White House Delays Effective Date of ICT Final Rule

From the US Access Board

U.S. Access Board Amends Effective Date of ICT Final Rule

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board is postponing by one day the effective date of its final rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act which was published on January 18. This action is being taken in response to a White House memorandum that directs federal agencies to delay for 60 days the effective date of recently published rules that, as of the date of the memorandum (January 20), had not yet taken effect. In keeping with this White House memorandum, the Access Board has postponed the effective date of the ICT final rule until March 21. This amounts to a one-day delay in the effective date of the rule relative to its originally-published effective date (March 20), as indicated in a notice the Access Board published in today’s Federal Register.

The postponed effective date does not change the scoping or technical requirements in the updated 508 Standards or 255 Guidelines. Nor does it alter compliance dates of the rule. Compliance with the updated Section 508 Standards is not required until January 18, 2018 or, in the case of ICT procurements, dates to be established by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council. The compliance date for the Section 255 Guidelines will be set by Federal Communications Commission when it adopts the guidelines.

Further information on the ICT rule is available on the Board’s website.

President Signs Dyslexia Bill Into Law

On February 18, 2016, President Obama signed to law the bipartisan Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033). The READ Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training.

From news release from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Committee:

Dyslexia affects an estimated 8.5 million school children and one in six Americans in some form. The House passed the READ Act last October with unanimous support and earlier this month approved a Senate amendment, sending the bill to the president’s desk for his signature.

Chairman Smith: ‘Today we can help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work.  We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. I am glad that the House and Senate were able to work together and send the president a good bipartisan bill to help accomplish this goal.’

The READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). As amended, the bill requires the NSF to devote at least $2.5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:

  • Early identification of children and students with dyslexia
  • Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators
  • Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia

The READ Act authorizes dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the National Science Foundation. The bill would also authorize $2.5 million for research focused on other learning disabilities, including those which are also associated with dyslexia.

Chairman Smith introduced the READ Act with Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), who are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. The Caucus is comprised of over 100 Members of Congress and is dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring that all students have equal educational opportunities.

More information…

Original Pub Date:

02/19/2016