What does Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require?

Updated January 31st, 2013

In 2006 the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) was established by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) to refresh the standards and guidelines of Section 508.

The first Section 508 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) was released in 2010. As of October 2012, the second draft is still under review and the current version of Section 508 still applies.

The public may sign-up to receive updates on this rulemaking at the Access Board website.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 (§508) requires that: when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, 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. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. (36 C.F.R. §1194.1)

Section 508 also requires federal agencies to ensure that all electronic and information technology they procure, develop, maintain, or use complies with the accessibility standards developed by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). The Access Board issued these standards on December 21, 2000.