Orders for ICT products specified by required functions, performance, or physical characteristics must, according to FAR 39.203(b)(3), include appropriate Section 508 accessibility requirements from the Access Board Standard (36 CFR Part 1194) when describing agency need, unless the product function meets the criteria for a general exception.
Section 508 Due Diligence for Product Function Orders
Document Section 508 in your Order: Four Steps
Generally the Requiring Authority should lead these activities, while the Contracting Office should make sure they has been performed and appropriately documented in the solicitation and resulting contract.
- Determine How Section 508 Applies
- Identify specific deliverables and distinguish each ICT deliverable subject to Section 508.
- Assess each deliverable for a Section 508 exception and provide detailed justification if making an exception claim.
- Document Specific Section 508 Requirements for Each ICT Deliverable.
- Define the functions, features, and physical or performance characteristics that the ICT must meet.
- Based on those features and functions, identify applicable technical and functional performance requirements from the Access Board Standard (CFR 1194).
- Consider Section 508 Requirements When Evaluating Proposals
- For multiple-award contracts, document how Section 508 requirements will be included in proposal evaluation.
- Use vendor accessibility information that should be available as part of the base contract.
- Assess Section 508 requirements When Accepting ICT Deliverables
- Document Section 508 requirements as inspection/acceptance criteria for ICT deliverables.
- Make sure that Section 508 requirements are met!
Don't Forget Section 508 for ICT Information, Documentation, and Support
Make sure to consider requirements from the Access Board Standard CFR 1194 Subpart D for ICT information and documentation, as well as vendor support.
Common Mistakes in Section 508 Due Diligence
- Not explicitly identifying ICT deliverables.
- Making a general mention of Section 508, but not identifying specific requirements from CFR 1194 that apply.
- Not using vendor accessibility information made available by the base contract.
- Not documenting Section508 exception determinations.
- Not considering Section 508 requirements for ICT information, documentation, and support.