Nonvisual Access

On March 1, 2005, Maryland Information Technology Nonvisual Access (MD IT NVA) Regulatory Standards became effective (link to COMAR This web site provides assistance to non-exempt units of the Executive Branch in complying with the MD IT NVA regulatory standards, and establishes the general requirements and responsibilities for ensuring that information technologies are compliant with the regulatory requirements for nonvisual access.

See the related links to MD IT NVA standards, implementation guidance, the NVA Clause for IT Procurements, Questions and Answers, and a Website Compliance Checklist. Links to federal and state references are also found on this page.

Compliance with the standards is mandatory in the procurement of information technologies, and the provision of information technology services, by or on behalf of all units and public institutions of higher education in the Executive Branch of State government, with the exception of:

  1. The Maryland Port Administration;
  2. Public institutions of higher education in the management, development, purchase, or use of information technologies solely for academic or research purposes;
  3. The University System of Maryland;
  4. St. Mary's College of Maryland; and
  5. Morgan State University.

In short, except for information technologies incidental to a contract, where technologies simply do not exist, or compliance is cost prohibitive, all information technologies, including services that are procured, used, maintained, developed or provided by or on behalf of non-exempt units of the Executive Branch of State government will be nonvisually accessible. Agencies within the scope of these regulations are to procure information technologies, including services that are compliant in the commercial marketplace, or developed in response to State government solicitation.

In developing the MD IT NVA regulations, the State has adopted or paraphrased many, but not all, of the federal regulations commonly referred to as Section 508*. In addition, Maryland has adopted several IT NVA regulations that are not found in federal regulations.

* 36 CFR 1194 (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) (August 7, 1998).

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