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New Recommendations for Section 508

Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC)

Usability – Interoperability – Harmonization

This page provides a summary of the new Section 508 recommendations, with links to the original.

The summary below was taken directly from a handout distributed by Mike Paciello, co-chair of the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC), at a presentation about the Section 508 Refresh at the Boston-IA meeting on October 22, 2008.

The handout includes a table of the TEITAC recommendations for the refresh of Section 508 as presented to the U.S. Access Board for approval in April 2008.

This summary is divided into the following sections:

The handout was sponsored by:

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Who: The Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC): 41 members from industry, government, international, and disabilities advocacy groups.

What: Recommendations for how the U.S. Access Board should update Section 508 and Section 255 regulations.

Why: To make ICT products accessible to as wide a range of people with disabilities as possible.

When: July 2006 – April 2008

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What's New?

Requirements based on product characteristics rather than product types. How do we classify products that have so many features?

Section 508 v1: Hardware… Telecom… Software/OS… Web… Video/Multi-media… Self-contained, closed product… Portable Computer?

Proposed Performance Criteria

Proposed Requirements

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Harmonization – Can we create standards that are harmonized with international & industry standards?

Testability – Can we create standards that are precise and unambiguous enough to easily determine if products meet the requirements, but open enough so that the provisions do not stifle innovation?

Interoperability – Can we promote interoperability between AT and IT?

Cognitive Disabilities – How do we meet their needs?

Usability of the Standards and Guidelines – How can we make technical requirements clear?

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The Recommendations

Subpart B: Functional Performance Criteria

Functional Performance Criteria (FPC) refer to different disability categories and the necessity of providing access to the functionality of products. The FPC have been modified from the previous version to include a note on the role of assistive technology in meeting the FPC.

Products must provide at least one mode that allows access to all functionality of the product:

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Subpart C: Technical Provisions

  1. General Technical Requirements
  2. Requirements for Hardware Aspects of Products
  3. Requirements for User Interface and Electronic Content
  4. Additional Requirements for Audio-Visual Players or Displays
  5. Requirements for Audio and/or Video Content
  6. Additional Requirements for Real-Time Voice Conversation Functionality
  7. Additional Requirements for Authoring Tools

Subpart D: Support and Implementation

  1. Information, Documentation & Support
  2. Implementation, Operation, and Maintenance

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The New Section 508
TEITAC Recommendations Section 508 Source
Subpart C
1 General Technical Requirements
1-A Closed Functionality 1194.25(a)
1-B Biometric ID 1194.25(d), 1194.26(c)
1-C Pass Through 1194.23(j)
1-D Audio Information  
1-E Visual Information  
1-F Color 1194.21(i), 1194.25(g)
1-G Text Size  
1-H Speech Operation 1194.23(e)
2 Requirements for Hardware Aspects of Products
2.1 All Products with Hardware  
2.1-A Reflectance Contrast for Legends and Passive Displays 1194.21(j), 1194.25(h)
2.1-B Flashing 1194.21(i), 1194.25(j), 1194.25(k)
2.1-C Mechanical Controls 1194.23(k), 1194.26(a)
2.1-D Touch Operated Controls 1194.25(c), 1194.26(b)
2.1-E Standard User Interface Connection 1194.26(d)
2.1-F Installed or Free-Standing Products 1194.25(j)
2.2 If the Product has Speech Output or Throughput  
2.2-A Magnetic Coupling 1194.23(h)
2.2-B Interference with Hearing Device 1194.23(i)
2.2-C Audio Connection 1194.25(e)
2.2-D Volume 1194.25(f)
2.2-E Volume (Gain) 1194.23(f)
2.2-F Volume Reset 1194.23(g)
3 Requirements for User Interface and Electronic Content
3-A Color 1194.21(i), 1194.22(c), 1194.25(h)
3-B Contrast 1194.21(j)
3-C Size, Shape, Location  
3-D User Preferences 1194.21(g)
3-E Color Adjustment 1194.21(j)
3-F Non-text Objects 1194.22(a)
3-G Human Language  
3-H Language of Parts  
3-I Pausing 1194.21(h)
3-J Flashing (Content and User Interfaces) 1194.21(k), 1194.22(j), 1194.25(i)
3-K Consistent Identification 1194.21(e)
3-L Audio Turnoff 1194.25(e)
3-M Reading Sequence 1194.22(d)
3-N Link Purpose  
3-O Information and Relationships 1194.22(g), 1194.22(h), 1194.22 (i), 1194.22(n), 1194.22(o), 1194.21(l)
3-P User Interface Components 1194.21(l), 1194.22(l), 1194.22(n)
3-Q Disruption of Access Features 1194.21(b)
3-R Timing 1194.22(p), 1194.23(d), 1194.25(b)
3-S Keyboard Operation 1194.21(a), 1194.21(e), 1194.21(f), 1194.21(k), 1194.21(l), 1194.21(m)
3-SS Visual Indication of Keyboard Shortcuts  
3-T Focus Indicator 1194.21(c)
3-U AT Interoperability 1194.21(d), 1194.21(c), 1194.21(f), 1194.21(m)
3-V Accessibility Services  
3-VV Assistive Technology  
3-W Multiple Ways  
3-X Labels or Instructions  
3-Y On Focus  
3-Z On Input  
3-AA Error Identification  
3-BB Headings and Labels  
4 Additional Requirements for Audio-Visual Players or Displays
4-A Caption Processing 1194.24(a)
4-B Supplemental Audio Process 1194.24(b)
4-C Access to Caption and Video Controls  
5 Requirements for Audio and/or Video Content
5-A Captions and Transcripts 1194.24(c)
5-B Video Description 1194.24(d)
5-C Interactive Elements 1194.24(d), 1194.22(b)
6 Additional Requirements for Real-Time Voice Conversation Functionality
6-A Real-Time Text Reliability and Interoperability 1194.23(b)
6-B Voice Terminal Hardware and Software 1194.23(a)
6-C IVR, Auto-Attendant and Messaging 1194.23(c)
6-D Caller and Status Information  
6-E Video Support  
6-F Audio Clarity for Interconnected VoIP  
6-G External Alerting Devices  
7 Additional Requirements for Authoring Tools
7-A Accessible Output  
7-B Preserve Accessibility Information  
7-C Prompts  
7-D Accessible Templates  
Subpart D
1 Information, Documentation & Support
1.1 Product Documentation and Help  
1.1-A Accessible Documentation and Features 1194.41(a), 1194.41(b)
1.1-B Keyboard Shortcuts  
1.2 Support and E&IT Related Services  
1.2-A Support Services 1194.41(c)
1.2-B Manufacturer Contact  
1.2-C Training  
2 Implementation, Operation, and Maintenance
2-A Relay Services Accessibility  
2-B Video Support  
2-C Accessibility Configuration  
2-D Accessible Content  

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