In accordance with the U.S. Access Board's updated accessibility requirements covered by Section 508, which went into effect Jan. 18, 2018, the rule revises and refreshes its standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Board’s Section 508 Standards, which were first issued in 2000, apply to information and communication technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.
Examples include computers, telecommunications equipment, multifunction office machines such as copiers that also function as printers, software, websites, information kiosks and transaction machines, and electronic documents.
Other goals of this refresh include:
enhancing accessibility to information for everyone, people with and without disabilities;
making the requirements easier to understand and follow;
updating the requirements so that they stay abreast of the ever-changing nature of the technologies covered; and
harmonizing the requirements with other standards in the U.S. and worldwide.
Web accessibility and 508 compliance are important because they:
The updated 508 Standards apply to a federal agency’s full range of public-facing content, including
The final rule also specifically lists the types of non-public-facing content that must comply. This includes electronic content used by a federal agency for official business to communicate: