After being amended in 1988, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 required Federal Agencies to make their electronic and information technology, such as websites and web documents, accessible to people with disabilities. This law is applicable to all federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Agencies must provide accessible information to employees with disabilities and the public that is comparable to the same access available to others.
A final ruling was issued on January 18, 2017 in which accessibility requirements for information and communication technology in the federal sector were updated. This ruling refreshes guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 225 of the Communications Act as well as updates and reorganizes both Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines. These changes are due to changing market trends and technologies. Requirements involving other guidelines and standards are unified both in the U.S. and abroad regarding standards by the European Commission and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The refresh references Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements in WCAG 2.0. This means that the rule not only applies to websites but to electronic documents and software as well.