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Here's what you need to know about the U.S. Access Board's long-awaited update to the federal regulations covering the accessibility of ICT and telecommunications products and services.

The National Council on Disability’s 2016 report to Congress notably recognizes accessible workplace technology as a right for all Americans and a key pathway to employment, and provides actionable recommendations for the federal government, technology industry, and private and public sectors.

This 2010 law is the source of several new regulations aimed at addressing telecommunications accessibility in the digital age.

Section 255 requires manufacturers to ensure that telecommunications equipment and services are designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, when it is readily achievable to do so.

The Rehab Act is designed to safeguard the civil rights of people with disabilities, and includes many regulations related to technology.

The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities—including Internet Web site access, mobile applications, and other forms of ICT

As of May 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into 171 settlement agreements addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to ICT accessibility. Through these agreements, employers and other covered entities can understand DOJ priorities related to website and ICT accessibility and how to proactively comply with existing rules and guidance.

Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu discusses his takeaways from meeting with the great Stevie Wonder and hundreds of other dedicated leading accessibility "stars" at last month's International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN). As he notes, "our commitment to accessible technology is about basic civil rights, as well as the collective productivity of America’s workforce...employers, technology vendors and tech users with disabilities must all work together to raise awareness and educate one another about accessible workplace technology issues, most of which can be easily solved."

In today’s business world, eRecruiting tools are everywhere. Also known as "online recruiting," eRecruiting refers to the practice of using technology—in particular, web-based resources—to support tasks involved with finding, attracting, assessing, interviewing, and hiring new personnel.

On February 27, 2015, the U.S. Access Board published a proposed update to the rules implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which outlines the federal standards and guidelines for making information and communications technology (ICT) accessible to people with disabilities. The public has until May 28, 2015 to submit comments on the changes. 

To read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, submit comments, or review the comments others are submitting, go to www.regulations.gov and enter “Section 508” in the search box.

Here are the top 6 questions PEATworks readers are asking about the proposed changes:

Although legal requirements can sometimes feel burdensome to employers, on the accessibility front they can be very helpful. The relevant federal laws and regulations, such as "Section 508" and the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" (CVAA) provide helpful and detailed information about technical standards that employers can use to guide their use and procurement of technology that is accessible to all users, including people with disabilities. 

Even if you're new to the world of accessible technology, you've probably heard terms tossed around that relate to accessibility standards and regulations - like "508 compliant," "WCAG 2.0," and more. This article will demystify some of the technical standards that apply to accessibility and explain how they differ from laws and regulations.