The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors.
Section 504 states that “no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under” any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency.
Section 508 now establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.
In December 2000 the Federal Access Board issued final standards for electronic and information technology under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These were adopted and published in the Federal Registrar in April 2001 with enforcement to begin June 21, 2001.
While these standards currently apply to federal government, it is the direct responsibility of Florida state government agencies and their Web designers and developers to become familiar with these accessibility guidelines and to apply these principles in designing and creating any official State of Florida website.
All Florida State Government websites must comply with Section 508 to ensure the widest possible audience easy access to government information. These standards are based on access guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
For more information relating to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, visit the United States Access Board website section for Communications & IT.