Section 508 Compliance and Assistive Technology: Providing Accessibility to ICT for Federal Employees under the Rehabilitation Act (Sections 504 and 508)


Tuesday, May 25, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time Zone

Description

This introductory session will address how Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act work together to provide access to information and communication technology (ICT) for federal employees with disabilities. Section 504 requires federal agencies to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in their programs and benefit from their services through the provision of reasonable accommodations, including assistive technology. Section 508 requires federal agencies to ensure that persons with disabilities (both employees and members of the public) have comparable access to and use of ICT.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5

Speakers:

Brooke Aiken, FDIC Section 508 Program Manager , Division of Information Technology, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Alexander Koudry, Program Manager, Center for Information Technology Access (CITA); GSA

Paul Lloyd, Education Program Manager , USDA TARGET Center, Department of Agriculture

Questions for presenters:

1 Are the revised 508 Standards legally binding on all federal agencies? What about state government? Do the revised 508 Standards apply only to software/ICT developed by federal gov't, or also to all software/ICT utilized by the federal gov't? When a federal employee needs adaptive technology to be able to access/use software/ICT maintained by the agency, what is the obligation of the agency to find and implement that Adaptive technology? What if there isn't a good adaptive tech option on the market? What if the federal agency's software/ICT is incompatible with market options for adaptive technology?
3 What are the requirements for providing access to electronic documents beyond viewing online? Often you may want to print a larger font copy, but it is only posted in PDF and you cannot alter the font make it useable when you print it out.
4 When AT doesn't work well with ICT, is it a 508 conformance issue? Ex: a screen reader doesn't read a web page correctly.
5 How do we check to ensure software companies are providing Section 504/508 compliant Information Technology (IT) platforms?
6 Please describe some best practices in federal service for agencies that are consistently ensuring that online events and meetings are accessible. Do speak more specifically about how Agency Reasonable Accommodation Coordinators and Section 508 Coordinators are collaborating to ensure interpreting, captioning, and access for employees with visual impairments are being met. Please address the intersection of Section 508 requirements and Section 501 reasonable accommodation requirements. Why have federal agencies purchased and implemented the wide spread use of online meeting platforms in federal service BEFORE accessible features are in place as required by Section 508? Why are the business versions of these applications (e.g. Zoom and MS Teams) more accessible than the Fed Ramp versions? Can you provide any updates on the move towards more accessible versions in federal service?
7 What entity is monitoring federal-wide success in implementing Section 508? -Especially for Federal wide usage of common software? Is anyone addressing the inaccessible "off the shelf" software that is most commonly used for online learning and development? For example, Skill Soft is a primary vendor for this training, used by most federal agencies, and seems to be inaccessible/non-compliant with Section 508 requirements. As we strive to achieve the Section 501 Final Rule requirements in advancing our employees with disabilities, how can we accomplish these goals without accessible online training?

Session Questions

This session is accepting questions from registered users. After you have registered to participate in this session you can submit your questions on your Account Manager page. Please note: the number of questions will be limited and submissions will be closed well before the session starts to provide time to prepare answers.