Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

The Department of Commerce United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) posted a press release on May 14, 2003, titled USPTO First Agency To Require All Electronic Information Purchases Be Accessible to the Disabled.

Purchases of products and services will have to meet and be certified as meeting Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. The agency maintains a checklist and draft on their website at Accessibility of Information Technology — Technical Standards. Ahead of implementation schedules, the USPTO will be the model for other Federal Agencies.

Products and services include: software, operating systems, computers, Intranet and Internet based applications, telecommunications products, multimedia, video, and extends to include other self contained software systems(information kiosks, information transaction machines, fax, etc.).

All items must be compliant. Zero tolerance. No request will be processed unless it has all of the required Section 508 documentation. This Section 508 program is based on three principles: creating awareness, placing responsibility, and ensuring enforcement.

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