The General Services Administration (GSA) recently issued a landmark report to Congress, which highlights the need for substantial improvements to federal Section 508 compliance. This report, the FY23 Government-wide Section 508 Assessment, evaluates reporting entities’ adherence to the criteria established by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in coordination with GSA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the U.S. Access Board (USAB). The report also contains summaries of conclusions derived from the analysis of data, as well as recommendations to Congress for further action to improve Section 508 implementation across the federal government. GSA’s recent blog post provides a summary of key takeaways from the assessment results.
Enacted by Congress at the end of 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, directed GSA, OMB, and USAB to work together to collect and evaluate federal agency data on information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility. The Board aided in the development of agency survey questions and conducted data analysis for the report. GSA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue to issue separate annual and biennial reports on federal Section 508 implementation to Congress, including a public data file that contains all agency responses. To learn more, read the assessment requirements or contact the GSA Government-wide IT Accessibility Program at email@example.com.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires access to electronic and information technology provided by the federal government. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities, and applies to, but is not solely focused on, federal pages on the Internet or the World Wide Web. More information can be found on the Section 508 website.
The next installment in the Board’s Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (ET) and will cover highlights from the Government-wide Section 508 Assessment. Registration is available through the Great Lakes ADA Center website. This session will review the processes used to create maturity metrics, discuss some of the analysis used in evaluating the survey results, and touch on the recommendations in the report.
For questions on the Board’s standards for electronic and information technology issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the U.S. Access Board website. The Board also provides technical assistance on its accessibility guidelines and standards through its helpline at 1-202-272-0080, extension 3, and by email at email@example.com.