Many graphic designers, web developers, or others in the technology and media industries will eventually come across a project that requires compliance with “Section 508″ or other accessibility standards. This term can be quite intimidating for a beginner because of the legal implications often involved. While Section 508 is legally binding only for United States federal agencies or those funded federally, often an organization that provides public services will request a website or software that meets the requirements for Section 508. What is Section 508? In 1998, United States lawmakers signed into law the new Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which improved the original Section 508 Amendment that was added to the Rehabilitation Act in 1986. In 2001, even more changes were made. The Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Standards was published along with amendments to the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR). History and legal logistics aside, these rules and regulations require federal and federally funded agencies to provide people with disabilities easy access to electronic and information technology. Basically, a law was put into place to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Federal employees with disabilities or members of the public using Federal information and technology now have the same access as others. Why Does it Affect Designers and Developers? Since Section 508 applies to United States Federal software, hardware, downloads, websites, documents, etc., a designer or developer may come across projects requiring Section 508 Compliance in the brief. Some non-Federal agencies, while not legally required to be 508 compliant, may also request that a project meet these outlines, especially if the agency provides public services or their target market includes a high amount of people with disabilities.