[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Section 508 Compliant Websites means that each element on your website is easy to access for people who may not be able to see, read or hear as well as other people.

What are Section 508 Compliant Websites?

How does this work? Many sites have things like files, tables, image tags, iframes, videos, audio, objects, embeds, and forms. Non-impaired site users easily access and understand these things. But for people with eyesight or hearing issues, images, downloadable forms and videos become obstacles to being able to access the information on the website.

ADA Plugin for WordPress sites is a plugin that scans all of these elements on a site. For each element, ADA Plugin lists the posts that the object is in and an excerpt of the code that was detected. A checklist of action items helps the person managing the Section 508 Compliant standards for the website. The checklist ensures that steps are taken to meet the requirements.

Section 508 Compliant websites are now required by federal law for all governmental websites. However, any website can benefit from these standards. You don’t have to be a government website to use ADA Plugin. Any website that serves the disabled community can definitely benefit from this plugin. But any website can improve their accessibility to people with non-traditional abilities. This not only increase their customer base, but ensures that everyone is treated equally on the web![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A lot of technology and accessibility managers have been talking about Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act lately.

The Rehabilitation Act was signed into law in 1973 by President Nixon. It replaced an earlier vocational rehabilitation law. The intent was to expand programs and services along with job training for people with disabilities. As technology has changed, the law has been updated.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act was added to the law by Congress in 1998. This was in response to the internet being developed. That information needed to be accessible to the general public. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

There are many articles and sub-articles within Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508, Article 1194.22 specifically addresses website accessibility. It’s called “Web based intranet and Internet information and applications.” Each of its 16 sub-articles addresses a specific technological concern that a web developer or technology manager at a website would need to check and implement on the site.

For instance:
1194.22 (a): A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided. (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content).
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. (For example from context or markup.)

The technical requirements are quite detailed, as are the ways that a website technology manager must check to see if the requirement is met. Understanding all of these requirements, checking them, implementing solutions and then checking the solutions would take a huge amount of time, even on a modest website.

ADA Plugin is a tool that eliminates this need for your technology officer to spend their work time checking off each topic in these articles and sub-articles. The developer of the ADA Plugin has gone through each of these articles and sub-articles already. The plugin scans WordPress sites to evaluate the site’s content to ensure that it meets the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The plugin makes evaluation and implementation of all of the technological specifics much easier. And because the output of each scan is in the form of a convenient checklist, your technology officer will be confident that they didn’t miss anything they might miss if they were going through each page manually.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]