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In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘794 d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation.

Is your organization compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990? Most organizations are not as they feel there is not an imminent need or do not have the funding. In the past, this has been an unfunded federal requirement with very little financial support.

In 2004, the state of Oklahoma adopted House Bill 2197. In summary, this bill defined the enforcement of accessibility compliance.

Having a machine to understand fluently spoken speech has driven speech research for more than 50 years. Although ASR technology is not yet at the point where machines understand all speech, in any acoustic environment, or by any person, it is used on a day-to-day basis in a number of applications and services.