Draft Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines

Published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2010.       PDF version

Related Document:  ANPRM Preamble (published discussion of the proposed draft text)

Links below will take you to Access Board Website

http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/draft-rule.htm#e105

Table of Contents


508 Chapter 1:  Application and Administration

E101 Purpose

This part provides requirements for electronic and information technology, also referred to as “information and communication technology” (ICT), necessary to implement the requirements for Federal departments and agencies (“Agencies”), including the United States Postal Service, set forth in section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d).

E102 General Requirement

E102.1 General.  Federal agencies shall apply the provisions of this part in order to ensure that:

E102.1.1 Federal Employees.  Individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and

E102.1.2 Members of the Public.  Individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.

E103 Application

E103.1 General.  The requirements in this part apply to ICT that is procured, developed, maintained, or used by or on behalf of agencies.

E103.2 Covered Agencies.  This part applies to agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502, as well as the United States Postal Service.

Advisory E103.2 Covered Agencies.  Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) applies to Federal departments and agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service.

The term “agency” under this part shall include the U.S. Postal Service and “agency” as defined by 44 U.S.C. 3502.  That section defines agency to  mean any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency, but does not include (a) the General Accounting Office; (b) Federal Election Commission; (c) the governments of the District of Columbia and of the territories and possessions of the United States, and their various subdivisions; or (d) Government-owned contractor-operated facilities, including laboratories engaged in national defense research and production activities.

E103.3 Covered Information and Communication Technology.  This part applies to ICT as defined in E111 of this chapter.

E103.3.1 Electronic Content..  Electronic content shall conform to E103.3.1.  When Federal agencies communicate using electronic content regardless of transmission or storage method,such electronic content shall conform to applicable provisions when the communication is:  (a) an official communication by the agency or a representative of the agency to Federal employees which contains information necessary for them to perform their job functions; or (b) an official communication by an agency or a representative of the agency to a member of the public, which is necessary for them to conduct official business with the agency as defined by the agency’s mission.

Exception:  Electronic content stored solely for archival purposes or retained solely to preserve the exact image of the original hard copy is not required to conform to applicable provisions.

Advisory E103.3.1 Electronic Content.  An official communication of the agency supports the agency’s mission, and is limited to those communications which contain information necessary for Federal employees to perform their job functions; or, when communicated to a member of the public, are necessary for them to conduct official business with the agency as defined by the agency’s mission.

Electronic content may include, but is not limited to, documents or synchronized media regardless of format or storage method.  Examples of such content may include reports, invoices, or synchronized media containing promotional materials related to the agency mission or upcoming agency events or deadlines. 

Examples of official communication by an agency or representative to Federal employees include announcements containing information necessary for Federal employees to perform their job functions, which are broadly disseminated to agency employees.  These may include information about working conditions or policies, such as information on agency IT policies, security, or personnel information.  This may also include general announcements of upcoming agency events in furtherance of the agency mission (such as the upcoming tax season at IRS, for example). 

Examples of official communications by the agency or representative to a member of the public, which are necessary for the conduct of official business with the agency as defined by the agency’s mission may include technical assistance provided by agency employees on agency regulations to members of the public, content posted on the agency website for public information, and information about benefits or programs administered or provided by the agency as part of the agency mission.

Advisory E103.3.1 Electronic Content Exception.  The necessity for storing exact replicas of hard copy content generally relates to the need to accurately preserve or represent certain characteristics of the document, such as watermarks, signatures, dates, or other indicia relevant to the document's authenticity and application.

Where this content originates as electronic content covered by this part prior to becoming hard copy, it is a best practice to make such electronic content conformant with the standards.  It is important then to retain text-based electronic copies of content prior to hard copy production and subsequent storage as an image.  This will ensure, for example, that the text of a memo which is stored as an image to retain the signature of an agency official will be available for distribution as accessible text upon request.

E103.3.1.1 Location.  Electronic content procured or developed by an agency shall be covered by this part, even if the content is not located on a Federal website or at a Federal location. 

Advisory E103.3.1.1 Location.  A Federal video posted on a social media website is required to conform to this part.  For example, under this part, a video developed by a Federal agency must be compliant without regard to whether it is posted on the agency’s website or on a non-Federal third party site, without charge to the agency. 

E103.3.1.2 Medium.  This part applies to Federal electronic content regardless of medium.

Advisory E103.3.1.2 Medium.  Electronic documents, for example, are covered regardless of whether posted on a website, attached to an email, or saved on a CD, flash drive, office server, or other medium.

