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OMB releases Section 508 strategy

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A new federal strategy for increasing the accessibility of information technology for the disabled within federal agencies and on public-facing websites calls for greater levels of assessment and reporting.

The strategy (.pdf), issued by the Office of Management and Budget Jan. 24, says existing implementation of accessibility measures--known as Section 508 compliance--vary widely across agencies, with many struggling to understand and apply standards.

Among the deliverables called for by OMB are for all agency chief information officers to appoint by March 25 a Section 508 coordinator and for CIOs and chief acquisition officers to by May 24 develop a plan and a schedule for completing a baseline assessment of Section 508 compliance on their websites and in IT procurement. The results of those assessments are due in December.

The strategy also calls on the General Services Administration to develop by July 23 a plan for how to utilize an existing website, section508.gov, as "the one-stop information resource for agencies" with respect to management and implementation of IT accessibility.

Section 508 Action Plan deliverables

Activity

Owner

Timeframe

Action plan for transforming www.section508.gov into a one-stop source of information and communication.

GSA

July 23, 2013

Include an accessibility statement on agency inter- and intranet sites.

 

Federal agencies

July 23, 2013

Appoint a Section 508 coordinator and share information with GSA.

Federal CIOs

March 25, 2013

Develop a standard template for agencies to use in reporting baseline measures and progress against those measures.

Federal CIO Council Accessibility Committee

March 1, 2013

Develop a plan and schedule for completing a baseline assessment for Section 508 with respect to websites and procurement.

Federal CIOs and chief acquisition officers

May 24, 2013

Complete baseline assessment and report outcomes in the standard template to the Agency CIO and Federal CIO Accessibility Committee.

Federal CIOs and CAOs

December 2013

Provide updates on progress related to the baseline measures in status meetings with the Office of Management and Budget.

Federal CIOs and CAOs

Third quarter of fiscal 2014

Refresh reference manual for Section 508 coordinators.

General Services Administration

June 2013

Refresh Section 508 learning modules for the acquisition workforce.

GSA

October 2013

Identify appropriate mechanisms for sharing updates on Section 508 standards.

GSA

When standards are updated

Identify recommendations for making Buy Accessible Wizard easier to use

GSA

June 2013

Identify recommendations for increasing awareness of Buy Accessible Wizard tool among applicable Federal workforce.

GSA

June 2013

For more:
download the Jan. 24 Section 508 strategy (.pdf)

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