For government agencies as well as government contractors, 508 compliance of your website is critical. Websites need to be easily accessible for people with disabilities, both physical and cognitive. When building websites, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 compliance requires a strong focus on building accessibility from the website inception.
If you already have a website, testing 508 compliance for your website is a good place to start and there are a few different ways that you can begin this testing process.
Use Web-Based Testing Tools
Although web-based testing tools cannot provide a comprehensive review for 508 compliance, they can give your organization a good baseline from which to start making necessary changes. You can find tools online through various websites that will test for color contrast as well as name and description accessibility. To ensure complete accessibility further evaluation and changes are most likely necessary.
Review Documentation from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The W3C is an international organization made up of individuals, businesses, and a full-time staff that work together to create standards for the web. Its mission is to keep the world wide web up to its full potential, which means ensuring its ongoing accessibility that is in step with advances in technology.
Reading through the W3C website will provide your organization with a lot of information necessary to build a 508 compliant, however, a manual review of your website will be required to ensure compliance and this process can take time and resources to execute.
Work with a 508 Compliance Testing Expert
When it comes to testing your website for 508 compliance, there is no easy and automated way to do it yet. While there may eventually be a solution that covers all accessibility needs, the best way for organizations to ensure a compliant website is to work with a knowledgeable trusted partner.
A compliance expert can review your entire website using an accessibility checklist. Once your website has been reviewed you can implement any necessary changes to make your website compliant.
Having your website reviewed and edited for compliance is necessary to ensure access for individuals with disabilities, not to mention, it is the right thing to do. It can also help your organization prevent a costly, time-consuming lawsuit. It is better to do the work upfront to prevent issues down the road.
Applied Development Can Help with Testing 508 Compliance for Your Website
Our team at Applied Development can review your website as well as any other electronic documentation for 508 compliance. We will do a complete check, make recommendations for changes, and perform those changes if necessary to help your organization become more accessible