E103.3.1.3 Email.  Email produced by or on behalf of an agency, whether transmitted to agency employees or to recipients not employed by the agency, is required to conform to the provisions of this part. 

Advisory E103.3.1.3 Email.  This provision covers email sent by an agency, not email received.  This provision applies to e-mail sent internally as well as transmitted to recipients outside the agency.  This applies to different forms of email, such as webmail.  An example would be a web-push notification sent by a third party contractor to Federal employees within the agency.

E103.3.2 Components of an ICT System.  When ICT is a system of interoperable components, the provisions of this part shall apply to each interoperable component that has a user interface, or transmits information.

Exception:  When ICT is a component of a system where the principal function is not ICT, then the provisions of this part shall only apply to the ICT components which have a user interface or transmit information.

Advisory E103.3.2 Components of an ICT System.  An example of ICT that is a system of interoperable components is a personal computer.  In this example, the interoperable components are the CPU, the display monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, and any attachments (such as an external hard drive, removable flash drive, and printer).  Each of these interoperable components is required to conform to the applicable provisions of this part.

An example of an ICT component that is not required to conform to the provisions of this part is the motherboard inside the CPU, because it does not have a user interface.

The covered components may not necessarily be in the same physical location.  An example of an ICT system required to conform to the provisions of this part is a service that provides for telephone callers to adjust a thermostat or turn on a building security system and lights.

Advisory E103.3.2 Components of an ICT System Exception.  Vehicles, such as cars, boats and planes, are not ICT because the principal function is not ICT.  Some ICT found in vehicles would be covered where the principal function is ICT.  Examples of covered ICT components in vehicles include:  laptops fixed inside a vehicle used by a Federal uniformed security officer, car phones, and video players mounted in vehicles.  Electronics used in the operation of a vehicle are not ICT.  An example of electronics that are not covered is the dashboard of a car.

E103.4 Covered Activities.  Covered activities under this part include the procurement, development, maintenance, or use of ICT by or on behalf of Federal agencies on or after the effective date of this part.

E103.4.1 Pre-existing ICT.  Covered ICT that was procured, developed, maintained, or used prior to the effective date of this part, remains subject to the accessibility standards in effect at the time of the covered action.

Advisory E103.4.1 Pre-existing ICT.  If an agency is acquiring "patches" to fix minor software errors on a system that is not near the end of its life expectancy and software that meets the applicable technical provisions of the standards would not operate with the system, the agency might experience a significant difficulty or expense if it had to prematurely replace its system to accommodate the new software.  Thus, the acquisition might fall within the undue burden exception.

By contrast, a finding of undue burden may be difficult to justify if a system is near the end of its life expectancy, and the purpose of the "maintenance" is to significantly upgrade and update the system or its operating software (such as moving from a very old generation software to a much newer generation software), and the agency has the resources for such an upgrade.

E103.4.2 Federal Contracts.  This part applies to ICT procured, developed, maintained, or used by a contractor under a contract with an agency that requires the use of such ICT in the performance of specifications or deliverables under the contract.

Exception:  This part does not apply to ICT procured, developed, maintained, or used by a contractor that is not used for the performance of the contractor’s duties under the contract or for meeting deliverables under the contract.

E103.5 Identifying Applicable Provisions.  Agencies should first look to the provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 to determine if there are specific technical provisions that apply to the ICT need they are seeking to satisfy.

E103.5.1 Relation of Functional Performance Criteria to Technical Provisions.  If there are applicable provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 that fully address the product or service being procured, then the agency need not look to Chapter 2 (Functional Performance Criteria).  Acquired products that meet the specific technical provisions set forth in Chapters 3 through 9 will also meet the broader functional performance criteria in Chapter 2.

E103.5.2 ICT Not Addressed by Technical Provisions.  If an agency’s procurement needs are not fully addressed by Chapters 3 through 9, then the agency must look to Chapter 2 for applicable functional performance criteria.

E103.5.3 Evaluation of Failures Against Technical Provision.  If any of the technical provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 are not met, the functional performance criteria in Chapter 2 must be used to evaluate if access is provided in another way through E106 Equivalent Facilitation.

E104 Undue Burden

E104.1 General.  When procuring, developing, maintaining, or using ICT, each agency shall ensure that the ICT conforms to all applicable provisions of this part, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

E104.2 Basis.  In determining whether compliance with all or part of the provisions in this part would impose an undue burden, an agency shall consider the difficulty or expense of compliance and agency resources available to its program or components for which the ICT is procured, developed, maintained, or used.

