GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

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In today’s competitive job market, it’s important to recruit from a large and strong candidate pool.  The GSA Government-wide IT Accessibility Program would like to call to your attention the work of the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). PEAT helps employers find and recruit the best talent by using accessible e-Recruiting. PEAT, a part of the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, promotes the employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities.

The General Services Administration, the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACoP), and the US Access Board have teamed up to guide federal agencies through implementing the New 508 Standards consistently across government.

According to the World Bank, approximately one billion people worldwide live with a disability, making up the world's largest minority. Designing from an accessibility-first standpoint has the potential to benefit all stakeholders, not just people with disabilities, because accessible design typically delivers a better user experience.

Section 508’s Coordinators are often asked about ways to test technology for accessibility. Over the last year, Microsoft has worked to make this easier for its customers. In particular, they have focused on making trustworthy technology for all employees and customers while also equipping them with information that will help them understand and validate product accessibility.

On January 25-26, 2017, the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP) hosted a workshop on the Technology Accessibility Playbook, which helps federal agencies create mature Section 508 programs. Thirty participants from 16 federal agencies attended the workshop, including Section 508 Program Managers, Developers and Procurement Specialists.

The United States Access Board has refreshed Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The General Services Administration's Government-wide Section 508 Program, along with the Access Board, and the Accessibility Community of Practice, will guide agencies through the transition with training, tools, and communication resources.

Source: Tim Cregan (Access Board)

January 9, 2017

The Access Board today released a final rule that updates accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule also refreshes guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. 

On December 6, 2016, Accessibility Program Managers from the Microsoft Engineering Team facilitated an all-day training event for Federal Section 508 Program Managers, to showcase accessibility features in Microsoft products. Acknowledging that accessibility impacts everyone, Microsoft shared their journey of “embracing accessibility by design.”

Learn more about the Pulse accessibility module: Click Here

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