A successful 508 Section Program should not be established in isolation. Active collaboration with your federal partners not only provides an opportunity to more accurately baseline your own program, but also enables your agency to leverage existing best practices and resources. This collaboration can lead to a more mature and comprehensive program.
o Do you participate in interagency technology accessibility forums?
o How do you collaborate with the Section 508 Program Managers of other federal agencies to learn about and contribute to best practices?
o How has collaboration accelerated your Section 508 program’s maturity and lowered implementation costs?
o Actively participate in the Chief Information Officer Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP) and its subcommittees:
- Assign an agency primary and secondary representative to the ACOP. The primary member should be a senior-level government manager who has the ability to issue and modify your agency’s 508 policies and processes.
- Actively discuss issues or concerns your agency is facing during ACOP meetings, which provide an open forum for federal agency collaboration.
- Assign representatives to each of the ACOP’s subcommittees: Best Practices Subcommittee, Education Subcommittee, and Vendor/Acquisition Outreach Subcommittee.
- Use your participation in the ACOP subcommittees to tailor resources being developed to meet the needs of your agency and share your own best practices and training materials for use by others.
o Share information and data collected by your 508 Program with other agencies:
- Share your biannual OMB-mandated 508 Program Maturity and Compliance reports with other agencies to identify valuable areas for collaboration.
- Review data of other agencies to identify potential partners for joint efforts and contact those agencies to begin the discussion.
o Participate in interagency pilot programs:
- Be an early adopter of interagency 508 programs and provide the necessary resources to implement the programs and provide feedback to improve the offerings based on your experiences.
- Utilize standardized testing methodologies such as the Interagency Trusted Tester Program and make testing results available to other federal agencies.
- Use other agencies’ testing results obtained through the Interagency Trusted Tester Program methodologies.
o Include your 508 Program Manager as a key reviewer of draft interagency technology related acquisition policies and directives:
- Share incoming requests for review of draft interagency directives and policies from OMB or GSA on anything related to IT with your Section 508 Program Manager and incorporate their feedback in the official agency response.
- Insist your Section 508 Program Manager is included as a required reviewer of any interagency draft directives or policies related to acquisitions.