E104.3 Documentation.  The responsible official shall document in writing the basis for an undue burden decision, including an explanation of why and to what extent compliance with each such provision in the procurement, development, maintenance, or use of ICT creates an undue burden, as well as how the agency will meet the general requirement expressed in E102.

E104.4 Alternative Means.  When an agency determines that conformance to the provisions of this part imposes an undue burden, the agency shall provide individuals with disabilities with the information and data involved by an alternative means of access that allows the individual to use the information and data.

E105 General Exceptions

E105.1 Fundamental Alteration.  This part shall not require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the ICT.  When an agency determines that conformance to a particular provision of this part would result in a fundamental alteration, the ICT shall conform to the remaining applicable provisions of this part.

Advisory E105.1 Fundamental Alteration.  A determination by an agency that conformance to a particular provision would result in a fundamental alteration does not exempt the ICT in its entirety from coverage under this part.

E105.2 National Security Systems.  This part does not apply to any ICT operated by agencies as part of a national security system, as defined by 40 U.S.C. 11103(a).

Advisory E105.2 National Security Systems.  The term National Security System means any telecommunication, or information system operated by the United States government, the function, operation, or use of which involves:

  • Intelligence activities;
  • Cryptologic activities related to national security;
  • Command and control of military forces;
  • Equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system; or
  • Systems which are critical to the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions.

Systems that are critical to the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions do not include systems that are used for routine administrative and business applications.  Examples of routine administrative and business applications are payroll, finance, logistics, and personnel management applications.  Routine administrative and business applications are covered by this part.

E106 Equivalent Facilitation

Nothing in this part is intended to prevent the use of designs or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed in this part, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater access to and use of ICT for people with disabilities.

E107 WCAG 2.0 Harmonization

Web pages as defined by WCAG 2.0, that are Level AA conformant to WCAG 2.0, as defined in that standard, (that is, all Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements 1 - 4) shall be deemed to be in conformance with the following chapters of this part, so long as they also meet the enumerated sections of this part:

Chapter 4, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements plus sections 409 and 413 of this part; 

Chapter 5, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements;

Chapter 6, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements plus sections 604.4, 604.5, 607, and 608 of this part.

Advisory E107 WCAG 2.0 Harmonization.  The WCAG 2.0 definition for web page is available via the Internet at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#webpagedef.

The WCAG 2.0 definition for conformance is available via the Internet at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#conformance.

E108 Best Meets

When procuring ICT, each agency shall procure ICT which complies with the provisions in this part when such ICT is available in the commercial market place or when such ICT is developed in response to a government solicitation.  If ICT is commercially available that meets some, but not all of the provisions, the agency must procure the product that best meets the provisions of this part, consistent with the business needs of the agency.

Advisory E108 Best Meets.  Nothing in this part should be construed to require agencies to procure ICT which does not meet the business needs of the agency.

E109 Provision of Support Services and Materials

E109.1 General.  Agencies shall apply the provisions of E109 and Chapter 10 when providing support services and materials. 

E109.2 Alternate Methods of Communication.  Help desk and technical support services shall provide alternate methods of communication.

Advisory E109.2 Alternate Methods of Communication.  Help desk and technical support services include but are not limited to: agency help desks, support services outsourced by agencies, and help line assistance provided by product manufacturers and vendors.

Alternate methods of communication include both in-person and remote communication.  Examples include, but are not limited to: sign language interpreters, assistive listening systems, TTYs, real-time captioning, and telecommunications relay services, such as TTY, speech-to-speech, or video relay services.

People with disabilities may use a variety of communication technologies in addition to using alternate methods of communication.  Examples of such communication technologies include: Internet posting (such as message boards and website blogs); cellular telephones; e-mail; fax; postal mail; texting, and instant messaging.

E109.3 Alternate Formats.  Help desk and technical support services shall provide materials in alternate formats for users with disabilities.

Advisory E109.3 Alternate Formats.  Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities include, but are not limited to:  braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats that conform to this part.

E109.4 Accessibility and Compatibility Features of Products.  Agencies shall provide access to a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of products to users.

E110 Conventions

E110.1 Dimensions.  Dimensions that are not stated as “maximum” or “minimum” are absolute.

E110.2 Figures.  Unless specifically stated otherwise, figures are provided for informational purposes only.

E110.3 Units of Measurement.  For usability purposes, length is provided in both United States customary units (e.g., inches) as well as metric units (e.g., millimeters).

E111 Definitions

E111.1 General.  For the purpose of this document, the terms defined in 111.5 have the indicated meaning.

