Section 508. Opening Doors to IT Logo. (5 stars and 3 red stripes)

section 508?

Section 508 refers to a statutory section in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (found at 29 U.S.C. 794d). Congress significantly strengthened section 508 in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Its primary purpose is to provide access to and use of Federal executive agencies’ electronic and information technology (EIT) by individuals with disabilities. The statutory language of section 508 can be found at

Section 508 requirements are separate from, but complementary to, requirements in sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that require, among other things, that agencies provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, provide program access to members of the public with disabilities, and take other actions necessary to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in their programs.

What's Require?

Section 508 generally requires Federal agencies to ensure that their procurement of EIT takes into account the needs of all end users – including people with disabilities. Doing so enhances the ability of Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to others. Similarly, agency procurement of accessible EIT enhances the ability of members of the public with disabilities who are seeking information or services from a Federal agency to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to others. Comparable access is not required if it would impose an "undue burden" on the agency. If an agency invokes the undue burden exception, the statute requires the information and data to be provided to individuals with disabilities by an alternative means of access.


Authoring Tool Conformance Evaluations

  • Inform developers and consumers of the degree to which various tools meet ATAG.
  • Help the AUWG assess how well the guidelines apply to all the different types of authoring tools covered by the guidelines.
  • Inform the AUWG's technique writing efforts by helping to determine which requirements of the guidelines are being implemented and to what degre


Sec 508 Tools

Authoring Tool Conformance Evaluations

Product Name (Developer) Comments ATAG Conformance Evaluation(s)
Amaya (W3C) WYSIWYG editor/browser for Unix, Windows. HTML, XHTML, CSS, MathML, some SVG. Source available. Amaya 5.3 to ATAG 1.0 (26 March 2002)

Amaya 2.4 to ATAG 1.0 (3 Feb. 2000)
asWedit (AdvaSoft) Source editor for Unix. asWedit 4.01 to ATAG 1.0 (21 Sept. 1999)
Bluefish (sponsored by: OpenOffice) HTML editor for Unix. Bluefish 0.6 to ATAG 1.0 (1 Oct. 2001)
DreamWeaver (Macromedia) WYSIWYG/source editor for MacOS,Windows.

DreamWeaver 4.0 to ATAG 1.0 (1 Oct. 2001)
DreamWeaver 4.0 to ATAG 1.0 (5 Feb. 2001)
DreamWeaver 3.0 to ATAG 1.0 (13 June 2000)

FrontPage (Microsoft) WYSIWYG editor for Windows.

FrontPage 2002 to ATAG 1.0 with response (17 June 2001)
FrontPage 2000 (Spanish) to ATAG 1.0 (1 Oct 2001)
FrontPage 2000 to ATAG 1.0 (9 April 2000)

HomeSite (Macromedia) Source editor for Windows. HomeSite 4.0.1 to last call draft of ATAG 1.0 (3 Oct. 1999)
HoTMetaL (SoftQuad) WYSIWYG editor for Windows. HotMetal 5.0 to early draft of ATAG 1.0 (25 Sept. 1999)
PageBuilder (Yahoo) On-line WYSIWYG editor for Yahoo Geocities. PageBuilder 2.02 to ATAG 1.0 (10 July 2000)
WebSphere Studio Homepage Builder (IBM) WYSIWYG/source editor for Windows and Linux. Studio version supports (XML, WML, etc.) and linking to Websphere database systems. Websphere Studio Homepage Builder 6.0 for

Windows to ATAG 1.0 (1 Oct. 2001, updated May 2002)

Other Markup Editors: Arachnophilia (Arachnoid), Atrax (Winware), BBEdit (Bare Bones), Coffee Cup (Coffee Cup), Composer (Netscape), Dynamite (Astound), Fusion (NetObjects), GoLive (Adobe), FileMaker Pro (Claris), HotDog Professional (Sausage Tools), HTML-kit (, ICHITARO Ark (Justsystem (English), JoyHTML (JOSIT), Mozquito Factory (Mozquito), NoteTab (Fookes), PageSpinner (Optima System), WebEditor (Namo), World Wide Web Weaver (Miracle Software), Xeena (IBM alphaworks), XMetaL (SoftQuad)

(Adding a tool to the list)
Includes courseware, groupware, etc.

Product Name (Developer) Comments ATAG Conformance Evaluation
Blackboard (Blackboard) Courseware Blackboard 5.5 to ATAG 1.0 (30 Aug. 2001)
Notes/Domino Designer (Lotus) Collaborative messaging and e-business application Domino 5.02a to ATAG 1.0 (27 Aug. 2001)
Prometheus ( Blackboard) Courseware Prometheus 5.08 to ATAG 1.0 (4 Oct. 2001)
WebCT (WebCT) Courseware WebCT 3.6 to ATAG 1.0 (27 Aug. 2001)
Other Database-Backed Tools: Aspen / Toolbook (Click2Learn) [Courseware], ClassNet (AIT at IOWA State) [Courseware], Cold Fusion (Macromedia) [Web application development], HyperWave Suites (HyperWave) [Courseware], Lotus Learning Space (Lotus) [Courseware], Topclass (WBT) [Courseware], list of more courseware packages. [Adding tools to this list]

Style Sheet Editors (Adding a tool to the list)

Product Name (Developer) Comments ATAG Conformance Evaluation
Other : Cascade (Media Design in-Progress), CSS Mill (Patrick Corcoran), Prime Style (Prime Consulting), Sheet Stylist (Hazelhurst), StyleMaker (Danere), Style Master (Western Civilisation), StyleOneStyleSheet Maker (Coffee Cup Software), TopStyle (Bradbury Software). [Adding tools to this list]

Sponsored: W3.ORG

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