ADA and Section 508
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress.
ADA Title I: Employment
ADA Title II: State and Local Government Activities
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The act was amended in 1998 as part of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued revised ADA Title II and Title III regulations, which took effect March 15, 2011. A number of topics are addressed; those affecting information technology include:
- Effective Communication
- Providing Auxiliary Aids and Services (To be effective, auxiliary aids and services must be provided in accessible formats, in a timely manner and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual with a disability).
- Sign Language Interpreters
- Examinations and Courses
A number of states have passed laws requiring state agencies to provide accessible materials and technologies to their constituents. Several states have developed websites with many helpful guides and resources.