E111.2 Terms Defined in Referenced Standards.  Terms not defined in 111.5 but specifically defined in a referenced standard, shall have the specified meaning from the referenced standard unless otherwise stated.

E111.3 Undefined Terms.  The meaning of terms not specifically defined in 111.5 or in referenced standards shall be as defined by collegiate dictionaries in the sense that the context implies.

E111.4 Interchangeability.  Words, terms, and phrases used in the singular include the plural and those used in the plural include the singular.

E111.5 Defined Terms.

Alternate Formats.  Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats that conform to this part.

Assistive Technology (AT).  Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  As used in this part, the term includes traditional assistive technology hardware and software along with mainstream technology used for assistive purposes, virtual assistive technology delivered as a web service and integration of products into a system that provides assistive technology functions that allow individuals with disabilities to access information and communication technology.

Authoring Tool.  Any software intended to create or modify electronic content for publication in one or more formats that support compliance with the user interface and content provisions.  Simple text editors that can only create or modify content in conforming formats by directly editing the code are not considered authoring tools under this definition.

CAPTCHA.  “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart."  A Turing test is any system of tests designed to differentiate a human from a computer.  CAPTCHA tests often involve asking the user to type in text that is presented in an obscured image or audio file.

Content.  Information or sensory experience to be communicated to the user by means of software, including but not limited to: text, images, sounds, videos, controls, and animations, as well as the encoding that defines the structure, presentation, and interactions associated with those elements.  Examples include word processing files, presentation files, spreadsheet files, text files, and portable document files.

Content Format.  An encoding mechanism for storing information, such as HTML, JPEG, SMIL, and PDF.

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).  Equipment employed on the premises of a person (other than a carrier) to originate, route, or terminate telecommunications or interconnected VOIP service.

Decoration.  Sensory experience to be communicated to the user that does not convey relevant information, does not have a function, and is included only for aesthetic purposes.

Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT).  This is also referred to as Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  This includes information technology and is any equipment or interconnected system, or subsystem of equipment, which is used in the creation, conversion, duplication, automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data or information.

ICT includes, but is not limited to: electronic content, including email, electronic documents and Internet and Intranet web sites; telecommunications products, including video communication terminals; computers and ancillary equipment, including  external hard drives; software, including operating systems and applications; information kiosks and transaction machines; videos; IT services; and multifunction office machines that copy, scan and fax documents.

Free-standing.  Standing independently of attachment or support.

Images of Text.  Text that has been rendered in a non-text form, such as an image, in order to achieve a particular visual effect.  Images of text may appear on a screen or in print or be embossed on hardware.  This does not include text that is part of a picture that contains significant other visual content. 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  Also referred to as electronic and information technology.

Information Technology.  Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.  The term information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment, including external hard drives, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.

Keyboard.  A set of systematically arranged keys by which a machine or device is operated and alphanumeric input is provided such as a computer keyboard, a cell-phone keypad, or a television remote control that can generate alphanumeric input.  Tactilely discernible keys that are used in conjunction with the main cluster of keys are included in the definition of keyboard as long as their function also maps to keys on any keyboard interfaces.

Keyboard Interface.  A means for accepting input from a keyboard.  For software, this would be the ability to accept keyboard input from the operating system including on-screen keyboards.  For hardware this would be the ability to connect a keyboard via wired or wireless connection.

Label.  Text or other component with a text alternative that is presented to a user to identify a component within content.  In many cases the name and the label are the same.  A label is presented to all users, unlike a name, which may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology.

Large Scale Text.  Text that appears in at least 18 point type, or 14 point type if bolded.

Menu.  Set of selectable options.

Name.  Text by which software can identify a component within Web or other content to the user.  The name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology, whereas a label is presented to all users.  In many cases, the label and the name are the same.  This is unrelated to the name attribute in HTML.

Non-text Content.  Any content that is not a sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined or where the sequence is not expressing something in human language.  Examples include ASCII art (which is a pattern of characters), emoticons, “leetspeak” (which uses character substitution of numbers for letters), and images representing text.

Operable Part.  A component of ICT used to activate, deactivate, or adjust the ICT.

Platform Accessibility Services.  Services provided by a platform enabling interoperability with assistive technology, such as but not limited to accessibility Application Programming Interfaces (API) or Document Object Model (DOM).

Platform Software.  Collection of software components that run on an underlying software or hardware layer and that provide a set of software services to applications that allows them to be isolated from the underlying software or hardware layer.

Product.  The term “product”, as used in this document, is equivalent to ICT.

Programmatically Determinable.  Determined by software from author-supplied data provided in a way that different user agents, including assistive technologies, can extract and present the information to users in different modalities.

