Accessibility legislation, regulations,
standards and statistics
Connecting people to the power of technology
Legislation and accessibility initiatives: Accessibility of IT and information has become an area of increasing legislative importance. This section provides links to information on key legislation, regulations and standards.
U. S. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires government purchasers to research accessible products and services. There are also individual state government regulations, as well as other federal regulations.
HP and U. S. Section 508
HP Accessibility has created a product database to provide detailed information on the accessibility features that support Section 508 requirements. The information technology industry including HP in cooperating with the Government Services Administration (GSA) developed a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) as a common means for IT companies to describe how products either conform or do not conform to Section 508 standards. HP has developed a VPAT Accessibility Database to assist customers in performing market research and reviewing the accessibility features of our products.
Search the VPAT Product accessibility database ›
HP and government procurement
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act specifies that requiring officials must identify which standards apply to the procurement, perform market research to determine the availability of accessible products and services, and document the results of their market research.
For assistance in meeting Section 508 requirements, Government purchasers can access the following resources:
HP public sector accessibility information ›
The U.S. Access Board is now updating the Section 508 standards. This effort will address new technologies and other areas where the standards need to be modified. HP participated (along with the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), other IT companies, Federal Agencies, consumers, and representatives from other countries) in the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Council (TEITAC) to develop recommendations to the U.S. Access Board for changes to the Section 508 standards (expected to be updated in 2011-2012).
Section 508 Refresh (Second Draft ANPR Standards, December 2011)
U.S. FCC Section 255
U. S. State Accessibility Legislation, Regulations and Standards
Other U.S. legislation and initiatives
EU Mandate 376
EU Mandate 376 ETSI Technical Report ETSI DTR 102 612: "Human Factors (HF); European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain (European Commission Mandate M 376, Phase 1)" has been released.
Background: The three European Standardization Organizations have set up two parallel project teams to carry out the work specified in the European Commission "Mandate 376 to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, in Support of Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement of Products and Services in the ICT Domain."
ETSI TC Human Factors Specialist Task Force 333 has developed ETSI DTR 102 612. Further details about the work performed by STF333 (e.g., Terms of Reference, specification of the detailed work tasks, time plan for the work, previous drafts, listing of comments received and means to contact the task force) can be found at the Special Task Force 333 website.
The parts relating to the assessment of suitable testing and conformity schemes were carried out by the parallel project, in CEN BT/WG185/PT. For further information, see the CEN project team website . The two projects are closely coordinated.
EC Mandate 376 to ESOs for common requirements and conformance assessment
European Commission mandate for e-accessibility (PDF) ›
European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain (European Commission Mandate M 376, Phase 1) the CEN project team website
Commission takes low profile on e-accessibility
The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) was enacted to ensure that websites are accessible to blind and disabled users in the United Kingdom.
Disability Discrimination Act and Web Accessibility (Article by Trenton Moss)
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
W3C UK Policies
Australian Government Endorses WCAG 2.0 Web Accessibility Guidelines. The Australian Government has announced their plan to implement Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
All Australian government websites will require Level A compliance by 2012, and Double A by 2015. The new standard replaces WCAG 1.0, which was introduced as a mandated requirement for agencies in 2000.
Japan & Asia-Pacific