Citing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Michael Leiterman, a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has filed a suit against his employer.
Section 508 is an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act, passed by Congress in 1986. This amendment specifies that government agencies must make their electronic and information technology available to people with disabilities. Since its adoption in 1998, the digital realm has exploded, making Section 508 compliance even more necessary to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.
The suit alleges that DHS is in violation of Section 508 of the Act "by purchasing, developing, and implementing inaccessible technology, using inaccessible training and testing platforms and materials, requiring Mr. Leiterman to provide accessibility testing, troubleshooting, and correction for CBP's technology, failing to provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, and denying him a promotion because of his disability and the agency's inaccessible technology."
This will be an interesting case to follow, especially as the White House announced a new strategic plan in January "detailing actions that need to be taken to increase transparency, strengthen accountability, improve collaboration regarding accessible electronic and information technology, and to create a more standardized and comprehensive level of compliance to Section 508 across the Federal Government."
If you work for the government, and you want to know how Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act impacts your agency, we are offering a recording of a seminar that took place in February in conjunction with the Department of Veteran's Affairs about their Section 508 compliance program.
Our accessibility experts would also love to speak with you directly about any questions you may have.