What is the Access Board and How Does it Affect Americans with Disabilities?

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The United States Access Board develops and maintains accessibility guidelines and standards under several different laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This includes design requirements for facilities in the private and public sectors, transportation vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and Federal electronic and information technology.

Image showing the United States Access Board logo and the words 508 Refresh on a tiled multi-colored background

What is the Access Board doing right now?

The Board is proposing to revise and update its standards for electronic and information technology, known as the 508 or ICT Refresh.  Specifically, addressing how the technology is developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and its guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934.  The Refresh is occurring because technology is advancing and more information and communication is occurring through the advanced technology.  The Access Board must make changes to include language that follows the respective current statutes to ensure information and communication is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

How can I learn more?

The proposed rule can be viewed here and a section-by-section review can be found here.  The five major issues addressed in the proposed rule are:

  1. scope of covered electronic content
  2. incorporation by reference of WCAG 2.0
  3. relationship between functional performance criteria and technical requirements
  4. coverage of real-time text
  5. interoperability requirements for assistive technology

What industries are affected?

State and Federal Accessibility Regulations affect all industries.  Particular attention is being focused on private industry contractors who work with federal government agencies, and the healthcare industry.  Companies in these market segments must be careful to meet accessibility and Section 508 compliance standards for their products and offerings, including documents, reports, websites, software and more.

Collage image showing icons related to the service, university, healthcare and restaurant industries.

How can I get involved and provide input?

There are five ways to be involved.  First, read the proposed rule.  There are live Public Hearings where you can comment through:

  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal (follow the instructions for submitting comments)
  2. email: docket@access-board.gov
  3. fax: 202-272-0081
  4. hand deliver
  5. mail

Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier:

Office of Technical and Information Services, Access Board, 1
331 F Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111

You can also view all the exact comments from testimonies at hearings and submitted comments at Regulations.gov.

Braille Works attended the hearings in California at this years CSUN conference.  We are confident that we can meet your WCAG 2.0 AA / 508 Compliance needs today and in the future.  We’ve been in business for over 20 years, all work is performed in our secure facility, under the strictest of guidelines.

Data Security

  • PCI 2 Compliant
  • ISO 27002 Compliant
  • Data Encryption
  • 24/7 Secure Electronic File Transfer

Disaster Recovery

  • Agility Recovery Subscriber
  • Iron Mountain Off-site Data Backup
  • Continuity of Operations Plan

Accessibility Standards

  • WCAG 2.0 AA Compliant
  • Section 508 Compliant
  • ADA Compliant
  • BANA Standards

Join the Accessibility Movement Today


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This post was written by Christine Sket

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