HHS' Role in Accessibility
The department has an obligation to its employees and members of the public to provide the same (or comparable) access to, and use of, information and services from an HHS OpDiv sought by each and every individual. As a department, we believe everyone is accountable and responsible for accessibility conformance.
The accessibility field encompasses many types of technology, standards and guidelines. As a department of the federal government, we are required to abide by the Section 508 legislation. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, codified at section 29 USC 794d, as amended, ensures those with disabilities have equal access to government information as contained on information and communications technology (ICT), and thereby to the government employment, programs and services to which all citizens are entitled. Section 508 is only one segment of the accessibility field. As use of information technology has greatly increased within the workplace, and out, in recent years, and additional legislation has required ever-more access to government information, there is a great need for strong, effective action to ensure compliance across the department.
At the department-level accessibility actions and implementation are demonstrated through the following examples:
- HHS-wide standards, policies, guidelines, and criteria for Section 508 and accessibility.
- Collaboration internally, and externally, on best practices and lessons learned about Section 508 within acquisitions, training, evaluations, and other areas.
- Section 508 and accessibility information and resources available on the HHS intranet and internet
- Participation in the Federal Chief Information Officer Council Community of Interest (CIOC)
- Bi-annual data collection for the General Services Administration (GSA) Section 508 Maturity Metrics
- Responses to federal accessibility mandates on behalf of the department
- Representation of the department at federal or interagency activities related to Section 508.
Contact the OS Accessibility Program
Feedback and inquiries regarding accessibility and Section 508 pertaining to the Department or OS can be directed to the HHS Accessibility Help Desk. Requests for training or conformance evaluation are encouraged.