woman holding phone at computer
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
 
What is Section 508?
 
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require federal (government) agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
 
Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ' 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
 
What Kinds of Technology Does Section 508 Pertain To?
  • Federal websites
  • Telecommunication devices such as telephones, fax machines and computer modems
  • Software applications and operating systems
  • Videotapes
  • Other multimedia products such as audio cassette tapes, information kiosks, calculators, and portable computers