Real-time Text (RTT).  Communications that employ the transmission of text where the characters are transmitted by a terminal within a maximum of 1 second of character input.  This would typically be for conversational purposes but also may be used in voicemail, Interactive Voice Response and other similar applications.

Specialized Customer Premises Equipment.  Equipment employed on the premises of a person (other than a carrier) to originate, route, or terminate telecommunications or VoIP services, which is commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access.

Synchronized Media.  Audio or video displayed at the same time as other time-based content that is required for understanding of the complete presentation.  The other content that the audio or video is synchronized with to meet this definition does not include equivalents such as captions, subtitles, or video description.

Telecommunications.  The transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.

Telecommunications Equipment.  Equipment, other than customer premises equipment, used by a carrier to provide telecommunications services, and includes software integral to such equipment (including upgrades).

Telecommunications Manufacturer.  A manufacturer of telecommunications or VoIP equipment or customer premises equipment that sells to the public or to vendors that sell to the public; a final assembler.

Telecommunications Service.  The offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.

Terminal.  Device or software with which the end user directly interacts and that provides the user interface.  For some systems, the software that provides the user interface may reside on more than one device such as a phone and a server.

Text.  A sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined, where the sequence is expressing something in human language.

TTY.  An abbreviation for teletypewriter.  Machinery or equipment that enables interactive text based communications through the transmission of frequency-shift-keying audio tones across the public switched telephone network according to TIA-825-A (A Frequency Shift Keyed Modem for Use on the Public Switched Telephone Network).  As used in this part, the term TTY includes devices for text-to-text communications along with voice and text intermixed communications such as voice carry over and hearing carry over.  TTYs may include computers with special modems.  TTYs are a subset of devices called text telephones.

Typically Held to the Ear.  A product that is positioned immediately adjacent to the ear, either by hand or by a strap or holder of some kind.

Undue Burden.  Undue burden means significant difficulty or expense. 

Video Description.  The insertion of verbal or auditory descriptions of on-screen visuals intended to describe important visual details that are not contained in, or that cannot be understood from, the main audio output alone.  Video descriptions supplement the regular audio track of a program and are usually inserted between dialogue narrations to provide information about actions, characters, and on-screen text that appear without verbalization.  Video descriptions are a way to let people who are blind or have low vision know what is happening on-screen.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service.  A service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications, requires a broadband connection from the user’s location, requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment, and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.

E112 Referenced Standards or Guidelines

E112.1 General.  The standards listed in E112.2 are incorporated by reference in this document and are part of the requirements to the prescribed extent of each such reference.  The Director of the Federal Register has approved these standards for incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.  Copies of the referenced standards may be inspected at the Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC  20004; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to:
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html

E112.2 Referenced Standards or Guidelines.  The specific editions of the standards or guidelines listed below are referenced in this document.  Where differences occur between this document and the referenced standards or guidelines, this document applies.

E112.2.1 ATSC.  Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), 1776 K Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC  20006-2304
http://www.atsc.org/standards/a53.php

A/52 Standard for Digital Audio Compression (AC-3) 1995; A/53 Digital Television Standard, Parts 1-6, 2007 (see 606.2.2.2); and A/65 Program and System Information Protocol for Terrestrial Broadcast and Cable 2006.

Advisory E112.2.1 ATSC.  The ATSC/ A/52, A/53, and A/65 Digital Television Standards describe the transmission system characteristics of the advanced television (ATV) system.  The document and its normative parts provide detailed specification of the parameters of the system including the video encoder input scanning formats and the preprocessing and compression parameters of the video encoder, the audio encoder input signal format and the pre-processing and compression parameters of the audio encoder, the service multiplex and transport layer characteristics and normative specifications, and the VSB RF/Transmission subsystem.

E112.2.2 ANSI/IEEE.  Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 10662 Los Vaqueros Circle, P.O. Box 3014, Los Alamitos, California 90720-1264
http://www.ieee.org

ANSI/IEEE Std C63.19-2007 American National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids (see 803.6).

Advisory E112.2.2 ANSI/IEEE.  ANSI C63.19-2007 American National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids provides a uniform method of measurement for compatibility between hearing aids and wireless communications devices.

E112.2.3 ANSI/EIA.  Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from Information Handling Services, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, Colorado 80155-6800
http://global.ihs.com

ANSI/EIA-470-A-1987 for analog telephones (see 803.2).

ANSI/EIA/TIA-571-1991 for digital telephones (see 803.2).

