Section 508 has been enacted in order to eliminate the barriers that exist in information technology so that it can make available the new opportunities also for those people who are disabled and encourage the development of certain technologies which would help to achieve these goals. In this article, you will learn why and how you should make your website section 508 compliant.
Basically, the government would like to have information technology and business websites to be easily accessible by people who are disabled (blind, deaf, dyslexia, and so on) and Section 508 will suggest you how to do that. It is important to follow these guidelines so that your website does not get blacklisted by the government.
However, you need to understand that having compliance with Section 508 will not be a guarantee that your website is accessible.
Understanding the difference between “Valid” and “Verified”:
Valid will mean that your website has met the Section 508 demands and requirements.
Verified will mean that your website is accessible for disabled people.
Section 508 will also require you to provide texts that are equivalent for all the non-text based elements which are used in your web pages.
For instance, you can try to create images that can comply with section 508.
Inaccessible yet compliant:
You can check whether the HTML codes used in your website are compliant or not. If they are, then you need to check the accessibility. If the accessibility is not there, then the reason for that is that the alt tags used are meaningless. IF this is the case, then it will not be describing the products presented in the pictures.
Accessibility versus compliance
Only when there is an equivalent of meaningful texts, then your business website can become accessible for blind people. So make sure that you take care of this.
How should you try to confirm the accessibility of your business website?
You can try using automated tests, but they can often be inefficient as they are not able to comprehend the real meaning of several words. These tests will only check whether certain words exist or not and that will also be a nice way to start.
Although it can seem to be difficult, but you can still find out with some tests if your business website is truly accessible. You will be required to test your business website in different real-world situations. You should try to observe a real disabled man using your website; then you would know for sure whether your business website is just compliant or if it is really accessible. In order to learn more about the different ways by which your business website can get more traffic.
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