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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Jimenez Jimenez

Accessible Tech Tools for All (Rehabilitation Act/508 Compliance)

“Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone’s potential.” ― Debra Ruh

Over time, we have become more reliant on technology and social media platforms to communicate, extend our reach, and interact with others. As technology becomes more complex, so does the accessibility for individuals with comparable disabilities.

That’s why the Federal Government in 1957 established Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires Federal agencies to make information and communication technology (ICT) accessible to employees and members of the public who comparably have disabilities to the access experienced employees and members of the public without disabilities (

Thought #1 - The Importance of Section 508

New Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines for Section 508 compliance were released in 2018 that may impact how your organization produces certain content.

Failure to implement these laws freely can result in time-consuming and expensive lawsuits and damage to the company's future investments in information technology (IT) and the organization's image. This is true despite the fact that every business, non-profit organization, and government agency should implement these laws.

Under the federal requirements, section 508 requires that ICT, such as online training and the website, be accessible to everyone; more specifically, it means that individuals with disabilities can work on accessible computers and phones and access the agency’s internal website to locate needed information.

Thought #2 - ICTs Devices, Process, and Documents List

Section 508 is a general law that applies to all forms of technology and anything else that the government purchases, constructs, or maintains. This law also applies to systems technology and processes that primarily create, manipulate, or store electronic data and associated content. Below are some commonly used products that need to be accessible:

  • Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and telecommunication products

  • Social media content (YouTube, Clips)

  • Information Kiosks, user guides

  • Documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files

  • Printers, fax machines, and scanners

  • Websites, mobile and computer software, and hardware

  • Content DVD’s and CD’s

Thought #3 - Tips to Become 508 Compliant

If your business needs to be 508 compliant, don't feel bad! In point of fact, making every tool and ICT compliance with Federal regulations can be difficult, especially if you are just now learning about it for the first time. However, this work is necessary to advance equity and provide access to all! With that said, Fruitful Thoughts compiled a few basic questions to help you with the starting process. You can also find more information by directly visiting

  • Start by taking inventory of the technology your organization is using.

  • Then identify which program is and isn’t compliant and the challenges associated with adopting the standards.

  • Identify the organizational challenges that can cause barriers to 508 adoptions—some of those challenges can include outdated policies and procedures, staffing, and tools.

  • Identify what the organization reads to adopt the standard (consider investment cost, expenses, milestones, and finding a 508-compliant manager or specialist.

Final Though - What Next

In the next Thoughtful blog post, we will continue sharing tips on becoming 508 compliant.


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