On March 22, the United States Access Board released the ANPRM (advanced notice of public rule making) and a draft of the updated Section 508 federal standards related to the accessibility of information and communication technologies. Public comment is due by June 21, 2010. In 2004, Oklahoma adopted legislation and standards modeled on federal law and standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act; therefore, changes to the federal standards will also affect Oklahoma’s standards.
The Access Board hosted an informative webinar in April; the main points are summarized:
The draft of the 508 revised standards will be amended based on public comment due by June 21, 2010. States are encouraged to provide public comment.
Time frame for adoption: The Access Board did not give a specific date for adoption but mentioned a year at least to allow for public comment and the time intensive rulemaking process.
33 questions to guide public comment are listed in the rule making notice or ANPRM. http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/notice.htm.
The draft of revised standards is structured significantly different than the current 508 standards. ABLE Tech recommends that you distribute this notice throughout your agencies and coordinate a variety of skilled staff to look at the various sections.
The Access Board draft features a new structure and format that integrates the 508 standards and the guidelines of Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act into a single document referred to as the “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines.” This is to address changing technologies and market trends. Requirements have been reorganized according to functionality instead of product type since many devices now feature an array of capabilities and applications. The released draft includes proposed revisions to various performance criteria and technical specifications that are designed to improve accessibility, add clarity to facilitate compliance, address market trends, and promote harmonization with other guidelines and standards.
Products and technologies covered by this rulemaking include telephones and cell phones and other telecommunication products, computer hardware and software, websites, media players, electronic documents, and PDAs, among others. Access is addressed for various disabilities, including those that are sensory, physical, or speech-related in nature. As part of this rulemaking, the Board proposes to supplement its ADA Accessibility Guidelines, which cover access to facilities, to broaden coverage to include certain types of interactive transaction machines such as point-of-sales machines and self-service kiosks.
PROVIDING PUBLIC COMMENT AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR AS A STATE: If you would like to provide public comment, you can do so in a variety of ways which are available at http://www.access-board.gov/news/ict-draft-rule.htm. Or, you can send comments to ABLE Tech via email, mail, fax, or phone (contact information below) and we will forward collectively to the US Access Board.
Doug Doe from the Office of State Finance indicated OSF staff has begun the process of reviewing the 508 draft of revised standards in order to provide public comment to the Access Board. OSF will coordinate this information with the new new CIO.
The Access Board archived webinar available soon at http://www.accessibilityonline.org/Archives/
Brenda Dawes, Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Assistive Technology Project Specialist and Marketing Coordinator
OSU Seretean Wellness Center
1514 W. Hall of Fame Stillwater, OK 74078
405-744-5170 or 800-257-1705, Fax 405-744-2487