Website accessibility refers to the rules which govern federal agencies’ websites and how accessible they are to people with disabilities. Sometimes generally referred to as Section 508 compliance, these rules benefit people with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological disabilities. For more background on website accessibility, visit our blog,Website Accessibility Standards: What You Need to Know.
If you are already familiar and are ready to make your website Section 508 compliant, then follow the checklist below. While they are required for federal agencies, they are also important for any company looking to design an extremely user-friendly website.
The following standards are excerpted from Part 1 of the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, §1194.22 and summarized from WebAim.org.
- Every non-text element (i.e. photos and videos) should have alternative text (alt tag).
- Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation should be synchronized with the presentation.
- All information conveyed with color should also be available without color, for example from context or markup.
- Documents should be readable without requiring an associated style sheet (i.e. document should make sense even with the style sheet is turned off).
- Redundant text links should be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
- Client-side image maps should be provided instead of server-side image maps.
- When using data tables, row and column headers should be appropriately identified.
- When data tables have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, markup should be used to associate data cells and header cells.
- All frames should be titled with text that describes the frame’s purpose/content.
- Elements on the page should not flash or flicker at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second. This is to reduce the risk of optically-induced seizures.
- When there is no other way to make content accessible, a text-only version of the webpage should be created and maintained.
- When a page utilizes scripting languages to display content, the information provided by the script should be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
- When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with the above 508 standards.
- When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form should allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
- A method should be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
- When a timed response is required, the user should be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
If you need assistance with making your website accessible, contact Informatics.