Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973


Section 508 Background:


Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 29 U.S.C. 794d, requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain or use Information and Communication Technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Learn more by reading the DoD Section 508 Fact Sheet.

Department of Defense, Chief Information Officer, Section 508 Responsibilities:
The Section 508 Office of the DoD CIO is responsible for:
(a) Developing policies, procedures, and requirements related to achieving implementation of, compliance with, and institutionalization of Section 508.
(b) Serving as the DoD Section 508 coordinator and DoD point of contact for Section 508 implementation.
(c) Representing the Department of Defense on Federal-wide boards and committees.

Website Evaluations:
In an effort to ensure that DoD public websites are accessible, the Office of the DoD CIO, randomly tests DoD websites for accessibility. The testing results are provided to the Component Information Technology lead to, if necessary, bring websites into 508 compliance. In an effort to ensure all DoD websites are compliant, DoD Components should periodically evaluate their websites and ensure they comply with Section 508 U.S. Access Boards standards and WCAG 2.0.

ICT Solicitation Assessments:
The Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 39.2 requires that acquisition of Information and Communication Technology supplies and services must meet the applicable accessibility standards within Section 508.  The General Services Administration in an effort to enforce accessibility of federally procured products and services, randomly select federal contracts for review.  Guidance is given to DoD Components to review existing procurement and information technology policies and procedures to confirm that the Section 508 standards are appropriately considered and clearly stated when preparing requirements and solicitation documents.

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