GSA sets early accessibility deadline

The General Services Administration has asked all federal agencies to make

their most popular World Wide Web pages accessible to the disabled by July

26.

GSA's informal deadline is part of the so-called Section 508 of the Rehabilitation

Act of 1998, which requires agencies to make all electronic equipment and

information systems, including Web sites, accessible to the disabled.

GSA has asked agencies to make accessible their principal Web pages, typically

the home page, as well as the site's top 20 Web pages, as measured by traffic

volume.

Keith Thurston, assistant to the deputy associate administrator at GSA's

Office of Governmentwide Policy, said he did not know how many agencies

have complied with the request.

Agencies have until Aug. 7 to make electronic equipment and systems accessible.

But Thurston, speaking to a group of about 100 information technology managers

at the annual GSA Trail Boss Roundup in Williamsburg, Va., said GSA most

likely will not meet the deadline. "We are making all efforts to make the

deadline," he said.

After Aug. 7, the public and federal employees can sue agencies that have

not complied with the law. The law is designed to help visually or hearing

impaired users and users who have limited mobility and dexterity, including

those users who have carpel tunnel syndrome.

If an agency can prove that compliance would impose an undue burden, such

as unusually high costs, the agency can be exempt. Systems that control

military intelligence operations, for example, are exempt, Thurston said.

A draft of the accessibility standards were released earlier this year,

and comments are due May 30.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.