As of January 18, 2018, information and communication technology (ICT) used, maintained, or developed by the federal government must conform with the Section 508 Refresh (“the Refresh”). Since the final rule for the Refresh was published last January, however, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR) has not issued a new procurement policy. This means that, for procured technology, the old FAR policy is still in effect.
All this may make your head spin. So, let’s break it down.
If you are a federal government agency: Any ICT that you use, maintain, or develop must conform to the Refresh standards. Existing ICT is granted safe harbor and can still conform to the previous Section 508 requirements.
If you are a state or local government agency: Section 508 probably doesn’t apply to you, but some states have adopted the Section 508 standards for state and local governments. It’s worth doing some research here.
If you are selling ICT technology to the government: If the government procures your product, it must conform to the old Section 508 standards. However, once FAR issues a new procurement policy, your technology will have to conform to the Refresh. In addition, individual agencies that you are selling to may have their own policies.
FAR was originally required to issue their new procurement policy in July 2017, so it is very likely that we will see a new policy in 2018. If you are trying to sell your ICT to the government, we recommend that you conform to the Refresh standards. Your products will still meet the old standards, while being ready to go whenever FAR takes action.
Want to Learn More?
For more information on the Refresh, check out our Section 508 Refresh whitepaper.
And access the resources from our free, on-demand webinar: Section 508 Refresh: Understanding the New Requirements.