Does Section 508 apply to a state university or community college?
Section 508 addresses the obligations of Federal agencies. However, state governments or individual institutions of higher education may have adopted some or all of the §508 standards or other standards such as those published by the World Wide Web Consortium® . To determine whether your specific institution must comply with §508 or other accessibility standards, we suggest that individuals check to see if there is a policy statement/letter from your higher education administration or your state board of education, and/or ask your attorney
When deciding a §504 or ADA complaint regarding information access, courts are not required to use a particular set of standards such as those set forth in §508 to decide whether an institution has met its legal obligations. On the other hand, adopting a web accessibility policy that includes, for example, implementation of §508 standards, provides a clear and measurable yardstick for evaluating web accessibility. Another option for postsecondary institutions is to adopt guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
Note: This article is an excerpt from the larger AccessIT document Web Accessibility and Individuals with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education: The Legal Issues.