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Re: Section 508 Question

for

From: Ronald C. Jones
Date: Apr 9, 2001 9:02AM


> Paul,
Your comments on the "moving target date" prompted me to ask the Section
508 Compliance people in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration and National Weather Service if they had heard any
information about a 60 day review of Section 508 as it applies to our
web pages. I received the following information in reply:
"The enforcement of Section 508. The date has not moved. It is June
21, 2001.
To answer the question concerning the Bush administration's review of
last minute decisions of the previous administration, the Section 508
law is not one of those last minute decisions. The bill (Public Law
106-246) to change the Section 508 enforcement date was signed by
President Clinton on July 13, 2000. That Public Law 106-246 signed by
President Clinton on July 13, 2000, deferred the effective date for
enforcement of Section 508. As originally enacted in 1998, the
provisions of Section 508 relating to enforcement were to do into effect
on August 7, 2000. The new amendment (H.R. 4425, Section 2405) changed
the effective date to six months after the Access Board publishes its
final standards under Section 508.
The Access Board published the final standards under Section 508 on
December 21, 2000.
Implementation of Section 508. The Department of Commerce is proposing
an accessibility standard for Commerce web sites that will apply the
Section 508 Standards 36 CFR 1194.22 to all web-based intranet and
internet information and applications, regardless of whether developed
in-house or by contractors. Web pages posted before June 21, 2001, are
grandfathered."

Paul Bohman wrote:
>
> I am posting some information that was forwarded to me by Candace Egan
> regarding Section 508, along with some of my comments (at the bottom).
>
> Candace Egan wrote:
>
> The email below was sent by a person from our Chancellor's office who
> asserts that we are to be Section 508 compliant by June 21, 2001.
> This does not match with our understanding of the regulations. My
> understanding is that the June deadline is specific to Federal
> Agencies only.
>
> We are underway in planning our implementation of Section 508 for the
> Web, but there is no possible way we will be compliant by June.
>
> I'd appreciate your thoughts (and concrete information) on this.
>
> Candace Egan
> Web Manager
> California State University, Fresno
>
> > Section 508 Standards were published December 21, 2000: ....As a
> Federal contractor (recipient of funds and assistance under the the
> Assistive Technology Act State Grant Program), the CSU must comply with
> Section 508. The Standards will go into effect 6/21/01 at which point
> electronic and information technology, including Web sites, must be
> accessible to students, staff and faculty with disabilities.
>
> Ok, here are my (Paul's) comments:
>
> According to my understanding, the chancellor's office is correct in that
> university Web sites should be in compliance at the same time that federal
> government websites are. However, the June 21 deadline is a bit of a moving
> target because the Bush administration has said that it wants to review all
> of the last minute decisions of the previous administration for 60
> additional days before allowing them to go into effect, and Section 508 is
> one of those decisions. If that's the case, then August 21 would be the
> deadline. I have not heard any official news one way or the other.
>
> As far as differences between federal government sites and university Web
> sites, the key is the Tech Act funding. All states receiving Tech Act funds
> (which is all of them at this point) have already agreed to abide by Section
> 508 regulations. That's why the guidelines would apply to more than just the
> federal Web sites, even though some of the language in Section 508
> explicitly states that it is for federal government web sites only. None of
> the section 508 guidelines apply to private businesses, and that's the main
> distinction that they were trying to draw. I don't understand all of the
> why's and how's of the relationship between the Tech Act funding and Section
> 508, but what I have said has come through Marty Blair, who is the Tech Act
> coordinator for Utah, and Cyndi Rowland, the WebAIM Project Director. If
> anyone else has any additional insights, I'd like to hear them as well.
>
> Paul Bohman
> Technology Coordinator
> Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)
> Center for Persons with Disabilities
> Utah State University
> http://www.webaim.org/