[Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?

Rajiv Shah rmshah at starpower.net
Tue Mar 21 16:04:04 PDT 2017

Hi,I would like to caution this with one bit of info:Some private-sector entities, such as Microsoft, have voluntary adopted guidelines for trusted testers, that DHS created. While Section 508 does not apply to them, they feel that the incentive is strong enough in terms of federal business.Regards,Rajiv

----- Original Message -----
From: Chagnon | PubCom <chagnon at pubcom.com>
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:56:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?
Ah, the catch 22 of government legalize.(You gotta love us here in Washington!) Yes, the law applies only to federal government information, not private sector. But be careful of the definition of “private sector.” Private schools are in that category along with corporations and other business entities, but usually state schools are not. They’re in a gray area right now unless their state has adopted the federal accessibility guidelines and trickled them down through the state hierarchy. Others have covered this concept in previous posts. But even the fully private “private sector” will eventually be covered by Sec. 508, probably within the next 5 years. DOJ is already floating its ANPRN “announcements of proposed rulemaking” for information on corporate websites. Accessible ICT will follow the same pattern that ABA (architectural barrier access) took; government buildings were the first to have wheelchair ramps, handicapped bathrooms, etc., but now the ABA applies to your local Wal-Mart and your college/university. As wonderful as the Access Board is, they are only the government office that writes the regulations. It’s DOJ that enforces the regs and thereby decides who is covered by them and to what extent the law applies. Our judicial system always fine-tunes our laws over time. The Access Board can’t say much about where to draw the line: that’s DOJ’s job. Just trying to advise list members from my firm’s experience on the front line … The catch 22 (or loophole) is at #5 in the Access Board’s list at https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/25-508-standards/720-questions-answers-about-section-508-of-the-rehabilitation-act-amendments-of-1998#5 “Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology…” That’s the catch. As soon as your university/college gives the federal agency the research done under the federal grant, voila, it must now be accessible. That’s because the agency is “using” your research information. And it is, in a way, “procuring” the information from you via the grant. Right now, some agencies are more strict about this than others and write accessibility requirements into the grant paperwork. Sometimes the agency springs it on the researcher at the last minute. My firm gets about 2-3 requests a month from entities that have received federal grants; they include researchers at universities, nonprofits providing social services, think tanks, and some corporate “advisors.” Submitted 2 proposals earlier today. Each the same: the federal agency that gave the grant money required accessibility of the electronic deliverables (or the ICT). Signing off from this thread…you can tell that we’ve got a lot of work to do! --Bevi Chagnon — — —Bevi Chagnon | www.PubCom.com Technologists, Consultants, Trainers, Designers, and Developersfor publishing & communication| Acrobat PDF | Print | EPUBS | Sec. 508 Accessibility |— — — From: Gaeir Dietrich [mailto:gdietrich at htctu.net]
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:49 PM
To: chagnon at pubcom.com; 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: RE: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect? Unless something has changed, Section 508 does not follow the money as Section 504 does. We were told that very specifically when the Section 508 Standards first came out, and if you check the Access Board website, they also say that very clearly:https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/25-508-standards/720-questions-answers-about-section-508-of-the-rehabilitation-act-amendments-of-1998#3) 3) To whom does Section 508 apply?Section 508 applies to Federal departments and agencies.4) Does Section 508 apply to the private sector?No, it does not regulate the private sector and does not apply to recipients of Federal funds. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
HTCTU Director
408-996-6047^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Chagnon | PubCom
