Websites that are 508 compliant must have practices and code that takes into consideration disparate disabled end users such as those who have visual or audio handicaps, color blindness, epilepsy, or are motion impaired. Users who are visually impaired may require the use of screen readers in order to surf the web, while users with hearing disabilities will not be able to comprehend various embedded multimedia. One of Government’s mandates is that services and information must be delivered in a way that is accessible to all of its citizens. In 1998, the US Congress revised the Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires that electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.
In early 2012, an interagency group of Section 508 experts, convened by the General Services Administration (GSA), created the first drafts of a set of working documents intended to inform and guide those set with the task of creating Section 508 Compliant videos.
We need to prioritize accessibility in the web economy, if we create websites that are not accessible it is as good as economic exclusion and an ism.
Supported Valid code is more likely to be supported in future versions of browsers and devices. Bear in mind that a technically valid document does not ensure accessibility. The other side of making sure your website is usable by disabled people is, not surprisingly, usability.
10 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web DeveloperYou have a great idea for an online business.
VisitBuying GuideAre you finding it difficult to understand what type of hosting you need or which provider to go with? Fortunately, making your website live tile-ready doesn't take a lot of time or programming expertise.
Just as you would crop a Facebook profile picture, click and drag your cursor on the uploaded image to select the portion of your image you would like to use as a thumbnail. If you want more control over this, create your own thumbnail images in these dimensions and continue with the next step. By default, the zipped file is assigned an unintelligible name, so rename it for your own sanity. Of course, you can name the files whatever you want, but this makes for better compatibility across all of Windows' platforms and future updates.
You now have a basic, functioning live tile for your website that will feature beautiful live updates from your RSS feed. Change the number after "frequency=" to reflect the number of minutes you would like to use as an interval.
Sometimes a user may pin your site to their Start screens from a secondary page, but you might like to direct them to your home page every time they open your pinned site.
There are many more customizations available on Microsoft's documentation for Pinned Sites, but many of them are only supported in the desktop version of IE. We would especially like to have some control over a lower banner overlay on the tile to make sure the site's name is always displayed, or to cycle a custom frame as part of the polling cycle so that users know what site those updates are from. Another gripe we have is that, as with all live tiles for sites and apps, clicking on the tile takes you to  the website home page, not to the article whose picture you saw. That said, any website that produces frequent content updates should have its own live tile. Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. To overcome these problems, images are required to have text such as the ALT tag or captions that you provide.
From cats in shark costumes riding on Roombas to the 2.1 million people live streaming the 2012 Super Bowl.
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Making a video Section 508 Compliant requires video captions, audio descriptions, a 508 compliant player and is best considered at the onset of a video project, not pieced together at the end. Accessibility is determined not only by a website’s code but by its design and content, which is why accessibility, standards and usability are so connected. A perfectly valid document whose semantic elements are entirely wrong will impair accessibility. All you'll need are a working RSS feed of your content, a graphic file of your logo and the ability to add a few lines of code to the header of your pages. Click the button that says Crop for each size, then move your cursor over to your uploaded image. Adjust the background color in the second field so that your title is visible on your tile in the live preview panel. If you chose to create your own thumbnail images in step 4, replace the images in the package with yours. If that isn't frequent enough for your site, you may set it to update every 30 minutes, 60 minutes, six hours or 12 hours. It might be worth watching to see what updates Microsoft rolls out for pinned sites on the Start screen. Right now a brute workaround would be to emblazon your logo over all the images on your RSS feed so that they show up on the tile. This may be a bit misleading if you were expecting to go to a story on "Breaking news: Morsi Out In Egypt Victory" but end up being brought to the home page of the news site instead.
The time and effort necessary to add this code is negligible in comparison to the benefit of showing users your latest content, right on their start screens. If you would like to learn enough to apply for these positions, or if you merely want to use these standards on your own site, then this tutorial is for you.


