On January 18, 2017, the United States Access Board, also known as the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, updated two acts related to making technology accessible to people with disabilities. The first modification is to the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards within Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 508 stipulates requirements on how federally funded entities develop, procure, maintain, or otherwise use information technology. The impetus for the action was a desire to “refresh” the nearly 20-year-old, static accessibility standards within each act, adopting a more modern and internationally recognized standard. It was determined that the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 was best suited to fulfill this requirement.
In “Section 508 Refresh: How WCAG Impacts Federal Website Accessibility Requirements,” Microassist’s Hiram Kuykendall summarizes and maps the Section 508 references to the internationally recognized WCAG, including multiple links to the new federal Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines and to WCAG’s success criteria.