36 CFR Part 1194 - Proposed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines NPRM
APPENDIX A TO PART 1194 – SECTION 508 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT: APPLICATION AND SCOPING REQUIREMENTS
These 508 Standards, which consist of 508 Chapters 1 and 2 (Appendix A), along with Chapters 3 through 6 (Appendix C), contain scoping and technical requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) that is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Compliance with these standards is mandatory for federal agencies subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d).
The use of an alternative design or technology that results in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability by individuals with disabilities than would be provided by conformance to one or more of the requirements in Chapters 4 and 5 of the 508 Standards is permitted. The functional performance criteria in Chapter 3 shall be used to determine whether substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability is provided to individuals with disabilities.
Dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances except where dimensions are stated as a range.
Measurements are stated in metric and U.S. customary units. The values stated in each system (metric and U.S. customary units) may not be exact equivalents, and each system shall be used independently of the other.
The specific editions of the standards and guidelines listed in E102 are incorporated by reference in the 508 Standards and are part of the requirements to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where conflicts occur between the 508 Standards and the referenced standards, these standards apply. The Director of the Office of the Federal Register has approved the standards for incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR Part 51. Copies of the referenced standards may be inspected at the Access Board’s office, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004.
Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, P.O. Box 1369, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1369 (http://www.hfes.org/Publications/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=76).
ANSI/HFES 200.2 Human Factors Engineering of Software User Interfaces — Part 2: Accessibility, (2008), IBR proposed for Section 502.4.
E102.3 American National Standards Institute/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ANSI/IEEE).
Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 10662 Los Vaqueros Circle, P.O. Box 3014, Los Alamitos, CA 90720-1264 (http://www.ieee.org/).
ANSI/IEEE C63.19-2011 American National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids, Committee C63 – Electromagnetic Compatibility, May 27, 2011, IBR proposed for Section 410.4.1.
Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from the Advanced Television Systems Committee, 1776 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006-2304 (http://www.atsc.org/).
A/53 Digital Television Standard, Part 5: AC-3 Audio System Characteristics, (2010), IBR proposed for Section 412.1.1.
Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from the Internet Engineering Task Force (http://www.ietf.org/).
Request for Comments (RFC) 4103, Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) Payload for Text Conversation (2005), G. Hellstrom, Omnitor AB, and P. Jones, Cisco Systems, IBR proposed for Section 410.6.3.2.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from International Organization for Standardization, ISO Central Secretariat, 1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse, CP 56 - CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland (http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=54564).
ISO 14289-1 Document management applications — Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility — Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1), Technical Committee ISO/TC 171, Document Management Applications, Subcommittee SC 2, Application Issues, (2014), IBR proposed for Sections E205.1 and 602.3.1.
Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the International Telecommunication Union, Telecommunications Standardization Sector, Place des Nations CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T).
General Aspects of Digital Transmission Systems, Terminal Components, 7 kHz Audio-Coding within 64 Kbits/s, (September 2012), IBR proposed for Section 410.5.
Arrangement of digits, letters and symbols on telephones and other devices that can be used for gaining access to a telephone network, ITU – T Study Group 2, (February 2001), IBR proposed for Section 407.3.2.
Copies of the referenced standards, published by the Telecommunications Industry Association, may be obtained from IHS, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112 (http://global.ihs.com/).
A Frequency Shift Keyed Modem for Use on the Public Switched Telephone Network, (2003), IBR proposed for Section 410.6.3.1.
Telephone Terminal Equipment Handset Magnetic Measurement Procedures and Performance Requirements, (March 2007), IBR proposed for Section 410.4.2.
Copies of the referenced guidelines may be obtained from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 32 Vassar Street, Room 32-G515, Cambridge, MA 02139 (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20).
Terms defined in referenced standards and not defined in E103.4 shall have the meaning as defined in the referenced standards.
Any term not defined in E103.4 or in referenced standards shall be given its ordinarily accepted meaning in the sense that the context implies.
