Government websites are not exempt from meeting Section 508 standards for website accessibility. In fact, it is even more essential for these organizations to provide accessibility since the nature of the information they provide is often of the utmost importance.

Agencies that do not adhere to Section 508 compliance standards for government websites may be hit with a large penalty or may be sued by individuals. In the past, services like the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security have even been on the end of a compliance lawsuit.

What Types of Government Technology Need to be Compliant?

In short, all technology that the government is using needs to be compliant. Some of the most common types of technology that fall under this umbrella include:

  • Websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Hardware and software used by employees or the public

Ultimately, though, any type of technology, whether local or remote, that the government touches needs to be accessible for people with a wide range of disabilities, including physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities.

How to Meet 508 Compliance Standards for Government Technology

508 Compliance Where you start when it comes to meeting compliance requirements depends on how up-to-date your organization’s technology is to begin with. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to compliance is outdated technology that is often not compatible with some recent advances in digital accessibility.

While updating may seem like an expensive upfront cost, it can save you money and headache in the long term. Consider updating hardware and software whenever possible to budget for it. Additionally, your team or a third-party vendor should complete a full audit on your website once at least every three years to ensure that the design is up-to-date and still accessible.

 

In addition to a complete audit, you should also ensure that someone is updating your website and/or mobile application and checking for anything broken on the site on at least a weekly basis. These measures ensure that anything you have included for compliance stays that way.

Options for Improving Compliance

To improve compliance with Section 508, you have a few different options. First, you can have your in-house team do research, update all of your technology, and continually monitor it for any issues that may arise. While not the most efficient way to do this, it is an option.

For your website, you can find a third-party company that offers browser-level accessibility options. It will not solve all of your accessibility issues across all technology platforms, but it is a good start for your website. 

The best thing you can do, though, is work with a third-party company to audit your current technology, from your website to your apps and everything in between, to see where you are out of compliance. Applied Development offers these type of audit services and can also make suggestions for fixing any existing issues. 

If you have not audited your website yet or if you have questions concerning the best ways to improve your technology compliance per Section 508, contact Applied Development today at 410.571.4016.