Section 508

The 1988 amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that the entities defined in Section 504 must give people with disabilities equal access to information and information technologies that are available to similar people who do not have disabilities.  For websites and electronic materials, Section 508 defines a minimal set of accessibility standards that must be followed.  A government website about Section 508 provides more detailed explanations of this law and a variety of resources for achieving compliance with Section 508 requirements.

Because of the power of Section 504 and Section 508 combined, people with disabilities who find that they cannot access systems or materials covered by these acts have the right to sue the organization that controls those systems and/or materials.  This means that a failure to make Georgia Tech websites and electronic materials accessible doesn't just inconvenience people with disabilities – it puts the institute at legal risk as well.

There are some exceptions to Section 508 for old content and any content that would be extremely difficult to make accessible, but those exemptions are specifically not applicable to any content used in the teaching of a course.  In short, any materials used in teaching a course must be made accessible as specified in the requirements of Section 508.