Section 508 is a section of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal agencies to provide disabled people with easy access to electronic and information technology, provide for the development of technologies to aid the disabled and help in providing more opportunities for disabled persons. Section 508 mandates that access to information technology for the disabled must equate with that offered to non-disabled individuals.
There are a number of technical standards that are required to be met in order to achieve Section 508 compliance. This guide will run through the various aspects in greater detail and provide you with an effective checklist. Here is a summary of the technical standards that need to be addressed:
- Desktop & Portable Computers – The Act discusses guidance in relation to accessibility for standardized ports and mechanically operated controls, including keyboards and touch screens.
- Self-Contained and Closed products – This means products where the end user is not able to actually add or connect their own assistive technologies. Everyday technology items such as copiers, kiosks and fax machines are often classified as self-contained or closed products and the standards referred to in Section 508, require access features to be built into these systems where required.
- Software Applications and Operating Systems – The technical standards required to achieve compliance relate to aspects like accessibility to software via adequate keyboard navigation or web browser capabilities.
- Telecommunications Products – Section 508 aims to address accessibility issues for a wide range of telecommunication products which includes cell phones and voicemail systems. To achieve compliance, you will need to ensure that any technology you are using is compatible with hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
- Videos and Multimedia – Technical standards required by Section 508 also includes a set of requirements for captioning and audio description of multimedia products such as training or informational productions.
- Web-Based Intranet and Internet Applications – Technical standards required include the need for users with disabilities to have access to assistive technology such as screen readers and refreshable Braille displays, so that they are able to access the content.
AEL Data is committed in making their electronic and information technologies accessible to people with disabilities. At AEL Data, we want to be a valuable resource for all Internet users. We are working to offer accessible alternatives to the websites with complex applications and features. With Section 508 and WCAG, we can help you use your website to achieve your business marketing and communication goals.
We maintain a fully accessible site as mentioned in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments requires that all Web site content be equally accessible to people with disabilities. We follow the POUR principles. P – Perceivable, O – Operable, U – Understandable, R – Robust.