Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) requires federal agencies to develop, procure, maintain and use electronic and information technology (EIT) that is accessible to people with disabilities - regardless of whether or not they work for the federal government. The U.S. Access Board established the Section 508 standards that implement the law.
Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) is any equipment or system that is used to create, convert, duplicate or access information and data. Examples of EIT include, but are not limited to:
- Telephones, smart phones, and mobile devices
- Televisions, DVD players, and videotaped productions
- Internet and Intranet websites
- PDF documents
- Content on DVDs and CDs
- On-line training
- Webinars and teleconferencing
- Technical support call centers
- Remote access websites and tools
- Tablet, laptop, and desktop computers
- Software and operating systems
- User guides for software and tools
- Copiers, printers, and fax machines
- Lab equipment
EPA has established formal policies, procedures, and guidance to ensure compliance with Section 508 accessibility requirements. Below are links to EPA's Section 508 policy and procedures documents
- Policy - CIO Policy 2130.0 Accessible Electronic and Information Technology (PDF) (6 pp, 126KB)
- Procedures - Accessible Electronic and Information Technology Standards, Procedures, and Guidance (PDF) (6 pp, 50KB)
Section 508 and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are often confused with each other. Section 508 requires that the federal government procure, create, use, and maintain EIT that is accessible to people with disabilities, regardless of whether or not they work for the federal government. Section 501 covers reasonable accommodations for an individual with a disability who is either an applicant for a federal government job or already works for the federal government. Section 501 covers more than just EIT for people with disabilities. For more information about reasonable accommodations at EPA, please visit the Office of Civil Rights Reasonable Accommodation website.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is one of several disability laws. For more information about Disability Rights Laws, check out the Department of Justice's "A Guide to Disability Rights Laws."