GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

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Accessible CAPTCHA - Jul 27 , 2015

CAPTCHA is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". Websites often use CAPTCHA for anti-spam verification to make sure responses are being generated by an actual person and not a computer “bot”.

Celebrate the ADA and the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990, and was the first major legislative effort to secure an equal playing field for individuals with disabilities. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

A recent question gives us some general guidance when asking a key question: “Is this ICT subject to Section 508?” Though this particular question was posed for a specific product, the guidance applies generally to any component that is part of an interconnected system but doesn't itself directly present a user interface.

We all know about those cameras typically used for surveillance monitoring. They seem to be everywhere, recording everything – especially at federal government facilities! So are they subject to Section 508 requirements?

The new “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines” from the US Access Board have been published as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The period for public comments will close on Thursday May 28, 2015. Visit to provide your feedback on the rule and the questions about the rule asked by the Access Board.

The Governmentwide Section 508 Program at GSA is pleased to commemorate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) [] on May 21 this month. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a community-driven effort dedicated to raise the profile and heighten awareness of digital accessibility to the broadest audience possible.

On the heels of recent successful Federal accessibility events like the Accessibility Hackathon and the EEOC Twitter Event, GSA continued the momentum by hosting a Microsoft and Accessibility event on April 7th. With over 200 attendees (virtual and in-person) the event was evidence that there is need to come together as a community around Section 508 issues and that there is much to be done.

On Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hosted a live Twitter (hashtag #5084FEDs), inviting stakeholders to discuss how technology impacts Federal workers with disabilities.

Compliance and Conformance - Apr 13 , 2015

There are a lot of terms used when talking about Section 508, and they are not always used consistently. Federal agencies are required to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794 d). This Act states that Agencies must ensure that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that they “develop, procure, maintain or use” allows for comparable access by both Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities seeking information or services from the Federal government. Below is a description of the appropriate use of the terms compliance and conformance.

The U.S. Access Board will provide an overview of its proposed rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in a free webinar on March 31 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET). The session, which is part of the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series, will review the Board's proposal to update its standards and guidelines for ICT covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act.