Semalt: What is section 508?
In the United States Workforce rehabilitation act of 1973, section 508 was added to help the working force population show suffered one form of disability or the other. These are a set of requirements and guidelines which must be followed to ensure that the information contained on a website is accessible to everyone, including individuals with a form of disabilities. The 508 Act: "Federal agencies are required to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible all visitors including those with disabilities."
508 Compliance ensures that websites are safe and accessible for individuals with disabilities. Everyone has a right to education; these include individuals who have one form of disability or the other. Imagine a website designed to teach blind visitors on how to read braille. On their screens, there no possible way they can understand this, but with the help of 508 compliance websites, they can learn this without any difficulty.
Today, this cuts across both websites, with its audience being disabled individuals to general sites. The 508 compliance law states that all websites, regardless of your target audience, should provide certain forms of guidance for individuals who suffer one disability or the other. This law covers a range of issues designed to assist people with different kinds of disabilities.
Considering that almost 20% of the entire American population has some form of disability or the other, we begin to see the need for websites that accommodate these individuals' needs. By ignoring the accessibility needs of this population, your page views are automatically reduced, limiting the traffic to your site, and you will isolate the disabled.
Whether working for the federal government, the private sector, or a nonprofit, 508 Compliance should be carefully thought out; its design needs careful attention, so does its development and execution. Here is a list of 508 Compliance issues and how the Semalts web development team can help you navigate them and give you a perfect website.
Several laws are related to Section 508. The most relevant to information and communication are:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Section 255 of the Communications Act
- 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
Who needs to be compliant with Section 508?
Many times, websites believe that 508 compliance is for federal agencies alone. This isn't true and for obvious reasons. As an E-commerce website, you should expect individuals with disabilities to shop for items also. Without 508 compliance, these individuals will have to leave your website because they can't navigate the site to get to what they want. This means more traffic gets lost due to your inability to create a conducive environment for their needs. However, this concerns any company that cooperates with federal agencies such as legal organizations, private sectors, healthcare, and many more. This is important because you show the world everyone matters, and you take into consideration the needs of everyone who could stumble on your website. 20% of the American population is a significant figure, and having that population on your side will do more good than harm.
Key features of 508 compliance
To make your website 508 compliant, here are the guidelines Semalt uses crucial features we hope to implement, and when we're done, we give you an amazing 508 complaint website.
- Provide captions or transcripts for videos and audios
Although there are special services available on the internet that convert speech to text, it wouldn't do any harm if your website had a feature that does this on its own.
- Navigation with the help of keyboard
- Avoid Block Zoom
- Screen readers
- Alternative text for images
- Alternative text for videos
- Color and Contrast
- Closed Captioning & Subtitles
- No Time Limits
Why does your website need to be compliant with section 508?
If you want your platform to be accessible to people with disabilities and, as a result, gain more traffic and conversions, your website has to be 508 compliant. If you want your website to be accessible by everyone interested, having a 508 complaint website is for you. With this, you can get more traffic and conversions on your website besides the fact that your website will be seen as user conscious.
Is my website 508 compliant and accessible to people with disabilities?
It is time you stopped asking this question and get your website to Semalt to have it checked. With the help of special tools, we can get you an answer in no time.
Regardless of whether your website is legally required to implement 508 Compliance, having it implemented on your website is beneficial. With so many disabled Americans, it can become a problem if an organization's website does not cater to the needs of the entirety of web-users. Semalt can guide you through making your website 508 compliant, and we will make sure you have a great site that's both functional and accessible to all users.