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Learn About the Updated IT Accessibility Standards

In January 2017, the U.S. Access Board published a final rule updating information technology (IT)accessibility requirements covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes IT that is developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies. The Rehabilitation Act is a federal law which requires programs and activities funded by federal agencies to be accessible to people with disabilities, including federal employees and members of the public. Here’s a recap of the changes.

Compliance with the Revised 508 Standards is also a requirement of OMB M-17-06, Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services (PDF, 1.2 MB, 18 pages, November 2016). They went into effect on January 18, 2018. Watch this video to learn more.

What’s New

Notable changes to the Standards include:

  • Incorporation of the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, to harmonize with other accessibility standards worldwide.
  • Requirement that all public-facing official agency business content (and specific categories of non-public-facing content that is official agency business) must be accessible.
  • Requirements are now organized by functionality, instead of product type, to more easily keep pace with rapid advances in technology.

Get Started

Your first stop for guidance on the new Standards is the Revised 508 Standards Toolkit Policy Refresh. Developed by GSA’s Government-wide 508 Program, the US Access Board, and the Federal CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice, it’s the central hub for Standards implementation guidance.

Development and Content Creation

If you’re a developer or content manager, this detailed guidance will help you create accessible systems and content, and learn how to test content for accessibility.

Procurement

Learn how to define requirements and procure IT products and services that comply with the Revised 508 Standards.

Develop Requirements

Procure Accessible Technology

Management

These tools will help your agency comply with the management responsibilities that go along with the 508 Standards Refresh.

If you need help, connect with your Agency Section 508 Coordinator.

GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) provides technical assistance to help federal agencies implement accessible IT policies and programs. Contact us by email with questions.

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