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It is never too early to prepare and test our sites for the more comprehensive inclusions of WCAG 2.0. During this session we will review interim approaches for the Government Agencies to use as we prepare for testing web pages and web applications against WCAG 2.0 and the approaching Section 508 refresh.
For the past decade we have all been working to ensure our websites are Section 508 compliant. Now, as the 508 refresh approaches, we are going to be faced with some new challenges as some of the features we have been "passing" on our tests are not acceptable under the 2.0 Guidelines. We (Accessibility Testers) can finally fail sites for those annoying “More” links and we won’t have to rely on software standards to require full keyboard accessibility. Developers are going to have to do a better job of helping users get form information correct with Error Identification, Error Suggestion and Error Prevention. The original Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 required that Federal agencies create, procure and maintain accessible electronic information, since technology changed so rapidly there were holes in the standards that needed a plug. With the coming of the 508 Refresh and the mapping to WCAG 2.0 some of the missing requirements will be filled in.
The challenge for the US Federal Government Agencies as the new standards are released is going to be changing the way they validate compliance. Specifically for web accessibility they will need to re-train their accessibility testers, edit their testing methodologies, update their testing tools, and retrain their developers. That is why this discussion needs to happen now before the standards are released.
This session will discuss the different layers of guidance and the various Success Criteria and how we can test for them; the difference between “A”, “AA” and “AAA” and what it means to our test approach. Participants will learn about the WCAG 2.0 additional requirements and how these will affect our users and developers. We will also explore how enforcing WCAG 2.0 will result in a much more accessible product and a much improved experience for our users. Participants will see that WCAG 2.0 techniques can be used to unambiguously meet every one of the Section 508 guidelines and that by mapping the 2.0 Guidelines and the 508 Standards we can all be ready for the coming Refresh. We are making the assumption that the new standards will harmonize with WCAG 2.0 because that is where the trends have shown us.
“Section 508 to WCAG 2.0 – How will Compliance Testing Change?” is a one hour session which will discuss how accessibility testing will change when compliance to 508 aligns with WCAG 2.0. The session will discuss testing methodologies and how they will change and provide a more accessible result. In addition the 508 standards that are currently almost obsolete will be discussed.
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