Section 508 and CMS
What is Section 508?
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) requires that federal agencies provide equal or comparable access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to disabled employees and members of the public.
CMS’ Accessibility Statement & Commitment
We aspire to be a model employer of people with disabilities, as required by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CMS also seeks to ensure equally effective access to its programs and services, as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. We can reach both of these goals if we adhere to the requirements of Section 508.
CMS provides services to more than 100 million beneficiaries, and many of them have some type of disability. Approximately, 76 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed.
Not only is Section 508 the law, but it is the right thing to do.
The CMS Section 508 Program
Our agency’s Section 508 Official is responsible for implementing and managing the CMS Section 508 Program. This robust program is built on the framework of the GSA Section 508 Technology Accessibility Playbook. The CMS Section 508 Official, who delegates his authority to the CMS Section 508 Program Manager, also administers all Section 508 Program activities. Our work and objectives align with one of the following five Program Pillars:
Policy & Program Administration: CMS’ Section 508 Program has developed a formal Section 508 Policy, which provides details on accessibility requirements as it relates to ICT products and services developed, procured and maintained. This pillar also supports the guidance and monitoring of the agency’s progress in developing, remediating and delivering accessible content for our internal and external stakeholders.
Procurement: In conjunction with CMS’ acquisitions group, the CMS Section 508 Program works with employees to determine the best set of tools and processes to procure accessible ICT goods and services. In addition, CMS assists in assessing the level of accessibility conformance during the market research and proposal evaluation stages of the procurement process.
Testing: CMS’ Section 508 Program will conduct accessibility validation testing on products and applications before CMS employees or members of the public can use them. The agency uses both manual and automated testing practices to help determine if an application may pose challenges for persons with disabilities.
Education & Awareness: CMS’ Section 508 Program helps to identify and provide training opportunities for the entire CMS community on accessibility. We promote the importance of creating and providing Section 508-compliant information and data to the accessibility community.
Community of Practice: Our Community of Practice ensures the CMS community as a whole has access to all program pillar information, innovation and technology, as well as 508 best practices by using a variety of resources, tools, and tips in support of CMS’ Section 508 Program objectives.