Section 508 Compliance
Section 508 disabilities standard is the standard that electronic information needs to be displayed in order to service handicapped as well as hearing- and vision- impaired visitors. This standard, named Section 508 compliance, is defined by the United States Government. Section 508 requires that the full range of electronic and information technologies give employees and members of the public who are disabled access to information in a way that is comparable to access available to others. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology and make available new opportunities for people with disabilities. Section 508 applies to the full range of electronic and information technologies, including software, computing, presentation, and storage media. Section 508 does apply to the Internet and websites. Most changes required by Section 508 are relatively simple to implement and do not detract from the overall website design or its experience by unimpaired viewers, but have a dramatic impact on accessibility and ease of use for the disabled.
- A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt," "longdesc," or "in element" content).
- Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
- Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example, from context or markup.
- Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
- Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
- Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
- Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
- 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.
- Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
- Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
- A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
- When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
- When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet.
- When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
- A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
- When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
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