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Section 508 Self-Evaluation Questionnaire for Designated Agency Officials

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.

Department of Justice's Section 508 Coordinators

202-305-8304 (voice mail)
202-353-8944 (TTY mail)
sec508.questions@usdoj.gov (e-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?

  1. Yes. The Department of Justice has our agency's permission to release our survey data to the public by posting it to an appropriate Internet site, along with the data of other agencies also giving their permission.
  2. No. We will handle our own FOIA requests. The Department of Justice should post our FOIA Office's contact information and direct members of the public to contact that office:

    Office: ____________________________
    Address: ________________________________
    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?

  1. Yes, we have an appropriate set of policies and procedures in place to handle section 508 complaints when they arise.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable for tailoring our existing complaint processes to the context of section 508.
  3. No.

2. Has your agency incorporated Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as mediation or arbitration, into your existing administrative complaint resolution processes?

  1. Yes, our existing complaint processes includes an ADR component.
  2. Yes and no. Different parts of our agency handle complaints differently. Some have incorporated ADR principles into their complaint resolution procedures while others have not.
  3. No, we have not incorporated ADR principles into our 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?

  1. Yes, our agency has already identified on its web pages how to file a 508 complaint.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable for doing so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.

C. Policies and Procedures Regarding Web Accessibility

1. Does your agency maintain a web site?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. (If your answer is no, you may skip the rest of Section C and proceed to Section D).

2. Does your agency create and maintain its own web pages?

  1. Yes, our staff creates its own web pages and posts those pages to a web server for our agency.
  2. Yes and no. We create our own web pages but another entity maintains them.
  3. Yes and no. Another entity creates our web pages but we maintain them.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency create and maintain their own web pages, while others have adopted a different practice.
  5. No. While our staff supervises the content, another entity does all the technical work. (choose one: independent contractor / other federal agency / other)

3. Has your agency established web accessibility guidelines to ensure that your web pages - Internet and Intranet - are accessible to people with disabilities?

  1. Yes, our agency has established such guidelines and they are in place.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable for doing so.
  3. No, and we have no such plans.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have done so while others have not.

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?

  1. N/A. We don't have any web accessibility guidelines.
  2. Yes, those who are responsible for web content follow our accessibility guidelines.
  3. No. While some in our agency follow our guidelines, there is no procedure in place to ensure that those with responsibility for web content do so.
  4. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  5. No, and we have no such plans.

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):

  1. N/A. We don't have any web accessibility guidelines.
  2. Adobe Acrobat Files (.pdf's)
  3. Microsoft PowerPoint files
  4. Macromedia Flash content
  5. Macromedia Shockwave content
  6. JavaScript or other scripting languages
  7. Java applets

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?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no such plans.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have done so while others have not.

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?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no such plans.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have such a policy while others do not.

8. Does your agency provide clear and detailed information or options for improving the accessibility of your web sites for persons with disabilities?

  1. Yes, we have such information on all component-level home pages and on our agency-wide home page.
  2. Yes, but we only provide such information on the agency-level home page.
  3. Yes, but we only provide such information on component-level home pages, not on the agency-wide home page.
  4. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  5. No, and we have no such plans.
  6. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency provide such information while others do not.

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?

  1. Yes. Such an e-mail address and instructions for its use are available on our web site.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no such plans.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have taken this step while others have not.

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)?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we are in the process of developing such training.
  3. No, but we are willing to provide such training if short, inexpensive training modules are made available.
  4. No, and we have no such plans to do so.
  5. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency routinely do so while others do not.

2. Does your agency provide TTY's, outlets, and shelves wherever it provides telephones for members of the public?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency do so while others do not.

3.Has your agency installed dedicated TTY lines wherever it receives a large volume of incoming calls?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have done so while others have not.

4. Does your agency have operators available on interactive automated telephone services (available by pressing "0") for assisting persons with disabilities?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency do so while others do not.

5. If your agency uses interactive telephone systems, have you tested and configured such interactive telephone systems to be compatible with TTY's?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have done so while others have not.

6. If your agency has toll-free information lines, does it also maintain separate toll-free TTY lines providing equivalent information and services?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency do so while others do not.

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?

  1. Yes.
  2. No, but we have established a timetable to do so.
  3. No, and we have no plans to do so.
  4. Yes and no. Some parts of our agency have done so while others have not.

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:

  • Designate a Section 508 Coordinator to work with the General Services Administration to help fully implement section 508.
  • Regularly monitor the interagency section 508 website created by the Federal Information Technology Accessibility Initiative (www.section508.gov) for the latest information and training opportunities.
  • Participate in the many training modules advertised on the section 508 website (www.section508.gov).
  • Establish a voluntary advisory committee of persons with disabilities--- either from employees or others--- to assist with recognizing accessibility issues, finding cost-effective solutions, and testing information technology for accessibility.
  • Establish partnerships with disability rights groups to assist with recognizing accessibility issues, finding solutions, and accomplishing testing.
  • Provide "training needs" surveys to employees with disabilities, especially those who use assistive technology.
  • Provide a centralized source of information (either at the agency or component level) that provides technical assistance for persons with disabilities in using your agency's information technology.

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.