Long before 508th Compliance for training, the US Military came to depend on the blind for manufacturing and the company that represented them is still going strong.
Long before Section 508 was originally added as an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in 1986. The original section 508 dealt with electronic and information technologies, in recognition of the growth of this field.
In 1997, The Federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility and Compliance Act was proposed in the U.S. legislature to correct the shortcomings of the original section 508; the original Section 508 had turned out to be mostly ineffective, in part due to the lack of enforcement mechanisms. In the end, this Federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility and Compliance Act, with revisions, was enacted as the new Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in 1998.
Section 508 addresses legal compliance through the process of market research and government procurement and also has technical standards against which products can be evaluated to determine if they meet the technical compliance. Because technology can meet the legal provisions and be legally compliant (e.g., no such product exists at time of purchase) but may not meet the United States Access Board‘s technical accessibility standards, users are often confused between these two issues. Additionally, evaluation of compliance can be done only when reviewing the procurement process and documentation used when making a purchase or contracting for development, the changes in technologies and standards themselves, it requires a more detailed understanding of the law and technology than at first seems necessary.
But before the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wagner-O’Day Act on June 25, 1938.
That Act, 83 years ago, opened the door for an organization that has proven to be a backbone of the United States military.
“We started out doing a lot of the traditional manufacturing,” NIB CEO and president Kevin Lynch said. “That has significantly changed particularly over the last 10 or 12 years. One of the real game-changers for us has been the boost in accessible technology that has allowed us to take on much more complex opportunities.”