherals, and other computer hardware

    • Section 508 Subpart A (Purpose, Application, General Exceptions, Definitions, Equivalent Facilitation)

    • Documentation and technical support

  • Information about the refresh can be found at:

    • http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/update-index.htm


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Further resources

More information on Section 508 can be

found at:

http://www.section508.gov

http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm

http://www.buyaccessible.gov/


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Section 508 government programs

  • Several examples of Section 508 programs at:

  • http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/cio/s508/

  • http://www.section508.va.gov/

  • http://www.ssa.gov/oag/acq/oagacq_508.htm


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Thank you

  • Contact Information for Section 508 and the Buy Accessible Wizard (BAW)

    • Terry Weaver, Director [email protected]

    • Helen Chamberlain, Section 508 Program Director [email protected]

    • Bill Hetzner, BAW Team [email protected]

    • Jim Kindrick, BAW Team [email protected]

    • Mike Stebbins, BAW Program Manager

    • [email protected]


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