Section 508 Standards


People are talking about website accessibility using the phrase “Section 508 standards.”

Section 508 is an umbrella term for a section with parts and subparts related to the implementation of Section 508 Standards.

The full text of Section 508 is made up of Parts A, B, C, D, E, F and G. These cover requirements, standards, reporting, and evaluations. Each of the seven articles of Section 508 standards is a set of individual technical provisions. Each sub-article specifies particular technical requirements for accessibility.

These are quite detailed and specific. The website’s accessibility compliance officer must ensure they are meeting each standard to a “T”. Article 1194,22, which governs “Web based intranet and Internet information and applications,” has 16 sub-sections. Each subsection has detailed explanations of the technical issue they are covering.

What are the Section 508 Standards?

For instance, 1194.22 (h) is called, “Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.”

What this means is that the accessibility compliance officer must check all data tables used to present information. The web source code must be evaluated to determine if rows and column headers are associated with each data cell in the table.

Combing through these standards is a time consuming and tedious process. The end goal is a website that meets Section 508 standards. There is a better way for your employees to spend their time. That is where ADA Plugin comes in.

ADA Plugin works on WordPress sites. It scans the content for items that fit the description of the technical issues needed to meet Section 508 standards. The scan runs through all media files and collects a list of items to use later. The plugin scans “objects” that need to be compliant. It does this in eight different parts: files, tables, image tags, iframes, videos, audio, objects, embeds, and forms.

After the scans are complete and the intermediate steps are completed, the user receives a checklist for all of the Section 508 standards. The user simply checks a box to say, “I agree that this website meets this requirement”. This once again links to the guidelines. The guidelines offer easier to read explanations that are tailored to WordPress.

Once the user completes the form for the final step, their WordPress website is considered compliant to the Section 508 standards. The scheduling system will create a new scan, scheduled in the future. This assures the Section 508 standards are met on future content that might be added to the website.