The DRC works closely with Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to provide technical assistance upon request, and to support their compliance program (which includes privacy, security and other IT regulatory requirements besides Section 508). This is accomplished through technical assistance and training. OCIO provides technical support for training as well as for other requests. DRC maintains the information contained on the OCIO Section 508 website including technical resources, various DOT policies, and functional guidelines. DRC also assists OCIO with the biennial Department of Justice report data collection.
Requests for assistance with Section 508 technical requirements are received mostly by email, and fall into the categories of:
- assistance with understanding the technical requirements,
- performing assessments of systems, products or web-based information (either in advance of launch during development, or after implementation),
- assistance with developing a remediation strategy and plan, including identifying the easiest and most critical issues to be addressed, and
- assistance with procurement actions.
The categories generally fall into the major stages of the IT lifecycle:
- defining requirements,
- development and testing, or
- implementation/deployment and operations.
Most requests can be answered within two business days. Requests requiring additional research, extensive reviews, extensive documentation or that involve a lot of material will take longer. Customers are contacted and provided with an estimated completion time if requests take more than two business days. E-mail provides a record of activities.
Requests for training are normally scheduled within 30 days. The DRC requires course registration and provides accommodations. Courses currently include:
- making documents accessible (MS Word, Excel and PDF),
- making video and multimedia compliant,
- making web-based information compliant, or
- developing compliant software.
Section 508 training materials are available on an internal DOT website at http://section508.dot.gov. The DRC maintains software and other tools for assessments. Training and technical assistance may cover using various tools to perform assessments or remediation. However, DRC does not recommend any particular products. Agencies are expected to provide their own software and tools for assessment and remediation. OCIO uses Accmonitor and Accrepair, products manufactured by HiSoftware for compliance testing, and for remediation.
The DRC's approach is to provide training, enabling agencies to produce their own compliant content. The DRC does not remediate content in order to make it Section 508 compliant, or to make it accessible to individuals with disabilities. The DRC explains the technical requirements, and in many cases, makes recommendations on how content can be modified to make it compliant and more usable.