Words, terms, and phrases used in the singular include the plural and those used in the plural include the singular.
For the purpose of the 508 Standards, the terms defined in E103.4 have the indicated meaning.
The standards for ICT developed, procured, maintained, or used by agencies subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as set forth in 508 Chapters 1 and 2 (36 CFR Part 1194, Appendix A ), and Chapters 3 through 6 (36 CFR Part 1194, Appendix C).
Any agency or department of the United States as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502, and the United States Postal Service.
Software designed to perform, or to help the user to perform, a specific task or tasks.
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. Audio description is a means to inform individuals who are blind or who have low vision about visual content essential for comprehension. Audio description of video provides information about actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other visual content. Audio description supplements the regular audio track of a program. Audio description is usually added during existing pauses in dialogue. Audio description is also called “video description” and “descriptive narration”.
Any software, or collection of software components, that can be used by authors, alone or collaboratively, to create or modify content for use by others, including other authors.
Characteristics that limit functionality or prevent a user from attaching or installing assistive technology. Examples of ICT with closed functionality are self-service machines, information kiosks, set-top boxes, fax machines, calculators, and computers that are locked down so that users may not adjust settings due to a policy such as Desktop Core Configuration.
Electronic information and data, as well as the encoding that defines its structure, presentation, and interactions.
A tangible device, equipment, or physical component of ICT, such as telephones, computers, multifunction copy machines, and keyboards.
Shall have the same meaning as the term “information technology” set forth in 40 U.S.C. 11101(6).
Information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content. Examples of ICT include, but are not limited to: computers and peripheral equipment; information kiosks and transaction machines; telecommunications equipment; customer premises equipment; multifunction office machines; software; applications; websites; videos; and, electronic documents.
A set of systematically arranged alphanumeric keys or a control that generates alphanumeric input by which a machine or device is operated. A keyboard includes tactilely discernible keys used in conjunction with the alphanumeric keys if their function maps to keys on the keyboard interfaces.
Text, or a component with a text alternative, that is presented to a user to identify content. A label is presented to all users, whereas a name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology. In many cases, the name and the label are the same.
A set of selectable options.
Text by which software can identify a component to the user. A name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology, whereas a label is presented to all users. In many cases, the label and the name are the same. Name is unrelated to the name attribute in HTML.
A component of ICT used to activate, deactivate, or adjust the ICT.
Services provided by a platform enabling interoperability with assistive technology. Examples are Application Programming Interfaces (API) and the Document Object Model (DOM).
Software that interacts with hardware, or provides services for other software. Platform software may run or host other software, and may isolate them from underlying software or hardware layers. A single software component may have both platform and non-platform aspects. Examples of platforms are: desktop operating systems; embedded operating systems, including mobile systems; Web browsers; plug-ins to Web browsers that render a particular media or format; and sets of components that allow other applications to execute, such as applications which support macros or scripting.
Ability to be determined by software from author-supplied data that is provided in a way that different user agents, including assistive technologies, can extract and present the information to users in different modalities.
Content made available by an agency to members of the general public. Examples include, but are not limited to, an agency website, blog post, or social media pages.
Communications using the transmission of text by which characters are transmitted by a terminal as they are typed. Real-time text is used for conversational purposes. Real-time text also may be used in voicemail, interactive voice response systems, and other similar applications.
Programs, procedures, rules and related data and documentation that direct the use and operation of ICT and instruct it to perform a given task or function.
The signal transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.
Device or software with which the end user directly interacts and that provides the user interface. For some systems, the software that provides the user interface may reside on more than one device such as a telephone and a server.
A sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined and that expresses something in human language.
Equipment that enables interactive text based communications through the transmission of frequency-shift-keying audio tones across the public switched telephone network. TTYs include devices for real-time text communications and voice and text intermixed communications. Examples of intermixed communications are voice carry over and hearing carry over. One example of a TTY is a computer with TTY emulating software and modem.
