About the Section 508 Standards

The Board’s Section 508 Standards apply to electronic and information technology procured by the federal government, including computer hardware and software, websites, phone systems, and copiers.  They were issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access for both members of the public and federal employees to such technologies when developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.

The Section 508 Standards are part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and address access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.  They contain technical criteria specific to various types of technologies and performance-based requirements which focus on functional capabilities of covered products.  Specific criteria cover software applications and operating systems, web-based information and applications, computers, telecommunications products, video and multi-media, and self-contained closed products.

Refresh of the Section 508 Standards and the Section 255 Guidelines

ICT refresh logoThe Board is updating the Section 508 standards, which were issued in 2000, jointly with its guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act.  On February 18, 2015, the Board released a proposed rule which is available for public comment for 90 days.