Digital accessibility services are booming for two reasons. One is because of the market size that is excluded by inaccessible websites and digital documents. Two, the legal risks that come along with it, and it is unavoidable. ADA website law legal action is skyrocketing these days. And 508 remediation is a service under accessibility testing services offered by many agencies worldwide.
ADA web compliance is now a mandatory requirement for an ever-growing range of digital documents. And Section 508 Remediation is keeping right up. In this blog, we will discuss 508 remediation and how they can help you in improving your website’s accessibility.
What Is Section 508 Remediation?
Section 508 Remediation compliance is an act of Rehabilitation of 1973 that states that all federal agencies give people with disabilities access to electronic information technology that’s comparable to the access others have.
Section 508 covers all computer hardware, software, and network, along with the commonly used electronic and communication devices. Most of us think that 508 remediation are only applied to documents because many people interact with federal agencies through forms, but section 508 remediation compliance is broader than that. It covers websites, apps, and physical electronics as well.
Why do websites need to be 508 compliant?
The updated version (2017) of Section 508 measures compliance against the WCAG 2.0 AA level; this is the same standard used worldwide. Websites must fulfill no specific tasks to make them compliant and accessible. Instead, the rules clearly outline what are the features of accessible websites with a more focused approach to functionality.
508 remediation is important to make the website accessible to the ones with disabilities and, as a result, gain more traffic and conversions.
Suppose you ignore the need for accessibility for the audience. In that case, the website is inevitably running with the risk of lowering page views, limiting the website statistics, and narrowing down the target audience.
How to make your website 508 compliant?
With the help of accessibility testing services, you can ensure that your website is compliant with Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. However, some of the key features that make your website compliant with Section 508 Remediation compliance include:
Website Navigation and accessibility using the keyboard
People with several motor disabilities or those who use screen readers heavily depend on keyboard-only visual indicators. This is the reason why it is important for websites to be compatible with assistive technologies.
For instance, buttons, links, or input fields should be easily controlled with the arrow, tab, or other keys to increase accessibility; instead of clicking with a mouse. Users should be able to easily use navigation by simply using buttons to jump through page sections, headers, paragraphs, and other page elements.
Therefore, making the website compatible with keyboard navigation makes it easy for users to access every site element accessible through the keyboard.
Using Alternative Text for Images
Using alternative (Alt) text or descriptions of what is depicted in an image allows the screen readers to easily read this text and allows people with visual impairments to know what the picture is about. When put simply, alternative texts give context to the image on the page that users cannot see.
Under web accessibility testing services, there is assurance that the alt text descriptions will be accurate, concise, descriptive, and helpful. In the case of the links attached to the image, it is also ensured that the link destination is mentioned in the alt text as well.
Adding Transcript or captions for videos/audio
Adding transcripts and captions are used to represent the spoken content from audio and videos in text format. This is also known as closed captioning, where the text is included for the ones with hearing impairments.
While a textual version of content is presented in a separate document, captions typically appear simultaneously with the spoken words in the video. This allows the hearing-impaired individuals to go along with the script easily.
The process of creating captions is done manually, which is why it is very time-consuming. There is an option to generate automatic captions, but it generally contains errors. However, many digital accessibility service companies offer closed caption transcripts for videos or podcasts.
Having a Screen reader capability
This is a must to ensure that users can easily access the website with the help of screen readers. These screen readers simply convert digital text into synthesized speech. These features allow people with visual impairments or other individuals with cognitive or learning disabilities who use screen readers to read the website content aloud.
And in accessibility testing, there is manual testing where the compatibility of screen readers is checked.
Adding Alternative text for videos
This is similar to alt text for images; videos also are required to have alternative descriptions embedded on the webpage to let screen readers easily describe what the video is about to people with visual impairments.
Check for Color and contrast
Color and contrast compatibility is important for individuals with visual impairments. Adding color-coded fields, labels, or icons can make it an easy and convenient way to resolve color base accessibility issues.
Complying with Section 508 guidelines, websites are required to be color smart. For instance, in an online form, use the color green to show that everything is entered correctly and the color red to highlight the errors.
Furthermore, individuals with visual impairments are also required to see a certain contrast between website elements (such as background color and text color) to be able to distinguish the content.
Avoid flickering objects on the screen
There are times when to make the website more attractive, we add some color schemes and screen flickers that can cause seizures in some people. Therefore, websites must be designed to avoid causing screen flicker with a specified frequency higher than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
How does 508 Remediation help in Improving Website’s Accessibility?
Some of the reasons why 508 remediation help in improving the website’s accessibility includes the following:
People of every kind can easily access the website.
Making changes to website design and code ensures that the barriers to accessibility are removed.
Ensures compliance with accessibility standards set forth by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973.
Improves overall user experience and reduces potential legal issues.
Creates a more inclusive and accessible online environment for everyone.
In this blog, we learned about 508 remediation strategies and also how accessibility testing services ensure the website complies with accessibility standards and guidelines. Web accessibility testing services are kind of a need nowadays, as their team of experts allows you to be tension free and make your website accessible to individuals with disabilities.