Usability and Accessibility

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105 - 220), August 7, 1998 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Specifically, Section 508 of that act requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use EIT, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

The Office of Information, Integrity, and Access' Information Resources Management Division (IRMD), recognized as the governmentwide policy resource for Section 508, is the government’s principal advocate and coordinator for Section 508. IRMD has been charged with educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation. Through 508-specific web tools and applications, Federal employees and the public can access resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508.

GSA created the Buy Accessible Wizard tool to simplify the task of procuring electronic and information technology (E&IT) products that provide accessibility to those with disabilities. Government purchasing and procurement officials should refer to the Buy Accessible Wizard to conduct market research, such as to locate products and services that support requirements development and procurement selection processes.

This is also the web-based tool to help users determine and document Section 508 requirements that apply to a particular E&IT acquisition. E&IT acquisitions made by federal procurement personnel must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d).

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Last Reviewed 2016-12-14