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Accessible Technologies



The U.S. 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. With the revision in 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities regardless of what that disability may be.


What is inaccessible technology?

Inaccessible technology refers to any technology that is used for communication, duplication, computing, storage, presentation, control, transport and production that requires the uses of a third party application such as a computer. With that said inaccessible technology stems to software and programs that requires interaction:


  • software applications and operating systems
  • web-based information or applications
  • telecommunication products
  • video and multimedia products
  • self contained, closed products (e.g., information kiosks, calculators, and fax machines)
  • desktop and portable computers



Content Law


Section 508


In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities that will help with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. IT Accessibility & Workforce Division, in the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy, has been charged with the task of educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation.




How to make images accessible to someone visually impaired.

when linking images, insert alt text and description with in the tags.



second option using dreamweaver, to save some typing of tag just enter text into alt field as seen above.




Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The nondiscrimination requirements of the law apply to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These organizations and employers include many hospitals, nursing homes, mental health centers and human service programs.


Who is protected?


Individuals with disabilities are defined as persons with a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.

504 prohibitions against discrimination apply to service availability, accessibility, delivery, employment, and the administrative activities and responsibilities of organizations receiving Federal financial assistance. A recipient of Federal financial assistance may not, on the basis of disability:


  • Deny qualified individuals the opportunity to participate in or benefit from federally funded programs, services, or other benefits.
  • Deny access to programs, services, benefits or opportunities to participate as a result of physical barriers.
  • Deny employment opportunities, including hiring, promotion, training, and fringe benefits, for which they are otherwise entitled or qualified....




More Information:


The Accessible Technology Initiative - \"From Where I Sit\" is a video series of eight CSU students with disabilities who talk about their experiences.




"Section 508: The Road to Accessibility." Section 508: The Road to Accessibility. 30 Apr 2008. Government. 8 May 2008 <http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm>.

"HHS - Your Rights Under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act." Government. 8 May 2008 <http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/504.html>.3


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