GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program

Acquisition Process

Updated Guidance on Creating 508 Compliant IT Solicitations

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:34 -- BuyAccessible Team

We just updated the guidance document, "Guidance on Creating 508 Compliant IT Solicitations." In addition to your responsibilities to include applicable Section 508 requirements in your solicitations, you need to also make sure that your solicitations documents are fully accessible. This site has resources to help you Create Accessible Solicitation Documents.

What if you can't find a Quick Link that Applies to Your Deliverable?

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 12:18 -- BuyAccessible Team

Quick Links provide quick and easy pre-packaged Section 508 solicitation documentation for a number of standard Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) deliverables. In addition to providing solicitation language, Quick Links provide a Government Product Accessibility Template (GPAT) that identifies applicable Section 508 provisions.

Have you ever used a BuyAccessible Quick Link?

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 11:55 -- BuyAccessible Team

Quick Links provide quick and easy pre-packaged Section 508 solicitation documentation for a number of standard Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) deliverables. In addition to providing solicitation language, Quick Links provide a Government Product Accessibility Template (GPAT) that identifies applicable Section 508 provisions.

Evaluation based on Accessibility

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 12:56 -- BuyAccessible Team

A solicitation best practice is to include accessibility in your evaluation factors, not just in the detailed technical requirements. GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy, Information Resources Management Division, Section 508 Program Office assesses samples of Federal EIT solicitations to see if they contain the required Section 508 technical standards, GSA then sends feedback to the department/agency and the procurement officials. Following is an example:

What to do about Sole Source

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 11:36 -- BuyAccessible Team

There has been some confusion regarding Sole Source solicitations and Section 508 compliance. The FAR is very clear that Section 508 should be considered in ALL solicitations, with the following exceptions: National Security, ICT acquired incidental to a contract, "back office", and Undue Burden (FAR Subpart 39.2 Information and Communication Technology). Undue Burden can only be claimed after the agency has conducted accessibility market research to determine that it would create a significant hardship on the agency.

Does Section 508 Apply to Freeware?

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 11:25 -- BuyAccessible Team

It is important to remember that Section 508 standards apply not only to the procurement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), but also to its use. This means that freeware is subject to Section 508 standards even if acquiring it did not require formal procurement. All or most Federal Agencies do not allow the installation of applications on Government IT equipment without authorization of system administrators.

If an agency is making a "Brand Name or Equal" ICT procurement, does Section 508 apply?

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:36 -- BuyAccessible Team

Yes. Section 508 applies when Federal agencies "develop, procure, maintain, or use information and communication technology." Even if the agency is simply procuring a new version of an existing product, Section 508 applies. Section 508 requirements must be considered in the Brand Name justification and in the "or Equal" decision. It is a best practice to include Section 508 requirements in solicitation documentation for Brand Name or Equal, otherwise how are vendors able to propose products or services that equals the brand name?

Market Research why do it?

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 15:46 -- BuyAccessible Team

For Federal buyers, the short answer is because it is required by the FAR. Recently we received a comment that suggested using social media to help with market research. While this is a unique way to find out about current state of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products and services it does not meet the requirements of the FAR for Market Research. Remember that as a Federal buyer, you are responsible for the compliance of ICT product and services regarding Section 508 conformance which includes evaluation and testing.

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