Tag Archives: web accessibility laws

Web Design and Section 508

In the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, US lawmakers recognized that the emerging information technologies could restrict the opportunities for those with a disabilities. This law started the process of enforceable requirements to ensure all individuals can receive the same benefits of internet access.  Section 508, as it is known today, provides web developers the guidelines for being compliant.

This section bars the Federal government from procuring electronic and information technology (E&IT) goods and services that are not fully accessible to those with disabilities.
WebAIM.com Overview of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

It is very clear, to do business with US federal government agencies, or any company or non-profit organization that adopts these policies, must be consistent with the Section 508 requirements. Be too creative and web design proposals can be rejected.

Web Design Requirements for Section 508

Section 508 1194.22a-p provides the 16 requirements for web design. Since they have been the standard for many years, most are included in web development tools or are considered best practices. For easy reference, listed below are the first five.  All the requirements with explanations are available at the Quick Reference Guide to Section 508: Web Based Internet and Internet Information and Applications.

  • 1194.22 (a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided.
  • 1194.22 (b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
  • 1194.22 (c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color.
  • 1194.22 (d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
  • 1194.22 (e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

Win Government Contracts

Web designers seeking the award of government contracts should understand the law. They should be familiar with the accessibility requirements of those with disabilities and incorporate them in all web projects.

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Web Accessibility: Media Accessibility User Requirements

The WAI Media Accessibility User Requirements document covers a range of subjects relating to allowing people with disabilities to access media on the web in an alternate way. Continue reading Web Accessibility: Media Accessibility User Requirements

Web Accessibility: Images

When publishing images on WordPress, it is important to make the images accessible to everyone. However, what does it mean to make a web page accessible to everyone, including the images?

In the article “American Disabilities Act (ADA) Lawsuits Rising against Website Accessibility” on ClarkWP, Michelle Clark brings the perspective of the importance of a properly published image into view. She shared a number of lawsuits against Internet websites because of their negligence to accommodate those with disabilities, stating that the law isn’t very clear when it comes to website accessibility because of its fast changing nature. However, website owners are responsible to make websites comply with a list of ADA standards. Continue reading Web Accessibility: Images