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New Tutorials on Section 508 Standards to be Made Available

These standards cover means of disseminating information, including computers, software, and websites.

From the Access Board, Washington DC

Since issuing its standards for electronic and information technology, the Board has maintained a program of continuing on-line guidance and training on the requirements of the standards. These standards, issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, cover various means of disseminating information, including computers, software, websites, and electronic office equipment. Federal agencies must ensure that the technologies they procure are accessible according to the standards.

The Board has sponsored the development of a series of interactive web-based tutorials on different sections of the standards. The tutorials supplement previously released material and provide advanced guidance on how products can conform to the standards. In a couple weeks, three new courses will be made available that cover requirements for software applications and operating systems; desktop and portable computers; and self contained, closed products, such as information kiosks, calculators, and fax machines.

The courses will be part of the on-line "508 Universe" program which was developed by the Federal Information Technology Accessibility Initiative, an interagency partnership on the implementation of section 508. The program, which is available on the Initiative's website at www.section508.gov, also provides a user-friendly introduction to the law, information on buying compliant products, and previously released courses on designing accessible websites and accessible video and multimedia.

Additional information on developing accessible software has also been posted on the Board's section 508 homepage at http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm. The Board is also developing guidance materials on section 508 requirements for telecommunications products that will also serve as the basis for an upcoming tutorial.

May 2003

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