Directions for Designated Agency Officials: Use this form to gather information, but enter your data on the Internet page designed for this purpose (http://www.508.org). To access the site, you must use the username and password combination provided to you by the Department of Justice. The first time you access the site, you will be asked to change the password to one of your own choosing. You will have the opportunity to review your answers online before they are submitted to the Department of Justice. Once you have entered your data, you should print a copy of your responses for your records. If you have any questions, please contact us.
202-305-8304 (voice mail)
202-353-8944 (TTY mail)
A. Basic Agency Information
1. How many people does your agency employ (full-time and part-time employees, not including contractors)? ________________
Freedom of Information Act. The data collected from this survey is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, to the same extent as other agency information. As a matter of convenience to you and members of the public, we will post data on an Internet website on behalf of all agencies that have given us permission to do so. This method would give members of the public a centralized venue to view agencies' 2001 section 508 survey data. It would also prevent each participating agency from having to respond to multiple FOIA requests. Agencies that permit the Department of Justice to post their information are responsible for notifying the Department of any required redactions for privacy or other reasons.
2. Does your agency give the Department of Justice permission to post its 2001 section 508 survey data online for members of the public?
City: ____________________________ State: _________ Zip: ___________
Telephone (voice): _________________________
Telephone (TTY, if available): ________________________
e-mail address or website: ______________________________
B. Policies and Procedures for Handling Complaints under Section 508
Section 508 authorizes persons with disabilities to file administrative complaints with agencies or to file lawsuits in federal court on or after June 21, 2001 (six months after the Access Board published its final rule). These enforcement provisions only apply to procurements made in violation of section 508. Agencies' procedures for handling and resolving section 508 complaints must be patterned after the complaint procedures established to implement section 504 for resolving allegations of discrimination in a federally conducted program or activity.
For technical assistance on the proper procedures for handling and resolving civil rights complaints, generally, you may wish to consult Investigations Procedures Manual for the Investigation and Resolution of Complaints Alleging Violations of Title VI and Other Nondiscrimination Statutes (Investigative Procedures Manual), published by the Coordination and Review Section, Civil Rights Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Investigative Procedures Manual is available online (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/coord/invmanual.htm).
This section of the Questionnaire is designed to elicit some basic information about agencies' intended complaint handling policies and procedures. The Department of Justice anticipates providing more detailed guidance in the near future to supplement the Investigative Procedures Manual.
1. Has your agency examined its existing complaint-handling processes applicable to complaints filed under section 504 for federally conducted activities and tailored them to the section 508 context?
2. Has your agency incorporated Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation or arbitration, into your existing administrative complaint resolution processes?
3. Has your agency widely disseminated instructions to the public and to employees regarding how to file administrative complaints under section 508?
C. Policies and Procedures Regarding Web Accessibility
1. Does your agency maintain a web site?
2. Does your agency create and maintain its own web pages?
3. Has your agency established web accessibility guidelines to ensure that your web pages - Internet and Intranet - are accessible to people with disabilities?
4. Do you have procedures in place to ensure that your accessibility guidelines are followed by people who have responsibility for the content of your web site?
5. If you have established web accessibility guidelines, please indicate which, if any, of the following topics are addressed by those guidelines (check as many as apply):
6. Does your agency have a policy requiring that prior to posting, web pages are "tested" using text-only browsers - such as the public domain "Lynx" browser - commonly used by people with disabilities?
7. Does your agency have a policy requiring that prior to posting, web pages are "tested" using screen readers or other assistive technologies commonly used by people with disabilities?
8. Does your agency provide clear and detailed information or options for improving the accessibility of your web sites for persons with disabilities?
9. Has your agency designated and advertised an e-mail address to allow people with disabilities to inform you of accessibility problems encountered on your web site?
D. Other Rehabilitation Act Concerns
Section 508 cannot be fully grasped without a basic understanding of sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Among other things, sections 501 and 504 contain general prohibitions of disability-based discrimination and generally require federal agencies and departments to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified persons with disabilities, including employees and members of the public, upon request.
Many of the recommendations incorporated into the Attorney General's April 2000 report to the President, Information Technology and People with Disabilities: The Current State of Federal Accessibility, were designed to assist agencies in implementing complementary parts of the Rehabilitation Act, including sections 501, 504, and 508. The following questions are designed to measure whether agencies have implemented these recommendations.
1. Does your agency provide training for all employees and contractors for using TTY's, the Telephone Relay Services (TRS), and the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS)?
2. Does your agency provide TTY's, outlets, and shelves wherever it provides telephones for members of the public?
3.Has your agency installed dedicated TTY lines wherever it receives a large volume of incoming calls?
4. Does your agency have operators available on interactive automated telephone services (available by pressing "0") for assisting persons with disabilities?
5. If your agency uses interactive telephone systems, have you tested and configured such interactive telephone systems to be compatible with TTY's?
6. If your agency has toll-free information lines, does it also maintain separate toll-free TTY lines providing equivalent information and services?
7. If your agency owns, controls, or uses any ITM's, (1) have you (1) surveyed them for potential barriers, (2) eliminated some or all of the barriers, and (3) taken steps to ensure that whatever programs provided by any inaccessible ITM's are available to people with disabilities through an accessible ITM or another means?
E. Good Practices
The following list includes steps that agencies should be taking to ensure full implementation of section 508. While we are not currently asking agencies to perform self-evaluations on these issues, we may do so in the future. Each agency should:
1. ITM's (information transaction machines) include, but are not limited to, information kiosks, electronic building directories, ATM's (automated teller machines), and point-of-sale card readers.