10.3 Section 508

10.3.3 Section 508 standards

Section 508 standards are technical specifications and performance-based requirements which focus on the functional capabilities covered by technologies. These standards are organized into six sections:

  • Software applications and operating systems
  • Web-based intranet and internet information and applications
  • Telecommunications goods and services
  • Video and multimedia goods and services
  • Self-contained, closed goods and services
  • Desktop and portable computers

Section 508 affects what the Commonwealth acquires (i.e. the requirements development process) but not how the information technology is acquired (source selection). Section 508 applies to both goods and services. Section 508 does not require suppliers to manufacture EIT products that meet the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board ("the Access Board"), standards. However, by requiring the federal government to purchase EIT products that meet the Access Board's standards, Section 508 provides an incentive for EIT manufacturers and designers to ensure that their products are usable by people with disabilities.