Does My Website Need to Be 508 Compliant?

January 20, 2023 by Aaron Day in Website Accessibility

The U.S. Rehabilitation Act, sometimes known as Section 508, mandates that electronic and information technology (EIT) be usable by people with impairments. Your website must be 508 compliant if it is used by or is intended for U.S. federal agencies or programs with federal funding. Your website does not need to be 508 compliant if it is a private company or organization and does not fit into one of these categories. Even though it is not legally required, it is always a good idea to make your website as accessible as feasible to as many users as possible, including those with disabilities. For this reason, you might still want to think about making your website 508 compliant.

You must adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in order to make your website 508 compliant. These recommendations include a list of technical standards that can be used to increase the accessibility of web content for individuals with impairments. The WCAG guidelines have three levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA. The minimal standard for 508 compliance is Level AA conformance, while Level AAA conformance offers greater accessibility. Learn more about 508 compliance in this article. See Article: What is 508 Compliance?

You can follow these general procedures to make your website 508 compliant:

  • All functionality should be available using a keyboard, and users should be able to access all content and navigation using a keyboard.
  • Provide non-text content, such images and videos, text alternatives. For photos, alt text can be used, and for videos, captions should be used.
  • To make it easier for people to explore your website's information, employ relevant headings and labels.
  • Make text and other content readable and simple to read by using color contrast.
  • Use descriptive link text to make it clear what the link is for.
  • Ensure that screen readers and other assistive technology may use your website.
  • Have people with disabilities test your website to make sure it is user-friendly and accessible.

You can utilize a variety of additional rules and methods to make your website 508 compliant. For assistance in making sure that your website complies with all relevant regulations, you might wish to speak with a web developer that specializes in accessibility remediation or an accessibility professional.

At White Whale Web we are here to help you with all your 508 compliance needs, so please reach out with any questions you have.