Access to Electronic and Information Technology Systems
A. Establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for implementing Section 508 Rehabilitation Act.
B. Highlights and enforces the March 31, 2005, Section 508 Micro-Purchase Exception Sunset Provision (FAR Case 2002-012) expiration that excluded Federal IT procurements with a dollar value less than $2,500 from fulfilling compliance requirements.
C. Congress amended the 1973 Rehabilitation Act requiring all Federal agencies to ensure electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities. The primary goals of the Section 508 amendment is to eliminate or greatly reduce accessibility barriers in information technology, increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage technological development that helps achieve these goals. Section 508 applies to all Federal Agencies developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology. Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d) ensures disabled employees and members of the public receive access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
Section 508, Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act 1998
Section 508, Micro-Purchase Exception Sunset Provision (FAR 2002-012)
AGAR Advisory 49, Implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
CFR Part 1194 Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Proposed Standards
U.S.C 29 794d (a) (1) (B) Electronic and Information Technology
VI. ABBREVIATIONS AND FORMS
The following appear in their shortened form in this directive:
- ATM Automated Teller Machine
- CD Compact Disk
- CFR Code of Federal Regulations
- DVD Digital Versatile Disk
- EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- E&IT Electronic and Information Technology
- FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
- IAS Integrated Acquisition System
- IRM Information Resources Management
- IT Information Technology
- OCIO Office of the Chief Information Officer
- PDA Personal Digital Assistant
- TTY Text Telephone TV Television
- U.S.C. United States Code
- VCR Video Cassette Recorder
- VPAT Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
A. BlackBerry Device. A wireless palm sized computing device that provides users with wireless connection to e-mail, Internet, and voice communications.
B. Cell Phones. A wireless handheld device, computer-controlled communication system that connects the telephone system to a network of mobile radiotelephones.
C. Compact Disc Player. A stand-alone or component device that has the capability to transform CD Disk information into audio content output.
D. Computer Equipment.
1. Any equipment interconnected system or equipment subsystem that uses automatic:
i. Data interchange, information transmission, or reception.
2. This includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware, and similar procedures, services, including support services and related resources.
E. Conference Services. Facilitates resources for persons with disabilities to participate in organized gatherings through the use of assistive services or technologies (example: sign language, captions, or TTY devices).
F. Desktop Copiers. A copier designed to fit comfortably on top of a desk.
G. Digital Cameras. A camera that encodes an image digitally and stores it for later reproduction.
H. Digital Versatile Disk Player. A stand-alone or component device that has the capability to transform DVD, or CD Disk information into visual or audio content output.
I. Disability. The EEOC statutory definition of disability is a person who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- Has a record of such impairment.
- Is regarded as having such impairment
J. Employee. An individual currently working for FSIS, whether full-time, part-time, intermittent, consultant or on a contract basis.
K. Electronic and Information Technology. Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem to create, convert, or duplicate data or information. The term E&IT includes telecommunications products (examples: telephones, information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and copiers and facsimile machines). The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.
L. Hardware. Computers and associated physical equipment directly involved in data processing performance or communication functions.
M. Information Technology. Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem for the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. The term IT includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.
N. Integrated Acquisition System. A modern, Internet based E-Procurement solution designed to streamline and automate contract management and acquisition processes throughout USDA, and ultimately enhance support of USDA mission-critical activities.
O. Kiosks. A booth providing a computer-related service, such as an ATM.
P. Multimedia. The use of computers to present text, graphics, video, animation, and sound in an integrated way.
Q. Personal Digital Assistants. A handheld device that combines computing, telephone, facsimile, internet and networking features. A typical PDA functions as a cellular phone, facsimile, web browser and personal organizer.
R. Printers. A device that prints text or illustrations on paper.
S. Requiring Official. An FSIS employee who:
- Generates requests for or specifies acquired, developed, or maintained E&IT products or services.
- Ensures that E&IT products and services meet the Section 508 E&IT accessibility standards, unless an exception applies.
T. Scanner. A device that reads text or illustrations printed on paper and translates the information into a form the computer uses.
U. Software. The programs, routines, and symbolic languages that control hardware functioning and direct a computer’s operation.
V. Telecommunications Equipment. The transmission, emission, or reception of signals, writing, images, sounds, or intelligence of any nature, by wire, cable, satellite, fiber optics, laser, radio, or and other electronic, electric, electromagnetic, or acoustically coupled means. The term includes the telecommunications facilities and equipment necessary to provide telecommunications services. Telecommunications is a component of the IRM delivery system.
W. Undue Burden. A significant difficulty or expense. Consider all resources available to the program or component for the product.
X. Video Cassette Recorder. Records, manipulates, and displays moving images, especially in a format that can be presented on a television. Also refers to displaying images and text on a computer monitor. The video adapter, for example, is responsible for sending signals to the display device.
Y. Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. An optional document that supplies responses to Section 508 accessibility compliance requirements. VPAT’s are usually created and supplied by the manufacturer.
Z. World Wide Web or Internet. A network that offers access to information resources throughout the world using a standardized interface for organizing and searching.
A. Requiring Officials.
1. E&IT requests must include a supplemental supporting Section 508 compliance documentation. E&IT includes, but is not limited to:
a. Telecommunications equipment (including facsimile machines).
b. Information Kiosks and transaction machines.
c. Internet or Intranet World Wide Web Sites.
d. Multimedia (including videotapes, CD’s or DVD’s).
f. Desktop copiers.
g. PDA’s or mobile PC’s.
h. Cell phones and portable electronic devices.
i. Software, hardware, and software maintenance.
j. VCRs, TVs, DVD Players, and CD Players.
k. Digital cameras.
n. Computer Equipment.
o. Conference Services.
p. E & IT Contractor Deliverables.
2. Section 508 does not apply for equipment containing embedded IT used as an integral part of the product. (See E&IT definition.) EXAMPLE: laboratory equipment or microwave ovens.
3. Before purchasing any E&IT equipment or service, requiring official ensures that the E&IT equipment or services they procure, develop, or maintain is accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities, and the E&IT technology complies with the standards of Section 508.
4. Requiring Official conducts market research to identify or locate products or services meeting Section 508 standards. The market research stage is the part of the procurement process whereby the Agency determines whether commercial E&IT availability meets specific program needs or requesting official needs; and if providing conforming E&IT would be an undue burden.
5. If the acquisition is for E&IT, the requiring official completes FSIS Form 1300-1. (See Attachment 1).
B. FSIS OCIO Section 508 Coordinator.
- Coordinates Section 508 Agency compliance efforts.
- Provides Section 508 compliance reports.
- Works closely with Agency legal, technical, and specialty experts to ensure Section 508 implementation.
- Reviews all applicable E&IT requisitions in the IAS for conformance standards. Requisitions must include detailed information for vendor, manufacturer, and model number. Websites for Section 508 Information:
- USDA, OCIO Section 508 Information: http://www.ocio.usda.gov/508/index.htm
- GSA Section 508 Website: http://www.section508.gov/
- GSA’s Buy Accessible Site: http://www.buyaccessible.gov/
- United States Access Board: http://www.access-board.gov
- AGAR Advisory No. 49: http://www.usda.gov/procurement/policy/advisories_x/AGARAD49.HTM
See full PDF for attachments
- FSIS Form 1300-1, Section 508 Certification for Procurement Requests