Section 508 Compliance


Website accessibility following the standards of Section 508 Compliance is a new expectation for meeting the needs of people with different abilities.

Section 508 is a section in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This 1973 legislation emphasized programs and services to people with disabilities. President Nixon signed this groundbreaking legislation into effect. It replaced the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, which authorized grants to develop services and job training for people with disabilities. These acts of legislation and now, the demand for Section 508 compliance, is to equalize access to the “information superhighway.”

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. The phrase “Section 508 compliance” means that a website is accessible to people with disabilities. Other sections of the legislation set standards for different things. One is about reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. One provides access to information to members of the public with disabilities. In general, Section 508 compliance helps prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in all federal programs.

An accessible website that achieves Section 508 compliance can be operated in a variety of ways. The compliant website does not rely on a single sense or ability of the user. For example, if the website contains video tutorials, the videos would have captions allowing them to be read rather than simply heard.

ADA Plugin offers a solution to the need for WordPress websites to be sure that their website meets Section 508 Compliance. The website’s technology manager or ADA compliance officer will get a checklist of things on the WordPress website that need to be accessible. Most often, the ADA compliance manager must go into the website to find everything themselves and then address it. The ADA plugin will let them check the status of the website’s Section 508 Compliance with a single click.