STATUTORY AND REGULATORY INFORMATION
APPLICABLE PUBLIC LAWS
The contents of two laws specifically addressing the requirements for
computer and telecommunications accessibility within the Federal government
are included in this section. The laws are:
P.L. 99-506, Section 508 - an Act to extend and improve the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973
P.L. 100-542 - Telecommunications Accessibility Enhancement Act of 1988
PUBLIC LAW 99-506 - OCTOBER 21, 1986
100 STAT. 1807
To extend and improve the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 603. ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT ACCESSIBILITY.
(a) ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT ACCESSIBILITY. - Title V of the Act is amended by
inserting after section 507 the following new section:
"ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT ACCESSIBILITY
"Section 508. (a) (1) The Secretary, through the National Institute on
Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Administrator of the General
Services, in consultation with the electronics industry, shall develop and
establish guidelines for electronic equipment accessibility designed to
insure that handicapped individuals may use electronic office equipment with
or without special peripherals.
"(2) The guidelines established pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be applicable
with respect to electronic equipment, whether purchased or leased.
"(3) The initial guidelines shall be established not later than October 1,
1987, and shall be periodically revised as technologies advance or change.
"(b) Beginning after September 30, 1988, the Administrator of General
Services shall adopt guidelines for electronic equipment accessibility
established under subsection (a) for Federal procurement of electronic
equipment. Each agency shall comply with the guidelines adopted under
"(c) For the purpose of this section, the term 'special peripherals'
means a special needs aid that provides access to electronic equipment
that is otherwise inaccessible to a handicapped individual."
"(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT. - The table of contents of the Act is amended
by inserting after item "Sec. 507." the following new item:
"Sec. 508. Electronic equipment accessibility."
PUBLIC LAW 100-542 - OCTOBER 28, 1988
102 STAT. 2721
To expand our national telecommunications system for the benefit of the
hearing-impaired and speech-impaired populations, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Telecommunications Accessibility
Enhancement Act of 1988".
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Act-
(1) The term "TDD" means a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, a machine
which employs graphic communications in the transmission of coded signals
through the nationwide telecommunications system.
(2) The term "Federal agency" has the meaning given such term by section
3(b) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40
SEC. 3. FEDERAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.
(a) ACCESSIBILITY OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS. - The Administrator of
General Services, after consultation with the Architectural and
Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the Interagency Committee on
Computer Support of Handicapped Employees, the Federal Communications
Commission, and affected Federal agencies, shall, by regulation, take such
actions in accordance with this section as may be necessary to assure that
the Federal telecommunications system is fully accessible to
hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals, including Federal
employees, for communications with and within Federal agencies.
(b) SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT. - In carrying out subsection (a), the Administrator
(1) provide for the continuation of the existing Federal relay system for
users of TDDs;
(2) within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, expand such
relay system by employing at least one additional operator;
(3) within 180 days after such date of enactment -
(A) conduct, as part of the rulemaking proceeding required by
subsection (a), an analysis of modifications to the Federal
telecommunications system that the Administrator, in his
discretion, determines to be necessary to achieve the
objectives of subsection (a); and
(B) submit a report on the results of such analysis to each
House of the Congress;
(4) within 180 days after completion of such analysis, prescribe the
regulations required by subsection (a);
(5) assemble, publish, and maintain a directory of TDD and other devices
used by Federal agencies to comply with such regulations, and publish,
in Federal agency directories, access numbers of TDD's and such other
(6) after consultation with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers
Compliance Board, adopt the design of a standard logo to signify the
presence of a TDD or other device used by a Federal agency to comply with
(c) CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT. - The Administrator shall not prescribe the
regulation required by subsection (a) before the end of the 90-day period
beginning on the date the Administrator submits the report required by
SEC. 4. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.
(a) SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH. - The Administrator shall, in consultation with
the Federal Communications Commission, seek to promote research by
Federal agencies, State agencies, and private entities to reduce the cost
and improve the capabilities of telecommunications devices and systems
that provide accessibility to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired
(b) PLANNING TO ASSIMILATE TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS. - The
Administrator, in planning future alterations to and modifications of the
Federal telecommunications system, shall take into account results of the
analysis required by section 3(b)(3) and any technological improvements
in telecommunications devices and systems that provide accessibility to
hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals.
SEC. 5. INQUIRY REGARDING INTERSTATE TDD RELAY SYSTEM.
The Federal Communications Commission shall, within 9 months after the date of
enactment of this Act, complete its existing inquiry regarding an interstate
relay system for users of TDD's.
SEC. 6. TDD INSTALLATION BY CONGRESS.
As soon as practicable, each House of the Congress shall establish a policy
under which Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as the
case may be, may obtain TDD's for use in communicating with hearing-impaired
and speech-impaired individuals, and for the use of hearing-impaired and