The GSA’s Section 508 program recently created a guidance document called “Guidance on Creating 508 Compliant IT Solicitations.” Accessible information technology (IT) is technology that can be used by people with disabilities. And it is not just the right thing to do, it’s the law. Federal agencies are required to provide “comparable access” to data and information technology for people with disabilities to those without disabilities. This is Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and it is implemented through the procurement process which means that all IT procured (and used, developed and maintained) by the Federal government must be accessible.
A well written solicitation goes a long way toward ensuring agency compliance and accessible IT. In your solicitation you should:
- State that your IT must be accessible;
- Indicate which provisions of the Section 508 standard apply to your purchase;
- Request accessibility information from vendors that respond to your solicitation;
- Evaluate received proposals based on responses to your accessibility requirements; and,
- Let vendors know you plan to inspect deliverables based on meeting accessibility requirements.
More information on how to do this is available in the guidance document attachment (Guidance on Creating 508 Compliant IT Solicitations).
This post is from the Accessibility Forum 2.0 blog.