AHRQ Section 508 Technical Assistance Center: Overview
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology (EIT) they provide comparable access and use for individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees and members of the public.
All EIT projects and communications products in electronic form and for Web upload must conform to Section 508 requirements for accessibility. Federal Requiring Officials, Project Officers, and Contracting Officer Technical Representatives are accountable for ensuring compliance on the part of the Government through market research, procurement requirements, and acceptance review of deliverables.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Section 508 Technical Assistance Center (TAC) provides a framework and centralized resource that combines scalability, best practices, and technical expertise for accessibility consultation, development, review, testing, remediation, and training. It is designed to ensure conformance to standards and accessibility compliance of EIT and communications products that are AHRQ outputs and deliverables. This includes a virtual testing lab environment and a docket system for product accessibility templates.
TAC support can help estimate budget costs for tasks and incorporate universal design approaches from concept through product deployment. AHRQ employees, contractors, and other partners may submit requests for support, receive guidance, and procure needed assistance through a service bureau mechanism based on a negotiated menu of available services and charges. Requests for accommodations and remediation may also be submitted through this mechanism.
To find answers and resources, submit a question to our technical support staff, and set up an account for resolution of issues, go to: http://faqtac.ahrq.gov.
Accessibility Forum 2.0, a blog supported by the General Services Administration, is available as the central point for a dialogue on Section 508 and IT accessibility. Discussions relate to Section 508-related issues including acquisitions, development, and implementation of new accessibility enhancing technologies. Go to: http://buyaccessible.net/blog/.