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About the Xerox Section 508 Assessment Process

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires Federal agencies to ensure their procurement of electronic and information technology takes into account the needs of all end users - including people with disabilities. Xerox has a long history of engineering products that are easy to access and operate. We have taken seriously our compliance with Section 508 requirements and have developed a rigorous process for assessing product compliance.

Task-based Assessment

The Xerox Section 508 Assessment Process is a set of guidelines for applying the Section 508 accessibility requirements to our products coupled with an understanding of how Xerox customers use our products. Users perform a variety of tasks in order to use office equipment products such as printers, copiers, fax machines, and multifunction devices. General user tasks include programming the job at the user interface, loading documents into the document handler, and removing the completed job from any of the Xerox-supplied output devices. For fax machines, general user functions also include dialing, connecting, and receiving status when faxing. Due to the wide range of Xerox product offerings, general user tasks will vary widely. For example, the user tasks associated with the use of a walk-up copier are actually quite different from the user tasks associated with operating our high-speed production publishers.

When the first draft standards detailing the requirements for Section 508 compliance were released, Xerox immediately appointed a dedicated Section 508 work team from our industrial design and human interface organization to define guidelines and applying specifications to Xerox products. Clarifications, where necessary, were supplied by the U.S. Government Access Board. In parallel with this activity, individual product development teams defined the specific tasks performed by the general user of each product. These two pieces of information, the guidelines and the product's general user tasks, form the framework for the assessment performed by the product development teams. As a result, every individual product assessment consists of an evaluation of each general user task against the applicable guidelines.

Compliance Results

After this rigorous assessment process is completed, the overall assessment results for each product are rated as "Compliant," "Compliant with minor exceptions," or "Compliant with some exceptions." A result of "Compliant" means that the product met each Section 508 applicable guidelines for every general user task required to operate the product. Assignment of a product into either of the latter two categories is based upon the number of exceptions. Where exceptions exist, they are summarized on the Xerox Section 508 web pages and specifics are detailed in the individual product data sheets, which are also available on the web. We urge all customers to examine the detailed assessments to obtain a complete picture of the compliance of Xerox products with Section 508 requirements.