Advisory E112.2.3 ANSI/EIA.  ANSI/EIA-470-A-1987 specifies the baseline volume in telecommunications products for analog telephones.  ANSI/EIA/TIA-571-1991 specifies the baseline volume in telecommunications products for digital telephones.

E112.2.4 ITU-T.  (International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector).  Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Place des Nations CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland
http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/

ITU-T G.722 (11/88):  7 kHz Audio-Coding within 64 kbits/s (see 903.4 and 906.2).

Recommendation ITU-R BT.470-7, Conventional Analog Television Systems (1988) also known as National Television System Committee (NTSC) Standard video output (see Advisories 905.3.2.3.1 and 905.3.2.3.3).

ITU-T H.261 (3/93):  Video Codec for Audiovisual Services at p x 64 kbits/s (see 905.3.2.1).

Advisory E112.2.4 ITU-T.  G.722 is an ITU standard coder-decoder program that provides 7 kHz wideband audio at data rates from 48, 56, and 64 kbits/s.  This standard offers a significant improvement in speech quality over earlier standards.

National Television System Committee standard video output (NTSC) is the standard for the analog television system in the United States.  It has been replaced in the United States for full service television stations as of June 12, 2009 with the ATSC A/52 Standard for Digital Audio Compression (AC-3).  A/53 Digital Television Standard; and A/65Program and System Information Protocol for Terrestrial Broadcast and Cable.  The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) developed the ATSC Standards for digital television in the United States.

H.261 is an ITU standard which describes Common Intermediate Format (CIF), which standardizes pixel resolution in video signals and is commonly used in video conferencing systems.  The resolution is 352×288 pixels.

E112.2.5 MTS/BTSC.  Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from IHS (Information Handling Services) 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, Colorado 80155-6800
http://global.ihs.com

Broadcast Television Systems Committee (BTSC) Multichannel Television Sound standard (1984) (see 606.2.2.1).

Advisory E112.2.5 MTS/BTSC.  Multichannel television sound, better known as MTS (often still as BTSC, for the Broadcast Television Systems Committee that created it), is the method of encoding three additional channels of audio into an NTSC-format audio carrier.  It was adopted by the FCC as the U.S. standard for stereo analog television transmission in 1984.

E112.2.6 TIA 825-A and 1083.  Copies of the referenced standard may be obtained from IHS (Information Handling Services) 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, Colorado 80155-6800
http://global.ihs.com

TIA 825-A (2003) A Frequency Shift Keyed Modem for Use on the Public Switched Telephone Network (see 902.4.1).

TIA 1083 (2007) Telephone Terminal Equipment Handset Magnetic Measurement Procedures and Performance Requirements (see 803.6).

Advisory E112.2.6 TIA.  TIA 825-A is the standard for TTY signals on the publicly switched telephone network interface.  TIA 1083 defines measurement procedures and performance requirements for the handset generated audio band magnetic noise of wire line telephones.  This standard addresses magnetic interference issues not covered by Part 68 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations.

E112.2.7 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.  Copies of the referenced guidelines may be obtained from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 32 Vassar Street, Room 32-G515, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (2008) (see 401.1, 501.1, and 601.1).

Advisory E112.2.7 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.  The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines offer a series of recommendations to make web content more accessible to all users, including persons with disabilities.


255 Chapter 1:  Application and Administration

C101 Purpose

This part provides requirements for accessibility, usability, and compatibility of telecommunications and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) products and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) covered by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 255).

C102 General Requirement

C102.1 General.  Manufacturers of telecommunications products shall apply the provisions of this part in order to ensure that the equipment is designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.

Advisory C102.1 General.  Some cellular telephones may fall outside of the thresholds or benchmark dates established by the FCC for meeting hearing aid compatibility (HAC) requirements in Chapter 9 (Conversation Functionality and Controls), but they shall still meet other applicable provisions from this document.

C103 Application

C103.1 General.  This part applies to telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE.

Advisory C103.1 General.  This part applies to basic and special telecommunications services, including call waiting, speed dialing, call forwarding, computer-provided directory assistance, caller identification, call tracing, and repeat dialing.

This part applies to interactive voice response (IVR) systems and voice mail.

This part applies to other products that support two-way voice communication, such as intercoms and 2-way radios.

A range of products are addressed beyond those typically thought of as telecommunications devices.  For example, telecommunications systems, such as VoIP, may involve use of web interfaces, thus evoking both electronic content design provisions and the associated electronic content exceptions.

Products such as instant messaging that support real-time conversation in other modes are also covered, and addressed, in Chapter 9 (Conversation Functionality and Controls).

