Legal Guide

Why is Section 508 accessibility so important?

It is necessary to make all the public places completely accessible to every citizen, and the same goes for the internet. The United States Department of Justice has decided that the internet is a zone for public accommodation. The Americans with the Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination against anyone with disabilities. This act requires that places of the public accommodation, and the services presented there, have got to be accessible by everyone. Section 508 does the same with the internet; it sets forth a number of measures that private websites will have to comply with. IT ensures that websites have features which are helpful for disabled people. Companies which do not do this shall be in violation of the law. In this article, you will learn why Section 508 is so important.

Why is this section 508 necessary?

The United States Health Department states that around ten percent of the national population are disabled in some way. Almost 28 million people are deaf and have hearing problems, around a million people are visually impaired and have problems which cannot be corrected by wearing spectacles, and almost another million people are completely blind. Companies should comply with Section 508 because it is the correct thing to do simply.

What are the specific accessibility standards set by Section 508?

One of the aspects of Section 508 acceptable standards presents clear guidelines for acceptable techniques which companies need to implement. For video and multimedia products, it is vital to put captions and video descriptors in all the multimedia products. Also, there will have to be a toggle option. For the telecommunication-based products, they would have to access for the deaf and people who have difficulty in hearing properly. This will mean that there has to be technology to help with hearing aids, there should be TTTYs and other devices to facilitate listening. For applications which are based on the internet, there should be text labels to help in accessing the web graphics for people who are visually impaired. There should also be refreshable screen readers and Braille displays. For any software application or operating system, it is essential to provide the necessary accessibility features for people who are visually impaired by providing an alternative mode of keyboard navigation.

With the advancement of technology there will also be a need for more Section 508 compliance, in fact, there are a lot of techniques to test the standards of Section 508. There are toolbars available which help in analyzing web pages to see if they meet the set standards. Web pages are tested with the images being disabled, several color schemes and larger fonts and so on. If you are still wondering about what is 508 compliance, you need to check the internet and read the specific Section 508 guidelines.

Wrapping things up

Section 508 is quite helpful as it aids people with disabilities to freely and securely access the internet. Hopefully, the information mentioned in this article will help you.

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