In 1998 Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to include enforcement language that supports the requirement for Federal agencies to make their Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) accessible to people with disabilities.
The U.S. Access Board is responsible for developing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility standards to incorporate into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices. On January 18, 2017, the Access Board issued a final rule that updated accessibility requirements covered by Section 508, and refreshed guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. The final rule went into effect on January 18, 2018.
The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, otherwise known as 21st Century IDEA, was signed into law in December 2018. The Act aims to improve the digital experience for government customers and reinforces existing requirements for federal public websites.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Under Section 508 (29 USC § 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
The Air Force corporate approach to Section 508 implementation follows the guidelines established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) of "centralized management with decentralized execution." This approach provides a corporate strategy that will lead the Air Force to its goal: "To provide an Air Force-wide coordinated Section 508 effort that addresses all legal requirements and provides maximum access to ICT while maintaining full mission focus and capabilities."
The Air Force 508 Compliance official has overall responsibility for addressing the Section 508 challenge; to ensure the Air Force Section 508 project addresses ICT accessibility issues before they adversely affect the mission and mission support functions. Conquering the Section 508 challenges will require the cooperative efforts of webmasters; IT specialists; procurement professionals; program, requirements, and item managers; and contracting officers at every Air Force level. Major commands (MAJCOM), field operating agencies (FOA), direct reporting units (DRU), and their subordinate units need to build a network of participants whose membership includes all the indicated levels of expertise. People with disabilities must be given the opportunity to maximize their contribution to the success of the Air Force mission by maximizing the accessibility features of the ICT.
If you have any questions regarding 508 Compliance, click
Section 508 Accessibility Template
Section 508 VPAT Signature Page
Section 508 VPAT How to...
Section 508 VPAT Checklist
The below training was provided by General Services Administration (GSA) and the Air Force. Training pertains to policy, the procurement process, the Buy Accessible Wizard, and purchasing Section 508 compliant products and services.
Air Force Section 508 Playbook
Section 508 Basics Training Course
Wave Automated Testing Tool
GSA Compliance Checklist
Generated Procurement Language
DAF Section 508 Office
1800 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1800
Ms. Mia Day, DAF Section 508 Coordinator
DAF Equal Opportunity
Ms. Kendra Shock, DAF Disability Program Manager