10.3 Section 508

10.3.5 IT Procurements not applicable to Section 508

Section 508 does not apply to all IT goods and services which may be procured for the Commonwealth or public bodies. These exemptions may apply:

  • Built-in assistive technology is not required where it is not needed. Section 508 does not require that every EIT product to be fully accessible for persons with disabilities. Products such as desktop computers do not have to have refreshable Braille displays, but must be compatible with refreshable Braille displays so that a blind individual can use the agency's standard workstation if needed as a reasonable accommodation.
  • Undue burden. Agencies do not have to procure EIT products that satisfy the Section 508 standards if doing so would create an undue burden on the agency. "Undue burden" generally means "significant difficulty or expense." If an agency invokes the undue burden exception, Section 508 requires that information and data be provided to individuals with disabilities by an alternative means of access. Agencies should not alter their technical requirements to comply with Section 508 if the alteration would result in the agency procuring IT that did not meet its needs.
  • Non-availability. This refers to circumstances where no Section 508 commercial items are available to meet the agency's IT procurement needs.