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Section 508

FHWA / Section 508 / Section 508

Disclaimer: FHWA is committed to making its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessible by meeting the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The tools, resources, criteria and other items provided herein are for internal use by FHWA for ICT it procures, develops, maintains, and utilizes. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use by third parties of the information contained in this website. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear on this website only because they are considered essential to the objective of the information.

Who's Responsible?

Everyone! If you procure, develop, maintain, or use information communication technology (ICT), you are responsible.

The FHWA is committed to making ICT conformant.

While you are responsible, we are here to help. This site contains information on making ICT accessible, contracting information, frequently asked questions, and more.

If you need help or specialized training, please contact the FHWA Section 508 Core Team.

Why Comply?

First, many people are affected by disabilities covered under Section 508. By some estimates, nearly 12% of the U.S. population.1 We want to make our content available to everyone.

Second, accessible documents are properly formatted and well structured. This makes a better document that benefits everyone.

Finally, it's the law.

Bonus! Make content easier to find. These steps also optimize your document for search engines so users can access the information in a few clicks.

What is ICT?

In general terms, ICT is any technology used to convey, transmit, or receive any kind of information. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Electronic documents
  • Software
  • Websites
  • Video and audio files
  • Multifunction office machines
  • Computers
  • Information kiosks

Accessibility vs Section 508 vs ADA

Accessibility is the ability of all persons to independently obtain information and use products, services and facilities.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508) is a federal law that requires Federal agencies to make their information and communication technology (ICT) accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with standards issued by the U.S. Access Board.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law separate from Section 508, is a civil rights statute prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

[1] https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2018/demo/p70-152.pdf

Page last modified on February 23, 2021

508 graphics source: FHWA.

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000