The Accessibility of Federal Information and Data: A Brief Overview of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (Updated Congressional Research “In Focus”)
From the Congressional Research Service:
Nearly one in four Americans has a disability, according to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Congress has recognized that in addition to making federal information and data available to the public, it must also be made accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112), as amended (29 U.S.C. §794d), provides that federal information and data are to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Accessibility in this context means ensuring that members of the public and federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to what is provided to people without disabilities.
Using accessible EIT may advance inclusion, equity, and innovation among and for people with disabilities. Research also suggests that providing accessible EIT improves the experiences of users both with and without disabilities. This In Focus provides an overview of Section 508, as well as the standards for information technology and data accessibility that are set by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also referred to as the Access Board in 29 U.S.C. §792(a)(1)).
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.