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From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 23:17:48 -0400
Message-Id: <a05111a00b9481cb52a30@[192.168.1.100]>
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Difficult to find (apparently not on the Web), so, to follow up a 
previous story, here is the posting calling for comments on revision 
to Section 508:

<http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/0701/web-508-07-01-02.asp>

--

Send comments to:    farnotice.2001-033@gsa.gov

A copy of the Fed Reg Notice follows:

[Federal Register: June 27, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 124)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 43523-43524]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27jn02-30]


[[Page 43523]]

Part VI





Department of Defense

General Services Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration



48 CFR Parts 39 and 52



Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2001-033, Section 508 Contract
Clause; Proposed Rule


[[Page 43524]]

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 39 and 52


Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2001-033, Section 508 Contract Clause

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD), General Services 
Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are considering whether 
there is a need at this time for changes to the Federal Acquisition 
Regulation or other acquisition guidance to promote more consistent 
and effective implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act 
of 1973 and, if so, what specific changes are needed. The Councils 
request that interested parties provide comments.

DATES: Interested parties should submit comments in writing on or 
before August 26, 2002 to be considered in the formulation of a 
proposed rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to--General Services Administration,
FAR Secretariat (MVP), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie
Duarte, Washington, DC 20405.
     Submit electronic comments via the Internet to-- farnotice.2001-
033@gsa.gov
     Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2001-033, Section 508
Contract Clause (Notice) in all correspondence related to this case.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS 
Building, Washington, DC, 20405, at (202) 501-4755 for information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules. The TTY Federal Relay 
Number for further information is 1-800-877-8973. For clarification 
of content, contact Ms. Linda Nelson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 
501- 1900. Please cite FAR Case 2001-033, Section 508 Contract Clause 
(Notice).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 
1973 requires that when Federal departments or agencies develop, 
procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology 
(EIT), they must ensure that the EIT allows (1) Federal employees 
with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data 
that is comparable to the access and use of information and data by 
other Federal employees; and (2) members of the public with 
disabilities seeking information from an agency to have access to and 
use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use 
of information and data by other members of the public who are not 
individuals with disabilities. The Councils agreed to amend the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) under FAR Case 1999-607, 
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility, to implement 
Section 508 (see Federal Register published at 66 FR 20894, April 25, 
2001). The final rule became effective on June 25, 2001.

The FAR final rule incorporated standards developed by the 
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also 
referred to as the ``Access Board''). Among other things, the 
standards set forth the technical and functional performance criteria 
for EIT accessibility. While only Federal agencies must comply with 
the requirements of Section 508; vendors interested in selling EIT to 
the Federal government are responsible for providing products or 
services that meet the applicable Access Board standards (and will be 
bound by the terms and conditions of the contract into which they 
enter).

The FAR rule implementing Section 508 does not require vendors to 
certify that offered products or services comply with the 
requirements of Section 508. Agencies are not to require such 
certification as a matter of policy, unless they have followed the 
procedures set forth in (i) FAR Subpart 1.3 on agency acquisition 
rulemaking, implementing section 22 of the Office of Federal 
Procurement Policy Act (OFPP Act), 41 U.S.C. 418b, and (ii) section 
29 of the OFPP Act, 41 U.S.C. 425, addressing contractor 
certification requirements. (Section 29(c)(2) of the OFPP Act 
prohibits an executive agency from promulgating a regulation 
requiring certification unless it is required by statute, or approved 
on an exception basis by the agency head after the senior procurement 
executive provides written justification.)

As part of the implementation effort some have suggested a need for 
additional guidance. For example, some assert that the inclusion of 
an EIT clause in the FAR will promote greater consistency and reduce 
confusion in the implementation of Section 508 by avoiding the 
proliferation of agency specific clauses. By contrast, others contend 
that EIT standards are a ``requirements issue'' and are best 
addressed through the statement of work or other specifications 
instead of a clause.

The Councils are seeking the following input to help them determine 
the best approach to promote more consistent and effective 
implementation of Section 508.

1. Need for additional guidance. The Councils ask that respondents 
discuss whether additional acquisition guidance to implement Section 
508 is needed at this time. Respondents are encouraged to discuss 
potential advantages and disadvantages.

2. Form of guidance. To the extent additional guidance is desired, 
the Councils ask respondents to identify if such guidance should be 
in the form of a FAR clause, a solicitation provision, other FAR 
coverage, or non-regulatory guidance. If a clause is desirable, 
respondents are encouraged to identify the types of EIT purchases on 
which a clause should focus (e.g., all EIT purchases, EIT services 
only). The non- regulatory guidance may be in the form of reference 
material or frequently asked questions on the web site at http:// 
www.section508.gov. Respondents are encouraged to discuss potential 
advantages and disadvantages of the form of guidance they suggest and 
why they believe other forms of guidance would be less beneficial or 
not appropriate.

3. Content of guidance. The Councils invite respondents' ideas 
regarding what should be included in the guidance.

Dated: June 20, 2002.
Al Matera,
Director, Acquisition Policy Division.
[FR Doc. 02-15976 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
-- 

     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Weblogs and articles <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
     <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 2 July 2002 23:59:08 GMT

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