Jun 15 2010

When will Section 508 be updated?

Category: AnnouncementsDavid Baquis @ 2:46 pm

On March 22, 2010, the Access Board released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), as well as draft text of the proposed standards and guidelines, seeking comment on the proposed revisions to the Section 508 accessibility standards and Section 255 telecommunications accessibility guidelines. The rulemaking process started in September 2006 with the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) reviewing the Section 508 Standard and Section 255 Telecommunications Guidelines and recommending changes. TEITAC presented a report of recommendations to the Access Board on April 3, 2008. This report served as input to the Access Board, which worked with an ad hoc committee of Board members and staff from several Federal agencies to develop the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) to solicit public comment.

So what happens next?

Once the public comment period closes on June 21, 2010, the Access Board will review the comments and revise the draft, based on the comments received. In addition, the Board will prepare a regulatory assessment, which is a cost-benefit analysis of the impact of proposed regulations, as well as a Preamble, which is a document that reviews the history of the proposed regulations and how they differ from the existing 508 standards. This package of materials must be approved by the Board before it is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. OMB should review the materials within 90 days. Once the review is completed and the materials have been approved by OMB, the Preamble and revised text will be published in the Federal Register as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to solicit public comments. The public comment period for the NPRM will be at least 90 days.

At the close of the NPRM comment period, the Access Board will again edit the text and submit it along with a revised regulatory assessment for review by the OMB. After OMB clearance, the Access Board will release the Final Rule.

How long will this take?

The only certain timeline is that OMB is given 90 days to review the NPRM and proposed Final Rule. There are no hard and fast timelines for the other activities, but the volume and complexity of comments may extend the time needed for edits.

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