Web Developers’ Guide to 508 Compliance for Accessibility Ensured Website
If you are not sure of meeting the special needs of people with disability as your website audience, then you must know about 508 and also take measures to ensure that your website is compliant. The accessibility compliance standards are as per Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act 1973, which mandates the Federal agencies to ensure website and software accessibility too all with disabilities.
If your website is made 508 compliant, it will be accessible to all types of users. You make your website compatible with all sort of assistive technologies for people with all sort of disabilities to access and understand the content.
The federal agencies which receive funding for ensuring 508 compliance are:
- Non-profit organizations funded by Federal authorities.
- Government agencies
- Higher education institutions.
- Public K through 12 standards schools
It is a fact that a small number of your web visitors may be blind or unable to use the keyboard to browse. Many others may be of low vision too, and some others may be using smaller screens in brighter environments. Even though only a small percentage of your site visitors may be dealing with dyslexia, but if you make your website compliant for the use of dyslexic people, others may also thank you at some point.
For example, think about a person who is standing in the queue at an airport with a kid on his shoulder and phone in one hand, trying to read the instructions to find a car kiosk. They will surely appreciate the user-friendliness of your Siteimprove 508 compliant website as like any dyslexic user does.
At another instance, only a very few visitors may be dealing with some kind of physical disabilities. However, those who have problems with sliders and buttons as the late-age smartphone users may also be thanking you for your website’s compliance. If you take some time out to design the website for those who are on the lower spectrum of physical abilities, you are creating a universally accessible website.
Accessibility for blind
Even though there are many considerations to make 508 compliance, here we will discuss making your website compliant for the blind at the first point. To start with, for any non-text content, you should always provide an alt text in the HTML code or the element content. With this, the screen readers can read the non-text elements also for the blind users to make them understand. You should also provide the video transcripts using HTML5. Always write descriptive headings and link texts. Don’t force only screen or mouse use or rely on the text size and placement for the structure. Always make it keyboard complaint so that blink people can also easily navigate through their way.
Ensure adequate color contrast also to make the text visible to partly blink and color-blind users and make the text also readable to all. Use a fine combination of colors, shapes, and text to follow a logical and linear layout of the content. Also, ensure that the notifications and buttons are included to fit in well to the context. Ensure that the text flow is also responsive and properly visible even when the text size is magnified up to 200%.
By ensuring accessibility compliance, you not only make your website accessible to all types of people with disabilities but also give an extra push to make your website more SEO friendly.