ACB Commends Access Board on 508 Refresh

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 12, 2017) — The American Council of the Blind commends the U.S. Access Board for releasing revised guidelines encompassing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The guidelines, released Jan. 9, require the federal government to further assure electronic communications are accessible for both internal and external purposes for individuals with disabilities, and allow for government to lead by example toward breaking down electronic access barriers.
 
“It’s been almost two decades since the Access Board refreshed its guidelines on electronic communications, and the need for further revisions has been years in the making,” said ACB executive director Eric Bridges. “The role the Internet and mobile communications play in our lives today wasn’t even conceivable the last time we had a major refresh of the 508 regulations, and we’re glad that government will now be able to lead by example on making electronic communications accessible for all.”
 
The Access Board held a webinar on Feb. 2nd to go over the details of the new regulatory changes, which include everything from computer and telecommunications hardware to web and multimedia content, Internet and mobile applications. 
 
The Access Board also will more clearly define the scope of Section 508 regulations in light of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, covered under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and create greater harmony with standards set by the European Commission and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
 
For more information on the regulatory refresh and Section 508, visit https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-section-508-standards/section-508-standards