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.
The Accessible Electronic Documents Community of Practice (AED CoP) has published documents to assist in testing your Word, Excel, and PDF electronic documents. To access these documents, please navigate to the Section 508 best practices library page, or follow this link:
These documents are located in the Technical Guidance section of the page.
GSA’s Section 508 Guidance Documents have been updated to reflect the newly combined website. If you have an older version saved, please download a new copy, so you will have correct links to the new Section508.gov.
In the future you will continue to see references to the guidance documents on some pages on this site and be able to directly find them from the home page under “I would like to… Review Section 508 Guidance.”
Do you need help with your market research for IT products and services? You can use the free IT Solutions Navigator tool from GSA.
Q: What is the IT Solutions Navigator tool?
A: The IT Solutions Navigator tool is a decision support system aimed to assist customers in evaluating GSA’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) solution categories and identifying an appropriate acquisition vehicle to meet their business needs.
The BuyAccessible.gov site is back up again and the Vendor Accessibility Resource Center (VARC) has been updated! We went through all the links in the VARC to see if they were still valid. Broken links were removed and the companies contacted requesting a new one. If you have any suggestions of links to add, please contact us.
Recently we received this question,
"We are interested in a buying a product and that product has a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).
The VPAT shows that it is not 100% compliant. Can we craft the GPAT
for that product to mandate 508 even though it has a VPAT or do we look elsewhere for another product"
Our answer is:
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.
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.