Section 508 requires agencies to select the product that best meets the Section 508 standards, but the FAR does not buttress the concept. A strategic plan that pledges to include “best meets” in the FAR would be welcomed. Recently case law stated that the FAR supersedes the “best meets” concept in Section 508 (an over simplification of a complicated decision but at its heart true).
HHS mandates tough compliance requirements in every contract that will result in products that will end up on the web (and we assume that all written documents will be posted). We augment these by posting both our standards and the applications/tools we use to test against those standards. This leaves contractors no wiggle room; deliverables must be fully compliant.
Affected individuals have difficulty lodging complaints against Section 508 because the enforcement model is based on procurement remedies. The result is that most unresolved E&IT complaints devolve into Section 501/503 (anti-discrimination), or more predominantly, Section 504 (reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals) issues. The Strategic plan should emphasize the importance of Section 508 compliance in aiding... more »
Infrastructure Infrastructure exemplary practice: 1. Establish infrastructure that supports accessible ICT policies and practices: Four key areas-outsourcing, procurement, training and deployment Outsourcing: Provide outsourcing guidelines to suppliers and business partners, including copies of ICT accessibility guidelines; Ensure that contracts stipulate suppliers will, where relevant, apply ICT accessibility standards... more »
Some commenters mentioned that software purveyors say "we will fix the 508 issues in the next release." If the whole Federal government stood firm and refused to purchase products until they were 508 compliant, the whole industry would rise to the challenge and build that requirement into the system. OMB and GSA must levy fines on agencies that buy systems that are not compliant.