Board Releases New Draft of ICT Rule for Public Comment
The draft rule jointly refreshes the Board's Section 508 standards and its Section 255 guidelines which address access to computer hardware and software, websites, media players, electronic documents, telephones and cell phones, PDAs and other ICT products. The Board is updating these requirements according to recommendations from an advisory body it chartered, the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee.
The Board released a previous draft of the rule in March 2010 and received almost 400 comments from the public, including industry, disability groups, consumers, government entities, research and trade organizations, accessibility consultants, and others. In response to this input, the Board has simplified and streamlined the document for greater usability. The revised draft further harmonizes the rule with other guidelines and standards and eliminates redundancy by referencing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). In addition, revisions have been made to clarify the relationship between performance and technical criteria, coverage of electronic content, and clearer requirements for ICT with closed functionality.
The released draft includes a discussion that explains these and other changes and highlights other topics where public comment is sought. The deadline for comments is March 7. During the comment period, the Board will hold public hearings in Washington, D.C. on January 11 and at the annual CSUN Conference in San Diego on March 1. The Board will follow-up with a proposed rule based on the input received that will provide an additional round of comment before the rule is finalized.
The draft rule and related information are available on the Board's website. This information is also posted on the www.regulations.gov website which allows visitors to submit or view comments. For further information, contact Tim Creagan at email@example.com, (202) 272-0016 (v), or (202) 272-0074 (TTY).
Comment Period Extended for Proposed Rights-of-Way Rule
Board to Release Draft Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment
Board Hosts International Forum on Standards Development
Representatives from the European Commission presented information on how accessibility requirements are developed by the European Standards Organizations through Commission mandates. A member of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario provided an update on the development and implementation of access standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
U.S. representatives conducted briefings on how accessibility design requirements are developed in Federal and private sectors. Presenters included representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the American National Standards Institute, the International Codes Council, and the National Fire Protection Association.
"It is very helpful to know how other countries and international organizations address accessibility," notes David Capozzi, the Board's Executive Director. "The Board welcomes opportunities for such exchanges as the approaches and lessons learned by others can be especially enlightening."
For further information, contact Capozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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