[Athen] Section 508 Refresh - Now In Effect?

Bourne, Sarah (MASSIT) sarah.bourne at mass.gov
Wed Mar 22 05:56:24 PDT 2017

In today's edition of "I am not a lawyer but I work a lot of them" the actual answer to "Does 508 apply to me?" is "It depends."

For instance, the Assistive Technology Act specifies that funding recipients must comply with Section 508. The University System of Georgia believes that this could mean all IT under their Board of Regents has to comply with Section 508 regulations [1]. Oklahoma believes is may apply to all State programs. [2] Other federal funding and grant programs carry similar stipulations. So to answer the question, you would need to know about all federal monies received and their requirements, and a lawyer or two to sort it all out.

Rather than trying to figure out just which laws apply to the hundreds of programs in state government and having different standards for based on that, our approach to meet both state and federal legal obligations is to harmonize with the federal standards. Also, using the same standards make it easier for vendors and developers understand and comply with the requirements.

[1] http://www.usg.edu/siteinfo/higher_education_the_americans_with_disabilities_act_and_section_508
[2] PDF: https://www.ok.gov/abletech/documents/Section%20508%20of%20the%20Rehab%20Act.pdf
Sarah E. Bourne
Director of IT Accessibility, MassIT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 811 Boston MA 02108
sarah.bourne at mass.gov

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