GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

Section 508 and Federal Acquisition Regulation

Basic Acquisition Phases and  Governing FAR Regulations
The effect of Section 508 on federal acquisition can be summarized in four basic phases: Need, Requirement, Research, and Solicitation. Section 508 is implemented through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements that govern each of these basic acquisition phases:
  1. Need: agencies must include Section 508 in requirements planning, determining from the start how Section 508 will apply.
    • FAR 7.103 (q) identifies specific agency-head responsibilities to consider Section 508 requirements in requirements planning and proposed acquisitions.
  2. Requirement: agencies must include Section 508 requirements when describing agency need, identifying the specific Section 508 standards that apply to required EIT product or service deliverables.
    • FAR 11.002 (f) specifies that requiring activities must prepare requirements documents for EIT that comply with Section 508.
    • FAR 12.202 (d) reiterates that same regulation especially for the acquisition of commercial items.
  3. Research: agencies must consider Section 508 requirements when assessing EIT availability, researching EIT that can meet the identified Section 508 standards.
    • FAR 10.001(a)(3)(vii) requires agencies to assess the availability of EIT that meets applicable Section 508 standards when performing market research.
  4. Solicitation: agencies must ensure EIT acquisitions meet the applicable Section 508 standards, documenting appropriate Section 508 language in solicitations and including Section 508 factors when evaluating proposals and accepting contract deliverables.
    • FAR 39.203 generally implements Section 508 and the Access Board Standards. FAR 39.203(a) specifically states "Unless an exception at 39.204 applies, acquisitions of EIT supplies and services must meet the applicable accessibility standards at 36 CFR Part 1194."

Read the Final FAR Rule For Implementing Section 508 of the Rehab Act Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, as published in the Federal Register April 25, 2001. This Rule amended the FAR to include the specific Section 508 regulations.

Browse the complete FAR at