In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act and strengthened provisions covering access to information in the Federal sector for people with disabilities. As amended, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires access to the Federal government's electronic and information technology. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is accessible to employees and the public.
AR 25-1, Army Information Management, dated 15 July 2005, provides Army policy on Section 508. Paragraph 6-4(n)(13) reads "Army organizations maintaining Web sites are required to achieve Web site compliance with the provisions of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 (29 USC 794d). Web sites must be equally accessible to disabled and nondisabled Federal employees and members of the public. Guidance on Section 508 standards concerning Web-based, Intranet, and Internet information and applications is located at http://www.section508.gov. Exceptions should be referred to the Staff Judge Advocate for legal review. (See also paras 6-1p and q on information access.)
Paragraph 6-1(p) reads "Information access for handicapped Army employees. Public Laws 99-506, 100-542, and 105-220 require computer and telecommunications systems to be accessible to Government employees with disabilities, their supervisors, and others that need access to the employees. Information managers will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate individuals with handicaps, consistent with these laws and AR 600-7. The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, 5111 Leesburg Pike, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22041-3206, provides assistive technology accommodations and services to persons with disabilities at the DOD at no cost to individual activities. The Computer/ Electronic Accommodations Program operates a Technology Evaluation Center to match people with specific technologies. Funding is available to provide such things as interpreters, readers, personal assistants, telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD), telephone amplifiers, listening devices, closed captioned decoders, and visual signaling devices for those with hearing problems."
Paragraph 6-1q reads "Electronic and information technology access for employees and members of the public with disabilities. P.L. 105-220 (Section 508) requires the government to provide disabled employees and members of the public with access to information. Access for disabled persons must be comparable to the access available to nondisabled persons. The law applies to all Army organizations when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Electronic and information technology includes equipment or interconnected systems or subsystems of equipment that are used to create, convert, or duplicate data or information. Section 508 applies to computers and networks, hardware, software, Web pages, and e-mail, as well as equipment used for transmitting, receiving, using, or storing information such as fax machines, copiers and telephones. Review Web site http://www.section508.gov for further information and training about the laws and regulations pertaining to Section 508 and how to support its implementation.
This page provides links to some major private organizations involved with accessibility issues and to the public law and Section 508 requirements of the Federal IT Accessibility Initiative. These links are provided only to promote better understanding of the law and Section 508 requirements and is in no way intended to recommend the use of any particular source in preference to any other source or sources.
If anyone encounters any difficulties with any application, document, form, or Web page, we encourage your feedback. Please indicate the page URL and the browser or reading appliance used and a brief explanation of the problem encountered.
CAST is a not-for-profit organization that uses technology to expand opportunities for all people, including those with disabilities.
The World Wide Web Consortium ( W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential as a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding.
|Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP)
CAP provides accommodations to increase accessibility for persons with disabilities throughout the Department of Defense (DOD). As part of this effort, CAP is committed to supporting research and activities that increase the accessibility of World Wide Web (WWW) for people with disabilities.
|Section 508 of the Federal IT Accessibility Initiative.||OPM – People with Disabilities in the Federal Government||Workforce Investment Act of 1998|