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508 Glossary

508 Glossary

Access Board: An independent Federal agency that develops and maintains accessibility requirements, provides technical assistance and training on the standards, and enforces accessibility standards for federally funded facilities. Official name is the "Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board."

Alternate Methods: Different means of providing information, including documentation to persons with disabilities. May include, but is not limited to, voice, fax, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): 1990 civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in the private and public sectors.

Assistive Technology: Device or software that substitutes for or enhances the function of some impaired ability. Sometimes referred to as Adaptive Technology.

Clinger-Cohen Act: Originally known as the Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA), requires heads of Federal agencies to link IT investments to agency accomplishments. The Act also requires that agency heads establish a process to select, manage and control their IT investments.

Electronic and Information Technology (E & IT or EIT): Includes information technology and any equipment, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. This includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, telecommunications products, such as telephones, information kiosks, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and office equipment.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Official document of policies and procedures for acquisition that is used by all executive agencies.

Federal IT Accessibility Initiative (FITAI): Federal government interagency effort to offer information and technical assistance to assist in the successful implementation of section 508.

Information Technology: Any equipment, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. This includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, support services, and related resources.

Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998: Part of the Workforce Reinvestment Act. Among other objectives, expanded and strengthened section 508 by creating binding, enforceable standards for technology accessibility and incorporating these standards into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. This law applies to programs conducted by Federal agencies, those receiving Federal funds (such as colleges participating in Federal student loan programs) Federal employment, and employment practices of businesses with Federal contracts.

Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996: Requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and software to ensure that such equipment is accessible for persons with disabilities.

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act: Mandates non-discrimination by the Federal government in its hiring practices and requires affirmative action in hiring, placement, and advancement of persons with disabilities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in programs that receive Federal funds.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act: Requires electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to persons with disabilities.

Undue Burden: Significant difficulty or expense.

Universal Design: The concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities. This includes products and services that are directly usable (without requiring assistive technologies) and those that are made compatible with assistive technologies.


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