Why is Section 508 accessibility important for your website?

Internet

Sachin ReddyWritten by:

All the public places need to be easily accessible by all citizens, and the internet should be the same. The Department of Justice in the USA decided that the internet is also a place for public accommodation. The ADA or the American with Disabilities Act specifies that people with disabilities must not be discriminated against and that all public places and services should be accessible to them. Section 508 requires websites to be also accessible to disabled people by incorporating certain specific tools and policies.

Private companies with business websites are not required to mandatorily comply with the Section 508 rules unless they are getting Government funds or have been under a government contract, but if one does not comply with Section 508, then it would seem as they are blatantly against disabled people. Companies which are funded and contracted by government agencies need to have Section 508 compliance as otherwise, it would be like violating the law.

There are nearly 2.8 million people in the USA who are either hearing impaired or completely deaf; similarly, there are more than a million people with incorrect vision and another million who are legally blind. Business websites should try to follow Section 508 compliance policies because it is the right thing for them to do and not because it is a legal necessity.

Some standards and ideal techniques which Section 508 specifies:

  • Videos and multimedia files: It is important to have captions and video descriptors in multimedia products and files. There must also be a toggle option.
  • Telecommunication requirements: Accessibility will need to be provided to people who are deaf or are hard of hearing. There has to be compatible technology like hearing aids and other listening devices. This would help them overcome their disabilities.
  • Information from the internet and other applications: The textual labels required to access the web-based graphics by the visually impaired people would need to apply for new Braille displays along with screen readers.
  • Software and operating systems: These require having accessibility for those people who are impaired visually, and there should be alternative keyboard navigation options available.  

There are still a lot of business websites which have not yet complied with the Section 508 accessibility requirements. Although these business ventures are not liable to get sued or taken to court the real matter remains that people with disabilities would remain bereft from using these websites. They will not be able to get any benefits from these websites. Business websites need to implement the strategies and techniques for Section 508 as it will make their life a bit easier. If you want to get more information on section 508 compliance, then you must visit site improve compliance and learn in greater details about how you can make your business website become Section 508 compliant.

Conclusion

Business websites must become accessible to people with disabilities by following section 508 policies and techniques. This will help you reach out to a wide group of prospective customers. Hopefully, the information mentioned in this article will have helped you.

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