[Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?

Chagnon | PubCom chagnon at pubcom.com
Tue Mar 21 09:31:34 PDT 2017

Yes, Sec. 508 goes into effect today, March 21.

It becomes enforceable on January 18, 2018.

Translation: All ICT (information communication technology) published from January 18 and forward must be compliant. The lawsuits will begin on January 18, 2018. You have 9 months to get your act together.

See: <https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/02/2017-04059/information-and-communication-technology-ict-standards-and-guidelines> https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/02/2017-04059/information-and-communication-technology-ict-standards-and-guidelines

Quoted from the Federal Register:


The effective date of the final rule published on January 18, 2017 at 82 FR 5790 is delayed to March 21, 2017. However, compliance with the section 508-based standards is not required until January 18, 2018, which is one year after the final rule's original publication date. Compliance with the section 255-based guidelines is not required until the guidelines are adopted by the Federal Communications Commission. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the final rule published on January 18, 2017 at 82 FR 5790 is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 21, 2017.”

If you are a US-based institution, then yes, Sec. 508 is the law you must follow.

However, understand the difference between laws and standards.

This law does not define the standards for accessibility for some ICT but does for others:

* For websites, digital media, and documents like Word and PDFs, the law “includes by reference” the international accessibility standards WCAG 2.0 and PDF/UA-1.
* For Sec. 255 technologies, especially telecom, cell phones, kiosks, and software, it defines the standards but they are currently delayed.

We recommend that our clients follow WCAG 2.0 for all website information.

Document-based ICT, including PDFs that are posted on websites, is more accessible if you follow PDF/UA (PDF Universal Accessibility) guidelines as the WCAG guidelines really don’t work for PDFs. PDF and HTML technologies are not the same. A recent blog explains the differences between these two technologies and standards: <http://www.pubcom.com/blog/2017-01-03/wcag-pdf-standards.html> http://www.pubcom.com/blog/2017-01-03/wcag-pdf-standards.html

--Bevi Chagnon

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kressin, Lori L. (llk2t)
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:52 AM
To: ATHEN <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?

Good morning all,

Here we are on March 21, 2017. Does that mean that the refresh of Section 508 is now in effect?

I have not heard anything to contrary, but I certainly could have missed something.

What is the general thought - is this the standard that you and your institution will now follow?

Thanks for your input,


Lori Kressin
Coordinator of Academic Accessibility

Office of the Executive VP and Provost • Univ. of Virginia

102 Cresap Rd • POB 400199 • Charlottesville, VA • 22903

[434] 982-5784

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170321/63f656c8/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list