Notice how carefully NASA'S multimedia website provides text descriptions or captions to fulfill this requirement.
Online video inspires us with TED talks and allows us to feel the rush of Felix Baumgartner jumping from space. Examples are: giving headings an improper structure, using blockquote to indent, and using the summary attribute in tables for layout.
If you're using your own images and can't see them in the live preview, use this tip: for light-colored, background images, use white (or #FFFFFF) as your background color. When you use tables to display data, be sure to add the header TH tag and SCOPE attribute so that the screen reader can organize data logically. With online video so embedded (online video geek pun) in our lives, it makes perfect sense for Government to use online video to engage its citizens. To validate your code, you can use the W3C’s Markup Validation Service and CSS Validation Service.
If you try tapping on the Mail tile, you end up in your inbox, not in the message you might have seen on the tile surface. IT professionals involved in website creation, upgrading, or maintenance for the government must adhere to these to these rules. Many developer toolbars, such as the Web Accessibility Toolbar by The Paciello Group, provide shortcuts to these services. Knowledge of 508 compliance is also a prerequisite for bidding on web related government contracts. For this reason, some government contractors will not even consider hiring you unless you are able to demonstrate experience or proficiency in this matter.
The Three Tiers, and Progressive EnhancementTo implement standards effectively and make a website more accessible, you must first separate content, style (or presentation) and behavior using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
Though the law applies primarily to the federal government, many states also have similar versions. Consistent Layout and StructureTo help users navigate your website quickly and easily, you should provide a consistent layout and structure. The main elements of the page—banner, navigation, sidebar—should appear in the same locations throughout the website. This will also benefit those with cognitive impairments and those who use a screen-reader application (which processes content on the screen and reads it aloud).2. Add Alternative Text to ImagesUnfortunately, as widely known as alternative text is, it is all too often ignored or not implemented correctly. When the image cannot be seen—as would be the case with blind users, search engines, blocked images and broken links—then the “content” of the image is accessed through its alt text.
Not only does this validate better, but it indicates to assistive technologies that the image does not contain anything meaningful.For some images, such as charts and artwork, longer descriptions are needed. An obvious example is a glossary: a word would be marked up as the definition term, and its definition would be the definition data.
Use More Than Color to Convey MeaningMany people have some form of vision impairment, such as color blindness. For example, the h1 element might contain the title of the page or website, and an h2 element would denote a heading on that page. This not only helps screen-reader users to navigate, but makes the page more readable for sighted users. Instructions like “Select the red button” will not be helpful to people who have trouble distinguishing that color. Instead, make sure that every instruction refers to a specific non-color characteristic of the target, such as its shape (e.g. Another solution is to add a shape, such as an octagon, and perhaps a texture to the targeted item. Color ContrastRelated to the last point, give your design sufficient color contrast, which will help low-vision and color-blind users. These ratios are calculated from a formula based on the color luminance of foreground and background colors. 19. Skip LinksAn anchor link moves the cursor from one area of the page to another, and a “skip” link is a particular type of anchor link.
Mark Up Data Tables CorrectlyMake your data tables accessible to all by coding them properly. It very helpfully allows keyboard users to jump past large blocks of content and links, notably navigation menus. Skip links are often placed at the top of pages and point to the main content, so that users don’t have to scroll through the banner and navigation every time they arrive on a new page.
Leave it visible, but if you must hide it, then use CSS to give it a negative margin (or something similar) and then display it when the user focuses on the link.ARIA and HTML5 provide methods of navigation that could make skip links obsolete. If the header is in the top row and targets the cells below, then use the value col (for “column”). Link ContentBecause some assistive technologies show links on a separate page, the content of textual links is very important. For more on this technique, visit the Complex Data Tables section over at Web Usability.Also, even though laying out a page or section with a table does not directly affect accessibility, using pure CSS is best.
Make Changes to Content ClearBe sure to alert users when content changes dynamically on the page. ARIA Live Regions is a relatively new technology that handles this task for users of screen reader, and rather easily, too.


Be Careful With Title AttributeThe title attribute is handy for adding supplementary information, but it is still only supplementary. Many screen readers do not recognize the title attribute by default, and most users don’t check for them. Now, About That Flash…According to users of screen reader, Flash is one of most inaccessible technologies on the Web. As we saw in the previous section, we can indicate that a link has an unusual target by using techniques other than the title attribute.9. Adobe has worked hard to make it possible to create accessible Flash content, but frankly speaking, developers rarely take advantage of it in practice.Use Flash sparingly, and make every effort to make the Flash content you do have accessible. If that’s not possible, then provide an alternate way to access the content.The entertaining piece “Assistive Technology Boogie”, by Inclusive Technology, is a great example of accessible Flash. It is accessible by keyboard, it provides captions, and it even has an audio description.22. Provide TranscriptionsGive all audio a textual accompaniment to help users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Transcripts have other benefits, too: they give all users a choice on how to access content. The pro-underline side in this seemingly age-old debate has been gradually losing ground because of a lack of awareness about accessibility and the increasing competition to build the “best” design.With respect to accessibility, the main reason to retain underlining is so that links remain visible to color-blind users. A user might not have audio capability on their device, or their speakers or headphones might be broken. Even I have trouble distinguishing links from plain text when the underlining is removed and the link color does not contrast well. Not to mention, transcripts are great for SEO.There are several methods of marking up a transcript. Removing the underlining in it is fine as long as its function is totally obvious to the user.Also, do not underline plain text that is not hyperlinked.
The specification currently suggests using paragraph elements to mark up a conversation.23.
Most fields are already labeled, so it’s just a matter of attaching a label element to the relevant text. Add CaptionsYou should provide timed captions on video and multimedia content for the same reasons you should provide transcriptions.
Give the field a unique id, and refer to the id in the label element with the for attribute. If saying “funny” would be just as effective as saying “jocular,” then stick with the former. See the HTML labels specification for more.Another useful technique, especially for longer forms, is to set up fieldsets with legends. And don’t rely solely on automated tools, because many of the things you should be checking are subjective in nature, such as language, tab order and link text. The best way to test a website is to have an experienced user of assistive technology review it. Do not ask for information that you don’t need.Instructions or information that are not contained in a form-specific element might not be read if an assistive reading device is in forms mode.
For example, an alert that a field is “Required” should be contained inside the form label.11.
First you’ll be interviewed, so that they get a feeling for what you want, and when they have a finished product to show they’ll send you a draft.
Some assistive technologies rely on keyboard input or a virtual keyboard rather than a mouse or pointing device. Stick with the standard a element with an href attribute.This might seem obvious, but look around the Web and you’ll come across instances of the wrong code before long. This is the concept behind Plain Ol’ Semantic HTML (POSH) with progressive enhancement (PE) (see section 15 of this article below: “The Three Tiers”). Lembree is an accomplished Web developer who has worked for a variety of companies, including Ford, Google, Disney and RIM. He has presented at several conferences, including Accessing Higher Ground, INDATA Assistive Technology Conference and the 25th Annual International Technology & Persons With Disabilities Conference.
Never remove the default link outline in CSS—a{outline:0}—unless you replace its functionality.
Tab through its website and you’ll get lost very quickly; you get no visual cue of the link you are focused on. By contrast, Accessible Twitter retains the default outline and adds a distinct focus effect, even on form fields and buttons.13. Add ARIA Landmark RolesAccessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) is a relatively new W3C specification that provides a method for making modern applications accessible to assistive technologies. These are special attributes that describe sections of the page, such as content, navigation and search.
This gives users of screen readers a great way to navigate (although ARIA is not fully supported in some screen reader-browser combinations).



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