Can more than one Section 508 standard apply to a product or technology?
Yes. The Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, developed in accordance with Section 508, divides information technology into several categories and delineates accessibility standards for each category. For example, one category in Section 508 addresses software applications and operating systems, and another addresses web-based intranet and internet information and systems. Many products fit into more than one category. The Section 508 standards clearly state that all standards that apply to a specific product must be considered when accessibility is evaluated.
An important part of the process of evaluating a product is to determine what features it has and apply the relevant standards to each of the features. Here are two examples of products that fit into more than one category:
- Fax machines, which function both as self contained, closed products and as telecommunications devices.
- Instructional software available online. When evaluating this instructional product for accessibility, educational institutions must review web, software, and multimedia accessibility checkpoints.
In each of these cases, an individual would need to evaluate the accessibility requirements found in each relevant Section 508 category.
For more information on Section 508, see the AccessIT Knowledge Base article What are the functional performance criteria specified by Section 508?