USNA Section 508 Compliancy Web Site : Definition
Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. On August 7, 1998, the President signed into law the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which includes the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. Section 508 was originally added to the Rehabilitation Act in 1986; the 1998 amendments significantly expand and strengthen the technology access requirements in Section 508.The following is an excerpt from the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards Web site.
"Section 508 requires that when Federal
agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information
technology, they shall ensure that the electronic and information technology
allows Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of
information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of information
and data by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities,
unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also
requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public
seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to
and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to
the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue
burden would be imposed on the agency."