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Play 3: Develop a Section 508 Accessibility Roadmap

An effective agency Section 508 program can identify and manage risks, gain management support, and implement corrective changes to agency policies, processes, and technologies to ensure Section 508 compliance. After you gauge the maturity of your Section 508 program (see previous play), develop a Section 508 Accessibility Roadmap to identify key agency activities and a phased approach to reach the next level of maturity. An Accessibility Roadmap will help set goals and priorities, and provide a framework for sustained improvement.

Key Questions

  • What are your Section 508 Program goals? What are the key challenges and opportunities that need attention to strengthen the effectiveness of your Section 508 Program?
  • Do you have a comprehensive plan that addresses how you will improve the maturity of your Section 508 program, and the overall accessibility of your digital services and technology portfolio?
  • Does your plan address human capital and funding needs for Section 508 compliance activities, and support needed from other groups within the agency?

Basic Checklist

  • Define your Section 508 Program challenges and opportunities:
    • Identify technology that is and is not compliant with Section 508.
    • Identify organizational challenges (policy, processes, training, tools, staffing, etc.).
    • Identify transition challenges associated with adopting the upcoming 508 standards.
  • Develop an iterative plan to address priorities and gaps in policy, processes, tools and resources:
    • With input from your program maturity assessment, define goals and priorities. (see Play 2)
    • Define Section 508 program goals and priorities.
    • Develop/refine your agency accessibility policy to establish authorities, roles, responsibilities, and expectations. (see Play 4)
    • Establish a Section 508 Program Team. (see Play 5)
    • Ensure Section 508 requirements and disabled user needs are addressed in technology requirements and design activities (see Play 7),
    • Ensure accessibility requirements are properly included solicitations, and vendor product accessibility claims are validated (see Play 8),
    • Ensure developers and electronic content authors design and develop technology that conforms to the Section 508 standards (see Play 9),
    • Ensure digital services and technology solutions are validated for conformance to the Section 508 standards (see Play 10),
    • Track, prioritize and resolve accessibility issues and complaints (see Play 11).
    • Identify and meet training and communications needs (see Play 12)
  • Assess the organization’s readiness to adopt planned changes and develop an approach to build adoption for the plan.
  • Estimate and prioritize budget requirements. Budget for key expenses, including Section 508 Program Team staff, as well as compliance testing and tracking tools.
  • Identify target milestones.
  • Communicate your plan to key stakeholders to get approval and support.

Advanced Checklist

  • Define agency controls for ensuring policy requirements are addressed.
  • Determine what metrics you will use to track and monitor conformance to standards, policies, and procedures for ensuring Section 508 compliance. (note: OMB established minimum mandatory metrics in the Agency Section 508 Dashboard/Reporting Template)
  • Develop an audit plan to verify conformance.
  • Define approved methods within your agency for implementing the Section 508 standards (example: use of the DHS trusted tester methodology for web accessibility validation).
  • Develop policy requirements for defining, budgeting, and implementing an alternative means for non-compliant solutions.
  • Develop a risk management process (risk planning, assessment, and reporting) to inform ongoing discussions with executive management regarding accessibility priorities.
  • Review and revise accessibility policy and standards to keep pace with regulatory, organizational, agency process, and technology changes.
  • Review existing agency technology roadmaps to assess your existing Section 508 Program’s ability to support agency adoption of new and emerging technology.

Resources

Section 508 OMB Dashboard/Reporting Template