Microsoft and Section 508
Microsoft commitment to
accessible products and solutions allows us to support government in making
accessible technology choices.
Section 508 reinforces the best practices that our organization already
performs. We proactively educate our product teams about accessible design and
the Section 508 Access Board standards.
What is Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act?
"On August 7, 1998, President Clinton signed
into law the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, which covers access to
federally funded programs and services.
"The law strengthens section 508
of the Rehabilitation Act and requires access to electronic and information
technology provided by the Federal government. The law applies to all Federal
agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and
information technology. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is
accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities to the
extent it does not pose an 'undue burden.' "
U.S. Access Board
Section 508 addresses various means for disseminating information, including
computers, software, and electronic office equipment.
The Access Board is responsible for developing accessibility standards for such
technology for incorporation into regulations that govern Federal procurement
practices. The Access Board issued their Electronic and Information Technology
Accessibility Standards for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the
Federal Register on December 21, 2000. The final standards help Federal
agencies determine whether or not a technology product or system is accessible.
Microsoft and Section 508
As new regulations such as Section 508 raise awareness of the value of
designing and deploying accessible technologies in the workplace, the
implications for the estimated 54 million people with disabilities, including
8.5 million who want to work but remain unemployed are limitless.
Microsoft believes that Section 508 is good for industry, government and, most
importantly, for people with disabilities. We work closely with federal IT
managers and fellow technology-industry leaders to help government comply with
their new regulations. Our hope is that Section 508 will encourage more
competition and innovation on accessible technology - which in turn will lead
to an increased number of people with disabilities finding employment that
suits their talents and skills.
Today, and in the years ahead, technology has the potential not only to create
thousands of new jobs, but also to break down barriers that in the past may
have prevented people with disabilities from finding productive and fulfilling
jobs. Microsoft is committed to helping make this vision a reality.
Our Commitment to Accessibility
At Microsoft, our dedication to accessibility began in 1988 with the launch of
Windows 2.0 and continues today with unique accessibility features in the latest
edition of Windows, Office, and other Microsoft products. Since our initial involvement with accessibility issues, we
have continued our dedication to improving the accessibility of our products
and creating new and better technologies that everyone can use. Read more about Microsoft accessibility mission, strategy and progress.
More Information on Section 508
For further information on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, see: