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Writing guide

The law

Section 508 is part of the 'Rehabilitation Act of 1973.' The law was amended in 1998 to add 508 which requires that government agencies provide equal access to information to disabled employees.

The correct way to refer to the law is:

  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d))
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Section 508

While related in ways, the Rehabilitation Act is not part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Key words

  • Conformance: We conform with the standards of Section 508, not the law of Section 508.

  • Compliance: A government agency is in compliance with the law.

Talking points

  • The goal of accessibility at 18F is to build sites that are usable by everyone, not to meet minimum standards
  • We focus on building accessibility into every step of a project, from design to each sprint review
  • Employing accessibility best practices improves the user experience of all users
  • 18F guidelines and best practices are not intended to be a replacement or supplement for Section 508 Standards, but are tools to achieving these standards in a modern web development consultancy


U.S. Web Design System

Accessibility isn’t an optional enhancement, it’s at the core of how we design. Every design, asset, and piece of code we offer should meet or exceed the accessibility standards outlined in Section 508, and our guidance should ensure any project-specific customizations perform well for the broadest possible definition of the public.

18F Accessibility

An official website of the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services

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