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Federal contractor compliance with the Section 508 final rule

Aida M. Lebbos (alebbos@hjf.org) is Senior Assistant General Counsel and Alexandra Dickman (adickman@hjf.org) is a Web Engineer for The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

A provision of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, known as Section 508, requires the federal government to make all electronic information and technology (EIT) such as online materials and websites accessible to persons with disabilities. The requirement extends to EIT that has been developed by outside vendors, referred to as contractors, that must comply with Section 508 when providing EIT to the government. Thus, contractors must be knowledgeable with the accessibility features required for compliance with Section 508 and its related regulations when supplying EIT for the government. This article explains Section 508 and its related regulations, how these affect contractors, and how contractors can comply.

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