Roles and Responsibilities

Agencies need clear governance and strong leadership to guide Section 508 programs. This sets an example for the importance of accessibility, improves compliance, and minimizes legal exposure. The success of an agency’s IT Accessibility/508 program also depends on the involvement of many other key players.

The table below lists the roles and responsibilities for Federal Section 508 programs.

Agency Program Management
Government-wide Implementation Guidance

Agency Program Management

Role Responsibilities
Agency Section 508 Coordinator
  • Manage an agency Section 508 program on behalf of the agency CIO, to include developing and maintaining agency policies, guidance, and best practices.
Agency Employees (developers, content creators)
  • Create and publish accessible content, products and systems.
Heads of Federal Agencies
  • Ensure that individuals involved in acquisition planning and requirements generation specify needs; develop plans, specifications, etc., that address IT accessibility using standards issued in 36 CFR part 1194.
Agency Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Establish the agency Section 508 program, provide leadership of the program, and appoint the agency Section 508 coordinator/manager.
  • Ensure Section 508 accessibility considerations are incorporated into the planning, operation, and management of any IT that the agency develops, uses, or maintains.
  • In collaboration with agency CAO, ensure Section 508 is considered in IT procured by the agency.
Agency Chief
Acquisition Officer (CAO)
  • Responsible for agency performance of acquisition activities and acquisition programs, to include development of the agency’s acquisition workforce.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Information Officer (CIO), ensure Section 508 requirements are incorporated into any IT that is procured by the agency.
Agency Senior Procurement Executive
  • Responsible for management direction of the acquisition systems of an executive branch agency, including the implementation of the unique acquisition policies, regulations, and standards of the agency.

Government-wide Implementation Guidance

Role Responsibilities
General Services Administration (GSA)
  • In collaboration with the Access Board, provide Section 508 technical assistance, tools, and workforce development support to Federal agencies.
  • Lead development and management of tools, such as and the Accessibility Requirements Tool, for use by the acquisition, IT, and Section 508 coordinator communities.
Access Board
  • Promote accessibility for individuals with disabilities by developing accessibility standards for electronic and information technology (EIT).
  • Periodically review and amend standards to reflect changes and advances in technology.
  • In collaboration with GSA, provide technical assistance concerning the implementation of the Section 508 standards.
CIO Council Accessibility Committee
Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council
  • Incorporate Access Board standards into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as appropriate.


Role Responsibilities
Department of Justice
  • Biennially, conduct a survey of all Federal agencies to ascertain status of compliance with Section 508.
  • Prepare and submit to the President and Congress a report on, and recommendations regarding, the state of Federal agency compliance with Section 508.

Read the Strategic Plan for Improving Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Appendix A, to learn more.

Reviewed/Updated: May 2018