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FAR Rule on Section 508 Published in the Federal RegisterComment period runs through March 23, 2001

GSA #9781

January 25, 2001
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov


Washington, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) invites the public to comment on the proposed Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on electronic and technology accessibility referred to as Section 508. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on January 22. This rule implements standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also known as the Access Board) on December 21, 2000. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use technology to ensure that this it is accessible to people with disabilities.

The proposed rule applies the Access Board's standards to procurement officials and the contracting process. It defines the term �electronic and information technology' for procurement officials and provides guidance on how to implement the Access Board's standards. It also incorporates the electronic and information technology standards in acquisition planning, market research and when describing agency needs. Since it is expected that almost all products will comply with the new standards within the next two years, the proposed rule establishes a sunset date of January 1, 2003 for the micro-purchase exemption.

Comments should be submitted in writing on or before March 23, 2001. All comments on the proposed rule will be considered in the formulation of the final rule. Written comments may be mailed to: GSA, FAR Secretariat (MVR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405, or e-mailed to: farcase.1999-607@gsa.gov. Be sure to reference FAR case 1999-607 in all correspondence.