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Department of Veterans Affairs Section 508 Program Office. Access for Everyone!. Office of Enterprise Development. VA’s Section 508 Program Office Patrick Sheehan: VA’s Director of Compliance & Section 508 Coordinator Jacqueline Washington: Program Manager/ COTR

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Department of Veterans Affairs Section 508 Program Office

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department of veterans affairs section 508 program office
Department of Veterans AffairsSection 508 Program Office

Access for Everyone!

office of enterprise development
Office of Enterprise Development

VA’s Section 508 Program Office

Patrick Sheehan: VA’s Director of Compliance & Section 508 Coordinator

Jacqueline Washington: Program Manager/ COTR

Terri Bean: Test Manager

Robert Volck: Facility Manager

Fred Royer: Section 504/508 Accessibility Consultant

Frank Pierce, Alan Schlank, Matthew Greener,

Thomas McKeithan: Test Engineers

section 508 accessibility goals fy 09
Section 508 Accessibility Goals FY ‘09
  • To support the Secretary’s goals in the employment and advancement of people with disabilities
  • To fully integrate 508 requirements into the development life-cycle and VA’s E&IT procurement and review processes
  • To provide needed services, testing solutions and innovative strategies in implementing Section 508
  • To increase awareness of accessibility issues and programs to internal and external VA stakeholders by providing outreach services;
section 508



the law

The Rehabilitation Act 1973, Section 508 Amendment (1998)

  • Requires that any electronic and information technology (EIT) procured, developed, used or maintained by Federal agencies must be accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

Section 508 was enacted to:

  • eliminate barriers in information technology
  • make available new opportunities for people with disabilities
  • encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
definition of e it
Definition of E&IT

Electronic and information technology: Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, which is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information.

The term electronic and information technology includes, but is not limited to, telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines.

definition of e it continued
Definition of E&IT Continued

The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.

For example, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment such as thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment where information technology is integral to its operation, are not information technology.

section 508 standards
Section 508 Standards
  • 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems (iMed Consent)
  • 1194.22 Web-Based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications (MRSA application)
  • 1194.23 Telecommunications Products (If it is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or software then it may also include 1194.21 and/or 1194.22) (telecomm solution for deaf & visually impaired)
  • 1194.24 Video and Multimedia Products (If implemented on the web will also require 1194.22)
section 508 standards9
Section 508 Standards
  • 1194.25 Self Contained and Closed Products (Ex: Copiers, Fax and Kiosks)
  • 1194.26 Desktop and Portable Computers
  • 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria (Must be accessible with assistive technology)
  • 1194.41 Information, Documentation and Support (Must also be accessible)
section 50810

Section 508

Accessibility Testing and Training Center


t tc testing training center
T&TC (Testing & Training Center)
  • A dynamic, ergonomically designed working environment
  • Located on the C-Level in the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office and open by appointment only;
  • A test facility with specialized staff that test applications, Commercial Off-the-Shelf Products, telecommunications, and multimedia E&IT
  • Accessible E&IT Demonstrations
current activities
Current Activities
  • Participate in industry forums, state and local Gov. meetings to raise awareness of accessibility issues and programs
  • Provide expertise to Federal Program/Project Managers in implementing Section 508 and E-Gov initiatives
  • Review Business Cases (Exhibit 300’s and 53’s) to ensure Section 508
current activities13
Current Activities
  • Test and Validate the use of EIT products that are tracked in the VA’s IT acquisition process;
  • Chair VA’s Section 508 Advisory Board to govern the planning, execution and deployment of enterprise-wide strategies;
  • Provide outreach services to Program Offices to meet the legal requirements of Section 508
how our process works
How our process works
  • Vendor submits VPAT/ PM submits CVS to Section 508 Program Office
  • Project is officially entered in database and assigned to testers or exception granted
  • Project is rated compliant/noncompliant
  • If Compliant – closed out meeting held. Noncompliant – sent back to developers for remediation.
roles and responsibilities
Roles and Responsibilities
  • Contracting Officers or Specialists and Requiring Official
    • Building the accessibility requirements into the project
    • GSA Buy Accessible Wizard
    • Section 508 Monthly Trainings (Open to Department of Veterans Affairs Stakeholders)
    • Completing the Determination and Findings and Section 508 Exemptions Certification Documents
    • Conformance Validation Statement (CVS) Section 508 Program Office (Internal Use)
    • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a vendor tool
roles and responsibilities17
Roles and Responsibilities
  • Web Masters, Content Managers, Vendors and Internal/External Developers
    • Illinois Accessible Web Publishing Wizard for Microsoft Office
    • Adobe Professional v. 7.0 or higher
    • Assistive Technology (AT) Tools for Testing
    • NetCentric – CommonLook Section 508 Adobe Plug-In
    • Corda (Charts)
    • 508 Wizard for Visual Basic
    • HiSoftware – AccMonitor Accessibility Module
    • Deque - WorldSpace
most common questions
Most Common Questions
  • Essentially, the enforcement of Section 508 deals with procurement, why do I need to be concerned about Section 508?
  • There’s no one in my office who is disabled or none of my colleagues are disabled, why should I be concerned about Section 508?
  • If my program/project has Section 508 issues, will it be pulled?
most common questions19
Most Common Questions
  • What are the consequences of not adhering to Section 508 early in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) or not at all?
  • How much time and money will it cost me to make my program or project Section 508 conformant?
  • Will VA’s Section 508 Program Office validate my application as Section 508 conformant?
most common questions20
Most Common Questions
  • Under what conditions would an exemption or waiver be given by the VA Section 508 Program Office?
  • As a Vendor, what are my responsibilities to meet Section 508 and how do I ensure I meet them?
  • My vendor, other VA personnel or outside 508 experts have assured me the product meets Section 508 Standards, do I still need to get it tested by VA’s Section 508 Program Office?
questions and answers
Questions and Answers

Department of Veterans Affairs’ Section 508 Program Office

VA’s Director of Compliance & Section 508 Coordinator: Pat Sheehan – 202-461-5207 or

VA’s Section 508 Program Manager/ COTR: Jacqueline Washington – 202-461-5197 or

Room C10A

810 Vermont Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20420