On August 7, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, which covers access to federally funded programs and services.
"The law strengthens section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires access to electronic and information technology provided by the Federal government. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Federal agencies must ensure that this technology is accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities to the extent it does not pose an 'undue burden.' "
U.S. Access Board
Section 508 addresses various means for disseminating information, including computers, software, and electronic office equipment.
The Access Board is responsible for developing accessibility standards for such technology for incorporation into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices. The Access Board issued their Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000. The final standards help Federal agencies determine whether or not a technology product or system is accessible.
What is an accessible website?
Accessibility problems can occur when a user interacts with a Web page. For example, a user might not be able to view the content of the page due to blindness or limited vision, or the user might not be able to interact with the page due to an inability to maneuver the mouse. Accessible Web pages provide alternatives for accomplishing these tasks.