As of January 18, 2018, all technology that falls under Section 508 is be required to meet new ADA accessibility standards. And guess what? Websites fall under the Section 508 standards. Companies with Websites not compliant with the ADA regulations could leave themselves open to expensive lawsuits (ie. Blue Apron – PDF, Karl Grove’s database of similar litigation).
So What Exactly Is Section 508?
Section 508, an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a federal law mandating that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. 508 Compliance,involves making a website which can be used by people with disabilities (ie. limited vision or blindness, deafness, seizure disorders, etc.)
The international body that governs the Internet, the W3C, has published a complete guide to the Web standards for ADA accessibility here.
The guidelines are broken down by four main principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Under each, there are guidelines that provide specific goals a website strive to meet.
Under each principle, there are guidelines with specific goals for websites to achieve. Under each of these guidelines, there is criteria to test the success of a site.
The grades are A, AA, or AAA. The more A’s the more conformity to accessibility, AAA is the highest. Section 508 only requires a business to meet an A and AA grade to be compliant..
With all the complexity associated with making a site accessible it is important to do it right to avoid any penalties and fines.
To find out how your Website stacks up and to get a free Website audit, get in touch with us today.