C103.2 Covered Entities.  This part applies to manufacturers of telecommunications products.

C103.3 Covered Information and Communication Technology.  New telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE manufactured or sold on or after the effective date of this part, as well as telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE that undergo substantial change or upgrade, or for which new releases are distributed, shall be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, either directly or through compatibility with devices attached to the telecommunications and interconnected VoIP devices and specialized CPE commonly used by individuals with disabilities.

C103.3.1 Minor Changes Not Affecting Functionality.  This document does not apply to minor or insubstantial changes to existing telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE that do not affect functionality.

C103.4 Direct Accessibility.  Telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE shall conform directly to all functional performance criteria and applicable technical design provisions in this part when readily achievable.

C103.4.1 Compatibility Design.  When telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE are unable to conform to C103.4, accessibility shall be provided, when readily achievable, through compatibility with peripheral devices and specialized CPE commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access.

Advisory C103.4.1 Compatibility Design.  In determining whether an accessibility feature is readily achievable, weigh the nature and cost of that feature with the overall financial resources of the telecommunication service provider or manufacturer, including such factors as the type, size, and nature of that company’s operation.

C103.5 Prohibited Reduction of Accessibility.  No change shall be undertaken that decreases accessibility, usability, or compatibility of telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE.

Exception:  Discontinuation of a product shall not be prohibited.

C103.6 Identifying Applicable Provisions.  A manufacturer should first look to the provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 to determine if there are specific technical provisions that apply to the ICT need they are seeking to satisfy.

C103.6.1 Relation of Functional Performance Criteria to Technical Provisions.  If there are applicable provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 that fully address the product being designed, developed, or fabricated, then the manufacturer need not look to Chapter 2 (Functional Performance Criteria).  Products that meet the specific technical provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 will also meet the functional performance criteria in Chapter 2.

C103.6.2 ICT Not Addressed by Technical Provisions.  If a manufacturer is not able to ensure that its equipment is designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities by following the provisions of Chapters 3 through 9, then the manufacturer must look to Chapter 2 for applicable functional performance criteria.

E103.6.3 Evaluation of Failures Against Technical Provision.  If any of the technical provisions in Chapters 3 through 9 are not met, the functional performance criteria in Chapter 2 must be used to evaluate if access is provided in another way through E105 Equivalent Facilitation.

C104 Information, Documentation, and Training

C104.1 General.  Manufacturers of telecommunications products shall apply the provisions of C104, and Chapter 10.

C104.2 Access to Information, Documentation, and Training.  Telecommunications manufacturers shall ensure access to information, documentation, and training they provide to their customers.

Advisory C104.2 Access to Information, Documentation, and Training.  Covered entities must provide access to the following kinds of information, documentation, and training: user guides, installation guides for end-user installable devices, and product support communications, regarding both the product in general and the accessibility features of the product.

C104.3 Alternate Methods of Communication.  Help desk and support services shall provide alternate methods of communication.

Advisory C104.3 Alternate Methods of Communication.  Telecommunications manufacturers are required to accommodate the communication needs of users with disabilities.  These accommodations shall be available at no additional charge to users with disabilities.

Help desk and technical support services include, but are not limited to, help line assistance provided by product manufacturers and vendors.

Alternate methods of communication include both in-person and remote communication.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  sign language interpreters, assistive listening systems, TTYs, real-time captioning, and telecommunications relay services, such as TTY, speech-to-speech, or video relay services.  Alternate forms of written material may include braille, large print, or electronic audio.

People with disabilities may use a variety of communication technologies in addition to using alternate methods of communication.  Examples of such communication technologies include:  Internet posting (such as message boards and website blogs), cellular telephones, two-way radios, e-mail, fax, postal mail, texting, and instant messaging.

C104.3.1 No Additional Charge for Customer Support.  Help desk and technical support services shall be provided to users with disabilities at no additional charge to those users.

C104.3.2 Alternate Formats.  Help desk and technical support services shall provide materials in alternate formats to users with disabilities.

Advisory C104.3.2 Alternate Formats.  Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to: braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that conform to this part.

C104.3.2.1 No Additional Charge for Alternate Formats.  Help desk and technical support services shall provide materials in alternate formats to users with disabilities at no additional charge to those users.

C105 Equivalent Facilitation

Nothing in this part is intended to prevent the use of designs or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed in this part, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater access to and use of a product for people with disabilities.