A technology that provides real-time voice communications. VoIP requires a broadband connection from the user’s location and customer premises equipment compatible with Internet protocol.
ICT that is procured, developed, maintained, or used by agencies shall conform to the 508 Standards.
ICT shall be exempt from compliance with the 508 Standards to the extent specified by E202.
The 508 standards do not apply to ICT operated by agencies as part of a national security system, as defined by 40 U.S.C. 11103(a).
ICT acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract shall not be required to conform to the 508 Standards.
Where status indicators and operable parts for ICT functions are located in spaces that are frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair, or occasional monitoring of equipment, such status indicators and operable parts shall not be required to conform to the 508 Standards.
Where an agency determines in accordance with E202.5 that conformance to requirements in the 508 Standards would impose an undue burden or would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT, conformance shall be required only to the extent that it does not impose an undue burden or result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT.
In determining whether conformance to requirements in the 508 Standards would impose an undue burden on the agency, the agency shall consider the extent to which conformance would impose significant difficulty or expense considering the agency resources available to the program or component for which the ICT is to be procured, developed, maintained, or used.
The responsible agency official shall document in writing the basis for determining that conformance to requirements in the 508 Standards constitute an undue burden on the agency, or would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT. The documentation shall include an explanation of why and to what extent compliance with applicable requirements would create an undue burden or result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT.
Where conformance to one or more requirements in the 508 Standards imposes an undue burden or a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT, the agency shall provide individuals with disabilities access to and use of information and data by an alternative means that meets identified needs.
Where ICT conforming to one or more requirements in the 508 Standards is not commercially available, the agency shall procure the product that best meets the 508 Standards consistent with the agency’s business needs.
The responsible agency official shall document in writing: (a) the nonavailability of conforming ICT, including a description of market research performed and which provisions cannot be met, and (b) the basis for determining that the ICT to be procured best meets the requirements in the 508 Standards consistent with the agency’s business needs.
Where ICT that fully conforms to the 508 Standards is not commercially available, the agency shall provide individuals with disabilities access to and use of information and data by an alternative means that meets identified needs.
Agencies shall ensure that all functionality of ICT is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, either directly or by supporting the use of assistive technology, and shall comply with E203. In providing access to all functionality of ICT, agencies shall ensure the following:
a. That federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and
b. That members of the public with disabilities who are seeking information or data from a federal agency have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.
When agencies procure, develop, maintain or use ICT they shall identify the business needs of users with disabilities affecting vision, hearing, color perception, speech, dexterity, strength, or reach to determine:
a. How users with disabilities will perform the functions supported by the ICT; and
b. How the ICT will be installed, configured, and maintained to support users with disabilities.
Content that is public facing shall conform to the accessibility requirements specified in E205.4.
Content that is not public facing shall conform to the accessibility requirements specified in E205.4 when such content constitutes official business, and is communicated by an agency through one or more of the following:
1. An emergency notification;
2. An initial or final decision adjudicating an administrative claim or proceeding;
3. An internal or external program or policy announcement;
4. A notice of benefits, program eligibility, employment opportunity, or personnel action;
5. A formal acknowledgement or receipt;
6. A questionnaire or survey;
7. A template or form; or
8. Educational or training materials.
EXCEPTION: Records maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to federal recordkeeping statutes shall not be required to conform to the 508 Standards unless public facing.
Content shall conform to Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements specified for Web pages in WCAG 2.0 (incorporated by reference in Chapter 1) or, where applicable, ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA-1) (incorporated by reference in Chapter 1).
Where components of ICT are hardware and transmit information or have a user interface, such components shall conform to applicable requirements in Chapter 4.
User interface components, as well as the content of platforms and applications, shall conform to Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements specified for Web pages in WCAG 2.0 (incorporated by reference in Chapter 1).
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- Continuing education (1)
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- Spirit of the ADA (2)
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- Publication (2)
- Federal Department or Agency (5)
- State Department or Agency (1)
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