GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

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As a reminder, the biannual OMB Agency 508 Reports are due on August 30, 2017 to feedback@cio.gov . 

There is no change in the reporting requirements from the February 2017 submission.  Both the reporting template and the associated instructions sheet are attached to this message. If you are unable to access the template because of the version of software your agency is using, you can use an older version of the template and  just the data elements identified in the current instructions document.

Here are some updates on the Section 508 Transition Activities underway to centralize guidance, avoid duplication, and streamline the transition to the revised standards. The Access Board, the ACoP, GSA’s Government-wide Section 508 Team, and many of you who are working to help make this transition happen as smoothly as possible.

The Policy and LifeCycle Subgroup is preparing guidance to help agencies update their Section 508/Accessibility policy to reflect the new regulations. Topics include:

  • 508 exceptions;

The Government-wide Section 508 Program at GSA is pleased to recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) today, May 18th. For many of us in the accessibility community, we celebrate the mission of making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities in both our lives and work.

Read more about Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2017!

In today’s competitive job market, it’s important to recruit from a large and strong candidate pool.  The GSA Government-wide IT Accessibility Program would like to call to your attention the work of the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). PEAT helps employers find and recruit the best talent by using accessible e-Recruiting. PEAT, a part of the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, promotes the employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities.

The General Services Administration, the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACoP), and the US Access Board have teamed up to guide federal agencies through implementing the New 508 Standards consistently across government.

According to the World Bank, approximately one billion people worldwide live with a disability, making up the world's largest minority. Designing from an accessibility-first standpoint has the potential to benefit all stakeholders, not just people with disabilities, because accessible design typically delivers a better user experience.

Section 508’s Coordinators are often asked about ways to test technology for accessibility. Over the last year, Microsoft has worked to make this easier for its customers. In particular, they have focused on making trustworthy technology for all employees and customers while also equipping them with information that will help them understand and validate product accessibility.

On January 25-26, 2017, the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP) hosted a workshop on the Technology Accessibility Playbook, which helps federal agencies create mature Section 508 programs. Thirty participants from 16 federal agencies attended the workshop, including Section 508 Program Managers, Developers and Procurement Specialists.

The United States Access Board has refreshed Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The General Services Administration's Government-wide Section 508 Program, along with the Access Board, and the Accessibility Community of Practice, will guide agencies through the transition with training, tools, and communication resources.

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