C106 WCAG 2.0 Harmonization

Web pages as defined by WCAG 2.0, that are Level AA conformant to WCAG 2.0, as defined in that standard, (that is, all Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements 1 - 4) shall be deemed to be in conformance with the following chapters of this part, so long as they also meet the enumerated sections of this part:

Chapter 4, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements plus sections 409 and 413 of this part; 

Chapter 5, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements;

Chapter 6, all corresponding WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements plus sections 604.4, 604.5, 607, and 608 of this part.

Advisory C106 WCAG 2.0 Harmonization.  The WCAG 2.0 definition for web page can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#webpagedef

The WCAG 2.0 definition for conformance can be found at:  http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#conformance

C107 Product Design, Development, and Evaluation

C107.1 General.  When designing, developing and fabricating products, manufacturers of telecommunications products shall comply with the provisions of C107.

C107.2 Evaluation of Accessibility.  Manufacturers shall evaluate the accessibility, usability, and compatibility of telecommunications and interconnected VoIP products and CPE.

C107.2.1 Incorporation of Evaluation.  Manufacturers shall incorporate such evaluation throughout product design, development, and fabrication, as early and consistently as possible.

C107.2.2 Identification of Barriers.  Manufacturers shall identify barriers to accessibility and usability as part of such a product design and development process.

C107.3 Inclusion of People with Disabilities.  In developing an accessible product design and evaluation process, manufacturers shall consider C107.3.1 through C107.3.3.

C107.3.1 Market Research.  When market research is undertaken, manufacturers shall include individuals with disabilities in target populations of such research.

C107.3.2 Product Design, Testing, Demonstration, Trials.  When product design, testing, pilot demonstrations, and product trials are conducted, manufacturers shall include individuals with disabilities in such activities.

Advisory C107.3.2 Product Design, Testing, Demonstration, Trials.  In determining how and whom to enlist in assisting with design, training, demonstrating, or participation in product trials, manufacturers may consider advertising in advocacy organizations’ periodic communication, with membership or demographically similar public or private groups, Federal Advisory Committees, or other associated entities.

C107.3.3 Work Cooperatively with Disability Organizations.  Telecommunication manufacturers shall work cooperatively with appropriate disability-related organizations and make reasonable efforts to validate any unproven accessibility solutions through testing with appropriate disability-related organizations that have established expertise with individuals with disabilities.

C108 Conventions

C108.1 Dimensions.  Dimensions that are not stated as “maximum” or “minimum” are absolute.

C108.2 Figures.  Unless specifically stated otherwise, figures are provided for informational purposes only.

C108.3 Units of Measurement.  For usability purposes, length is provided in both United States customary units (e.g., inches) as well as metric units (e.g., millimeters).

C109 Definitions

C109.1 General.  For the purpose of this document, the terms defined in 109.5 have the indicated meaning.

C109.2 Terms Defined in Referenced Standards.  Terms not defined in 109.5 but specifically defined in a referenced standard, shall have the specified meaning from the referenced standard unless otherwise stated.

C109.3 Undefined Terms.  The meaning of terms not specifically defined in 109.5 or in referenced standards shall be as defined by collegiate dictionaries in the sense that the context implies.

C109.4 Interchangeability.  Words, terms, and phrases used in the singular include the plural and those used in the plural include the singular.

C109.5 Defined Terms.

Alternate Formats.  Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that conform to this part.

Assistive Technology (AT).  Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  As used in this part, the term includes traditional assistive technology hardware and software along with mainstream technology used for assistive purposes, virtual assistive technology delivered as a web service and integration of products into a system that provides assistive technology functions that allow individuals with disabilities to access information and communication technology.

Authoring Tool.  Any software intended to create or modify electronic content for publication in one or more formats that support compliance with the user interface and content provisions.  Simple text editors that can only create or modify content in conforming formats by directly editing the code are not considered authoring tools under this definition.

CAPTCHA.  “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart."  A Turing test is any system of tests designed to differentiate a human from a computer.  CAPTCHA tests often involve asking the user to type in text that is presented in an obscured image or audio file.

Content.  Information and sensory experience to be communicated to the user by means of software, including but not limited to: text, images, sounds, videos, controls, and animations, as well as the encoding that defines the structure, presentation, and interactions associated with those elements.  Examples include word processing files, presentation files, spreadsheet files, text files, and portable document files.

Content Format.  An encoding mechanism for storing information, such as HTML, JPEG, SMIL, and PDF.

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).  Equipment employed on the premises of a person (other than a carrier) to originate, route, or terminate telecommunications or interconnected VOIP service.

Decoration.  Sensory experience to be communicated to the user that does not convey relevant information, does not have a function, and is included only for aesthetic purposes.

Electronic and I