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Educational Campaign Series: 508 Compliance

Future Government Payment Solutions Education Campaign Series

Throughout the next several weeks, the Office of Charge Card Management (OCCM) will be providing background information on key topics or explaining difficult concepts related to GSA SmartPay. Please note that the information provided relates to general GSA SmartPay program related topics. Information provided during this series does not include SP3 requirements. OCCM will not engage in any discussions regarding potential SP3 requirements within this forum. If you have any general questions about the program, please let us know!
 

GSA SmartPay 508 Compliance
 

What does the term “508 Compliance” mean for GSA SmartPay?

Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘794 d) refers to a statutory section in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible for people with disabilities.  It was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Compliance is required for all Federal contracts when developing, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology.  Under this law, agencies are required to give disabled employees information that is comparable to access available to others.  There are specific standards for internet and web accessibility, which are often used as a basis for evaluating whether or not websites meet the accessibility requirement.     
 

Section 508 compliance is a requirement for all Electronic Access Systems (EAS), web-based training, presentation packages, and e-commerce support under the current GSA SmartPay 2 contract.  All contractors who are participating in GSA SmartPay 2 were required to certify compliance at the time of award or had to provide a detailed plan stating the current level of compliance and outlining a timeline with estimated completion dates on the remaining steps that needed to be taken for full compliance.   
 

How do I certify compliance with Section 508?

All vendors who choose to do business with the Federal government and offer electronic and information technology products/ services must self certify that they are in compliance with the Section 508 requirement when they submit the vendor Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).  The VPAT is a tool used to document a product’s conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  A copy of the VPAT can be found by clicking here.   
 

Where do I go to get advice and assistance with meeting Section 508 requirements?

The best place to go with additional questions and to receive assistance is the Section508.gov website
 

Additional questions/ concerns?

What is your experience with Section 508 compliance?  What are the major challenges vendors must overcome with complying with the Section 508 requirement?  

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Significant evolution in the charge card and payments market has occurred since the beginning of the GSA SmartPay contracts.   GSA's Office of Charge... More

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