SECTION 508Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is afederal law and set of standards.It requires federal agencies to make theirelectronic and information technologyaccessible to people with disabilities.
SECTION 508Includes: software applications and operating systems web-based information or applications telecommunication products video and multimedia products self contained, closed products (e.g., information kiosks, calculators, and fax machines) desktop and portable computers
WCAG 2.0The World Wide Web Consortium (W3) maintainsstandards called WCAG 2.0 (Web ContentAccessibility Guidelines, implemented in 2008).They are international standards .Section 508 standards will soon be updated to referdevelopers and site owners to to WCAG.
WHO DOES IT SERVE?Accessible web content is usable and meaningful forpeople with ANY disability, including: Blindness Color blindness Poor sight Deafness Reduced motor skills, caused by conditions such as arthritis or amputation Cognitive impairment
CONTENT MUST BE PERCEIVABLEProvide text alternative to non-text content, including images, tables, and forms.Provide transcripts for audio content, or closed captions for video contentDon’t use visual elements such as color or font to communicate important information.
SITE MUST BE OPERABLEAll functions must be available from the keyboard .Give users enough time to read and use content.Do not use content that causes seizures .Help users navigate and find content .
CONTENT MUST BE UNDERSTANDABLEMake text readable and understandable by using clear and concise writingMake content appear and operate in predictable ways by adhering to best practice standards.Clearly define forms and help users avoid and correct mistakes .
WHY?If your website is not accessible, you will lose valuable market share .Accessible websites are generally good examples of web design best practices , and will therefore last longer and work better.It’s not the law yet, but it will be. There have already been successful suits filed against businesses with inaccessible websites.
PROVIDE ALTERNATE CONTENTAdd alt tags to imagesProvide transcripts for audio contentProvide closed captions for video contentGive descriptions to tables and forms
USE SEMANTIC MARKUPHTML5 has tags for almost every kind of content.Call your content what it is: Header (<h1>, <h2>) tags for headers and subheaders Emphasis (<em>) rather than italic (<i> is deprecated in HTML5) Ordered list (<ol>) for numbered lists
FOLLOW GOOD DESIGN PRINCIPLESUse easy-to-read fontsUse fluid layouts so the site displays properly at any resolutionLeave ample white space to improve readabilityUse high-contrast colors
TOOLS & RESOURCES The W3 Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) website has case studies of people with disabilities using the web.WAVE shows errors and warnings in context for individual pages Use your operating system’s built-in text-to-voice software for experiencing your site through a screen reader.For links to these tools and more, visit prairieskydesigns.com .