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 2:21 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect? Remember, Sec. 508 covers all ICT created with a federal tax dollar. That includes ICT created by:Federal government agencies themselves.Their contractors, whether hired full-time or on a contract basis.Recipients of federal research grants (which includes most universities and colleges).Recipients of federal service grants (which includes a lot of community nonprofits and colleges)Institutions that receive any federal money (which includes most universities and colleges) Jennifer S wrote:“Does anybody have a list of the lawsuits that have happened under the old 508? I'd be interested to see it.” Being in Washington DC, we do a lot of work in the federal government sector and there have been hundreds of complaints and a few dozen lawsuits brought against agencies. In the federal area, generally a formal complaint is filed first, and the lawsuit follows if the deficiencies aren’t corrected. So the public isn’t likely to hear about the complaints: they don’t make it into the news. My firm has helped several government agencies and contractors retool their workflow and ICT products to rectify the problems with their ICT. Public lawsuits where the DOJ is involved generally are citing a government agency, municipality, nonprofit, college/university, or corporation. Here’s a reputable list of lawsuits:http://www.karlgroves.com/2011/11/15/list-of-web-accessibility-related-litigation-and-settlements/ Just scan down the third column in the table to see the defendants. This list, however, covers only websites. With the new Sec. 508 refresh and its clarifying language that now specifies documents in addition to websites, we can expect a lot more legal action in the future. Jennifer S. wrote:“I'm not saying 508 isn't important; I'm just not so sure it's going to result in a deluge of lawsuits beginning in 2018.” I’ve already heard from close sources about work being done to bring some major precedent-setting lawsuits after January 2018. And then there are the tort trolls in the legal profession. I guess you could just wait and see what happens to your university/college! But really, I’d like everyone to have full access to everything they need, and having been in academia for several decades, I hate to see colleges/universities spend so much money on fighting lawsuits and fixing ICT problems after the fact. It’s really expensive! Isn’t it more cost-effective to prevent the lawsuits? It’s so much cheaper to get everyone trained in how to make accessible ICT than it is to fix the problems down the road after paying off the lawyers. --Bevi Chagnon — — —Bevi Chagnon | www.PubCom.com Technologists, Consultants, Trainers, Designers, and Developersfor publishing & communication| Acrobat PDF | Print | EPUBS | Sec. 508 Accessibility |— — — From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of steve.noble at louisville.edu
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 3:18 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect? I would suspect the link to 508-related lawsuits in a post-secondary setting would be either through:(1) Suits brought under state law (only a few states, like Kentucky, have these) which mandate compliance with Section 508 and give individuals the right to sue state-supported institutions for injunctive relief; or(2) Breach-of-contract suits brought by institutions against vendors who certified their products as compliant with Section 508, when the product was later found to be non-compliant. A suit brought against a university by an individual with a disability concerning inaccessible technology would normally be constructed around the ADA and Section 504, although it would be expected that part of the evidence provided would be lack of compliance with "generally accepted" accessibility standards, such as WCAG and Section 508. --Steve Noble
steve.noble at louisville.edu
http://louisville.academia.edu/SteveNoble From: athen-list [athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] on behalf of Jennifer Sutton [jsuttondc at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 1:51 PM
To:chagnon at pubcom.com; Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?Perhaps some of you who know 508 (both new and old) better than I do can clarify this for me. But I'm a little concerned at the mention of "lawsuits" below, especially since there's already plenty of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the higher ed. space, due to lawsuits . . . Are there really likely to be 508-related lawsuits? As I understood things, it would take a *long* time for anything 508-related to turn into a lawsuit. Mostly, they're complaints that people with disabilities must file, and then, the Federal agency (or other institution, if it falls under 508) must take action, etc. In other words, I don't think 508 functions like filing something against a company or institution that turns into a DoJ agreement (if the organization doesn't take satisfactory action, of course). I hope this is clear, and that someone else can clarify further. I'm not saying 508 isn't important; I'm just not so sure it's going to result in a deluge of lawsuits beginning in 2018. Does anybody have a list of the lawsuits that have happened under the old 508? I'd be interested to see it. Best,Jennifer On 3/21/2017 9:31 AM, Chagnon | PubCom wrote: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 Quoted from the Federal Register:“DATES: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 --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 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lori Kressin
Coordinator of Academic AccessibilityOffice of the Executive VP and Provost • Univ. of Virginia102 Cresap Rd • POB 400199 • Charlottesville, VA • 22903[434] 982-5784
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