Section 508

"The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities."

"The Postal Service will comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, not only because it is the law, but because it’s the right thing to do!"

Since its beginning, the Postal Service has operated with the mission of binding together a diverse and far-reaching nation by efficiently, reliably and promptly delivering the correspondence and communications of its people. Today, Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) plays a big role in fostering the goals and mission of the Postal Service. By complying with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Postal Service furthers its philosophy of binding the nation together for all people, including persons with disabilities.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is a law that requires federal agencies, including the Postal Service, to procure EIT that is accessible to persons with disabilities. The law requires that EIT equipment and systems procured on or after June 21, 2001, comply with standards written by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). These standards were published December 21, 2000 in the Federal Register. EIT includes technology such as web pages, software applications, computers, self-contained kiosks, copiers, multimedia, and telecommunications systems. These standards are intended to make these technology products more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The Postal Service has a history of eliminating barriers, improving access and making it easier for our customers and employees to conduct and do Postal business. This is true whether it’s a physical barrier to a postal facility or an electronic barrier to an EIT system.

The Postal Service has been implementing Section 508 compliance activities since well before the June 21st, 2001 enforcement date. Support has come from the highest levels of the organization. The goal of the Postal Service 508 program has been to integrate Section 508 so it becomes just a regular part of the way we do business. Some of the key activities we've accomplished are:

  • Ensured that any new purchases of this technology include provisions to comply with Section 508, unless doing so would impose an undue burden. This applies to products we buy that are used by Postal employees or the public. The requirements are outlined in the Postal Service’s Supplying Principles and Practices (SPP) (available to the public at
  • Adapted the USPS complaints handling process for both employees and customers to address accessibility issues triggered by Section 508. Our customer and EEO complaint regulations, policies and procedures integrate Section 508 and follow the same process for Section 504 complaints.
  • Created USPS AS-508 Section 508 Handbook and the USPS AS-508-A Section 508 Technical Reference Guide. The Access Board standards describe the destination point for 508 compliance. The USPS guidelines are the roadmap to getting there. The guidelines have been shared with other government agencies and the public at large.
  • Established a cross-functional Section 508 Program headed by a Section 508 Agency Coordinator from the Information Technology organization. Through this program the USPS created a comprehensive approach to achieving the goal of integrating Section 508 requirements into the way we do business every day.
  • Committed to modifying existing web sites, to the extent practical, to meet the Access Board’s standards, even when a procurement action is not involved.
  • Created and implemented a communications program to inform and educate the USPS workforce, through various forums, about Section 508. The goal of the communications program is to ensure that affected postal organizations understand the impact of Section 508 and work to make all EIT comply with Section 508. As a result the USPS will be accessible to our customers and employees with disabilities.
  • Created a "Contact Us" link on the web page to make it easier for our customers to contact us about concerns regarding Section 508.

The USPS will continue providing what our customers and employees with disabilities need to be able to have prompt, reliable, and efficient access to the Postal Service's electronic and information technology. The Postal Service is making Section 508 just a normal way of conducting business.

Please feel free to review these guidelines and circulate them as widely as possible. Comments or questions can be directed to We welcome constructive criticism and suggested corrections.