[tabi] Fw: [leadership] Justice Department to survey agencies about compliancewith Section 508

  • From: "Easy Talk" <easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 06:37:26 -0400

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Pratik Patel 
To: leadership@xxxxxxx ; ACBNY-L ; iac@xxxxxxx ; Blind Information Technology 
Specialists discussion list ; VICUG-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 6:31 PM
Subject: [leadership] Justice Department to survey agencies about 
compliancewith Section 508

Dear all, 


Please see the memorandum from the Whitehouse regarding this announcement 
below.  Note that an assessment has not been done since 2004.  It was required 
to be done every two years.  According to the following article, an assessment 
is scheduled to be done in September of this year and the results will be 
available in spring 2011.  




ACB's role in bringing this issue to the forefront has been vital.  Both Eric 
and Melanie have participated in vital conversations to ensure that Section 508 
gets proper attention.











July 19, 2010



FROM: Daniel I. Gordon 

Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy 

Vivek Kundra 

Federal Chief Information Officer 

SUBJECT: Improving the Accessibility of Government Information 

The President identified transparency, participation, and collaboration as the 
principles of an open government in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on 
Transparency and Open Government1, which requires that government information 
and data be accessible to all citizens. To ensure that persons with 
disabilities have equal access to their government, agencies must buy and use 
accessible electronic and information technology (EIT), as required by Section 
508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C 794d), as amended. 

1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/ 

2 www.buyaccessible.gov 

For example, accessible EIT allows a person who is blind or visually-impaired 
to consume information on an agency's website; a federal employee who is deaf 
or hard of hearing to access an agency's webcast training; and an individual in 
a wheelchair to make photocopies. While some agencies have made progress in 
this area, all agencies must make accessibility a cornerstone of their open 
government plans. The purpose of this memorandum is to make agencies aware of 
existing resources and direct agencies to take stronger steps toward improving 
the acquisition and implementation of accessible technology. 

Increasing Awareness of Responsibilities and Requirements 

Building and maintaining an accessible environment requires that the 
information technology and acquisition communities partner when developing, 
procuring, using, or maintaining EIT. The General Services Administration 
(GSA), as part of its statutory requirement to provide technical assistance to 
agencies on Section 508 implementation, has created a number of tools, 
available at www.Section508.gov, to help agencies to develop accessible 
requirements, test the acceptance process, and share lessons learned and best 
practices. For example: 

. the BuyAccessible Wizard2helps build compliant requirements and 

. the Quick Links site 3 provides pre-packaged Section 508 solicitation 

2 3 https://app.buyaccessible.gov/baw/KwikLinksMain.jsp 

4 https://app.buyaccessible.gov/DataCenter/ 

5 http://buyaccessible.net/blog/

. the BuyAccessible Products and Services Directory4provides a registry of 
companies and accessibility information about their offerings; and 

. the Section 508 blog 5provides a venue where stakeholders may share ideas and 
success stories, or engage in conversations on improving accessibility. 


Emerging technologies and the introduction of new applications can present 
challenges for the implementation of accessibility standards. To assist 

a) Within 180 days, the GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy (OGP) will provide 
updated guidance on making government EIT accessible. This guidance will build 
upon existing resources to address challenges, increase oversight, and reduce 
costs associated with acquiring and managing EIT solutions that are not 


b) Within 180 days, the GSA OGP will update its general Section 508 training to 
offer refreshed continuous learning modules that can be used by contracting 
officers, program/project managers (especially those managing IT programs), and 
contracting officer technical representatives (COTRs) as they fulfill their 
Federal Acquisition Certification requirements. 


Improving Agency Accountability and Accessibility Performance 

As with any requirement, agencies must monitor their accessibility performance 
and should consider a variety of internal controls to ensure that agency 
managers are accountable for providing an accessible environment. To help 
agencies achieve an accessible environment, the Chief Information Officers 
Council (CIOC) recently created an Accessibility Committee. This new Committee 
is collaborating with GSA, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Access 
Board. Together these entities will take the following steps: 

a) In September 2010, the GSA OGP and the DOJ will issue a survey to allow 
agencies to assess their implementation of Section 508, including accessibility 
of websites and other technology used by the agencies. This information will be 
used by the DOJ in preparing its next assessment of agency compliance as 
required by the Rehabilitation Act. The CIOC Accessibility Committee will also 
use this information to identify best practices and lessons learned. 

b) In the spring of 2011, the DOJ will issue a progress report on Federal 
agency compliance with Section 508, the first since 2004. Going forward, DOJ 
will meet its obligation to issue a report biennially. 

c) Beginning in FY 2011, the GSA OGP will begin providing OMB a quarterly 
summary report containing results of Section 508 reviews of a sample of 
solicitations posted on FedBizOpps.gov. GSA will provide the agencies a summary 
of the sampling results to facilitate sharing of best practices and successes, 
and to address common challenges. 


Improving Outreach and Communication Citizen and employee engagement is 
important for understanding the needs of diverse communities and providing 
better solutions. Within 60 days, the GSA OGP and the U.S. Access Board6, in 
collaboration with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC) and CIOC, will 
design listening sessions and will research technology solutions to facilitate 
such sessions. The sessions will be an opportunity for the government and 
interested members of the public to address concerns and propose ideas. 
Feedback from the sessions will be used by, and shared across, agencies to 
improve accessibility and usability. 

6 The Access Board is required by Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
to develop and maintain design criteria for the built environment, transit 
vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information 

Promoting equal access to government for persons with disabilities will improve 
the delivery of services to the public and ensure that all federal employees 
have the information and data they need to do their jobs. If you have any 
questions regarding this memorandum, please contact Karen Pica in the Office of 
Federal Procurement Policy at 202-395-3302 or Janice Nall in the Office of 
Electronic Government and Information Technology at 202-395-0368. 

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.


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