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Re: 508 revisions

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2002 06:30:12 -0400
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <001a01c2227c$9d38ce30$19e03244@DAVIDPOEHLMAN>

the only thing this adds is the adds.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>
To: "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 11:17 PM
Subject: 508 revisions



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 Wednesday, 3 July 2002 06:30:45 GMT

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