Huge news! The very long awaited “Section 508 Refresh” was officially published in the U.S. Federal Register January 18, 2017. The new rules, officially known as the “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Final Standards and Guidelines”, are also documented on the U.S. Access Board’s website.
As before, the rules pertain to “electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.”
As anticipated, the web-based portion of the refresh adopts WCAG 2.0 AA.
The rules go into effect in 60 days from publication, which is March 20. Compliance is not required for one year—January 18, 2018.
It’s important to note that legacy content is excused. Through a “Safe Harbor” provision, content published before March 20 is not required to comply with the new rules but still must comply with the previous Section 508 requirements.
The refresh also includes “telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934.”
- What’s New in Section 508 by @sarahebourne
- Section 508 Refresh (Part 1) by The Paciello Group
- Section 508 Refresh Update: ICT Final Rule Published by @DequeSystems
- Key Features of the Section 508 Refresh by SSB Bart Group
- Section 508 Final Rule 2017 Refresh by @rakesh_a11y
- New IT accessibility rules catch up to 17 years of changes by Federal News Radio
Bad news from the Trump administration. A related update regarding ADA is put on hold. The following quote is from DOJ Disables Titles II and III Website Regulations by National Law Review. Fortunately, case law in the U.S. for web accessibility continues to be strong.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has placed its once-planned website accessibility regulations under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on an inactive list, putting to rest speculation about what the Trump administration may do with respect to the long-promised regulations.