GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

History of GSA's Section 508 Solicitation Assessment Program

From 2006-2014, GSA's Section 508 team conducted a solicitation assessment program to gain insight into how well accessibility requirements are considered in government procurements which contain IT-related deliverables, and to provide agencies with information about how to improve this performance. In this assessment process, ICT Solicitations were randomly sampled from FedBizOpps (FBO) listings and reviewed to determine compliance with Section 508 using simple FAR-based criterion. Results of these reviews were shared with the agency contracting officer, Section 508 coordinator, and requiring official (if one was identified in the solicitation).

Explanation of Results

  • Non-compliant: Deliverables contained in the solicitation are subject to Section 508, but there is no mention of Section 508 in the solicitation or supporting documentation, or only a nonspecific reference is made.
  • Minimally Compliant: Section 508 Technical requirements (Subpart B), Functional requirements (Subpart C), or Information, Documentation and Support (Subpart D) were mentioned only in a general sense.
  • Fully Compliant: The solicitation identifies specific, relevant technical sections of the standard, or specific, relevant provisions within the technical sections; functional performance criteria is also included. Sometimes solicitations that fulfill these requirements are downgraded to minimally compliant due to inaccessible solicitation documentation or other problems.

For more details on the assessment criteria, see the Tools and Resources later on this page.

Figure: Yearly Solicitation Assessment Results

Solicitation Assessment Results per year. Numbers are in table below. The table below shows the results of the assessment program since 2007. The columns definitions from left to right are:

  • Total Solicitations Sampled: Number of solicitations that were pulled from FebBizOpps checked for Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) deliverables.
  • Total EIT Solicitations: Number of solicitations that were determined to have EIT deliverables (subset of previous column).
  • Total Solicitations that were Scored: Number of solicitations that were fully assessed using the Evaluation Criteria. (subset of previous column)
  • % Fully Compliant (of those scored): Percent of the fully assessed solicitations that were determined to be Fully Compliant with Section 508
  • % Minimally Compliant (of those scored): Percent of the fully assessed solicitations that were determined to be Minimally Compliant with Section 508
  • % Non-Compliant (of those scored): Percent of the fully assessed solicitations that were determined to be Non-Compliant with Section 508

Table: Yearly Solicitation Assessment Results

Time Period Total Solicitations Sampled Total EIT Solicitations Total Solicitations that were Scored % Fully Compliant (of those scored) % Minimally Compliant (of those scored) % Non-Compliant (of those scored)
FY 2008 6354 2932 525 7% 17% 75%
FY 2009 3637 1975 356 15% 32% 53%
FY 2010 5612 3068 524 21% 23% 56%
FY 2011 4661 2728 611 23% 21% 56%
FY 2012 4880 2671 609 23% 18% 60%
FY 2013 4720 2844 462 25% 16% 59%
FY 2014 4480 2612 287 30% 12% 56%
FY 2015 4710 2692 288 33% 11% 56%


Tools, Guidance, and Resources

Solicitation Do and Don't
Shows the criteria used by the GSA Section 508 team to review FedBizOpps Solicitation: things to do and things to avoid. 

How to Fix Your Solicitation Documents
Specific guidance on how to fix issues identified in a solicitation review.

Evaluation Scenarios of Solicitations [docx]
Each combination of assessment results over the set of evaluation criteria defines a particular "evaluation scenario". This document outlines each of the possible scenarios.

GSA Section 508 FedBizOpps Assessment Process
Learn more about the how GSA collects samples from FedBizOpps and assess solicitations.

Determine Section 508 Applicability
Guidance, tools, and resources to determine if Section 508 applies to your solicitation.

Define Section 508 Requirements
Guidance, tools, and resources to determine if which Section 508 requirements apply.

Develop Solicitation Language
Guidance, tools, and resources to develop Solicitation language related to Section 508.

Section 508 blog

A Solicitation Assessment Success Story 
How Compliant is Your Solicitation?
How to get a congratulations letter from GSA
More ways to get a congratulations letter from GSA
Things to avoid in your solicitation 

More blog posts on GSA's FedBizOpps Sampling Letters