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Officially the law only requires government agency web sites to be accessible, but, if you have a web site, why would you not want those who need assistive technology to be able to use your website.
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. If you would like an audit done on your website, and a quote on making sure those with disabilities can use it, shoot me an email.
Many of Naz Creative's customers target a wide cross-section of the population, including users with disabilities. In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
Although only legally required for government organizations, accessibility considerations are an important part within the private sector as well. 508 Compliance became A Thing to Deal With in 2000 and 15 years later people still have questions about how it works.
Also, I’m speaking pretty strictly to posting static data visualization-based reports on the web, not creating interactive data visualization websites, which is a bit of a different beast. When dealing with fairly static visuals, being 508 isn’t as complicated as people make it out to be. If your posted materials are going to be Word or Excel, add alt text when creating your graphs.
You go through this same process when uploading the graph as an image to a site like WordPress. Yeah, this one kind of hurts but the preferred fonts are Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, Verdana, Helvetica, and Tahoma. Matthew Montesano told me that his trick is to make a very tiny table, below the graph, right on the webpage or report page. One more thing Matthew mentioned: It is critical that the table have proper table formatting, meaning the header row has to be styled as a header row so it is obvious to the screen reader. Excel has a baked-in placeholders for things like your chart title, legend, and axis labels. You should use these (preferably all of them) rather than go rogue and insert textboxes.
Light on light and dark on dark are a problem for everyone – not just those with disabilities. Try a color scheme that makes more sense for the data itself and settle in with the notion that the data labels can be different colors, colors that contrast better.
Check your choices by printing out a page in black and white or try a 508 compliance color tester. One of my favorite data viz boosts is to color code the title to match it to particular parts of the graph. In general, most people struggle to balance aesthetics and Section 508 compliance when working within the federal sector.
Section 508, The Electronic and Information Technology Standards, is a Federal law requiring most US Government electronic information services to be accessible to persons with disabilities. Section 508 is a federal law mandating the use of electronic accessibility standards on government websites. WebXACT (formerly Bobby) is a free online service that lets you test single pages of web content for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues.
Wave 3.0 from Webaim is an online tool that checks for both W3C and Section 508 compliance.
Could a parent or student make an accessibility complaint against my school or library website? Accessibility can be as simple as supplying descriptive Alternative Tags into the HTML code of a page that tell a blind user the content and meaning of a graphic. If you have a high speed Internet connection try visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison Video on the Web page.
Finally, consider visiting an Assistive Technology lab at a local community college or university. You have reached the Department of Defense (DoD) Accessibility Link, at which you may report issues of accessibility of DoD websites for persons with disabilities.
If your issue involves log in access, password recovery, or other technical issues, contact the administrator for the website in question, or your local helpdesk. Did you know websites are only considered fully-accessible if people with disabilities can use them in the same respect as those without disabilities? Section 508 requires that all Federal information that is accessible electronically must be accessible for those with disabilities.
In order for a person who is mobility- or vision-impaired to be able to use a site, that web site must satisfy 16 specific conditions according to 508 Compliance requirements. WebpageFX offers Section 508 Compliance web site development solutions for government, government contractors, businesses, non-profit entities and the private sector to ensure your organization's website is meeting the standards set by the Federal government. Having a clear understanding of the accessibility requirements and the knowledge to translate the requirements into technical solutions is essential when building a 508-compliant website. When employing our 508 compliant services and opting for the DIY option, WebpageFX will also provide copywriting services for images and meta tags.
We will also act as a Section 508 consultant to answer any questions you have throughout the process. The Section 508 legislation is an amendment to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, signed into law by President Clinton in 1998.

If you are a federal institution or a direct vendor to the Federal government, your business must comply with federally regulated guidelines for Section 508, including web site accessibility.
While not mandated for the general public, having a 508-compliant site increases your base of potential customers. Although federal agencies have been required to make their sites accessible to people with disabilities since 1998, it was not until fairly recently that anyone took action against non-compliant sites. In the past few years, theya€™ve filed Section 508 lawsuits against several major agencies and businesses, including the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the US Department of Education.
These federal agenciesa€™ sites were all inaccessible to blind Internet users and prevented them from filling out forms and accessing certain information. The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) has also taken action on the issue, and filed lawsuits against Harvard University and MIT in 2015. In some cases, privately-owned businesses and corporations have also been subject to accessibility lawsuits. Targeta€™s site was inaccessible to blind users, and did not allow them to access information or make purchases. This set a precedent for online retailers, and as this becomes more of a well-known issue, there are likely to be similar lawsuits in the future for ecommerce sites that are inaccessible to customers with disabilities.
In fact, some individual citizens have started filing their own lawsuits over ADA violations in recent years. The companies he sued ranged from clothing retailers to banks to auto repair shops, demonstrating that regardless of industry, any business could be at risk for lawsuits over ADA violations. We will evaluate your site page-by-page ensuring any and all accessibility requirements are fulfilled, making sure any visitor to your site who lives with a disability has the means necessary to experience your site in its entirety. Having a design that is focused on the visitor typically requires making sure the flow of navigation and organization of your website meets end-user expectations.
In order to ensure your site encompasses 508-compliant web accessible content, we will assess all information, images and other media files within your site.
Our strategy for website 508 compliance leaves no stone unturned to ensure we tackle everything from the big picture down to the smallest details. Inaccessible technology interferes with an ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily.
In addition, some websites are required by the Federal Government to be accessible and must meet certain accessibility guidelines under Section 508. Following best practices in interactive design include such considerations as Section 508 compliance. This includes monitoring of the current draft of upcoming guidelines, researching browser abilities to correctly render standards and finding workable solutions when they do not. The description needs to be such that the person on the other end can comprehend the image fully. Screen readers work with Excel to pick up the fact that those particular words are designated as the title while those others are the data labels. This is nice, but insufficient (and not just for people with disabilities – if this graph was reprinted in black and white, the effect would be lost).
In PowerPoint, you can add Alt Text to a graph, an image,a shape, and other slide elements. Not sure what your objections to the recommended fonts are, but I would like to say that Arial and Times Roman are the most readable to many of us who wear glasses. This means that any materials presented in an online format on US Government websites must be designed to standards that insure compatibility with assistive technology. Section 508 clearly applies to all Federal agencies, and by extension to those who wish to conduct business with the federal government. Creating an accessible website requires a degree of technical knowledge, and a willingness to learn new ways of creating web-based information.
Alternate text, provides a written description of the meaning of an image, and should always be included when adding images to web pages. If not, trying to understand the user experience of a disabled person is a worthwhile exercise. Try to select a time that allows you to observe students with disabilities receiving instruction on using Assistive Technology.
Instead of fueling digital segregation, make your site 508 compliant by working with WebpageFX. At WebpageFX, we know and understand these requirements; but even more, we know how to meet them. Our team includes skilled web designers and expert accessibility analysts with extensive development backgrounds and the technical insight needed when developing or testing Section 508-compliant web-based content. WebpageFX has expert knowledge of how people with disabilities interact with information technology and we are well-versed in the requirements within the Section 508 legislation. We design your website with forward-compatibility, ensuring that as browsers continue to evolve, your website remains constantly functional for all visitors.
Along with the option of implementing our recommendations for you, we also offer a cost-effective, do-it-yourself (DIY) option. By writing these for you, WebpageFX ensures 508-compliant, lucid verbiage with images that are able to be read by screen readers and understood by your intended audience. This amendment requires the information technology of Federal Agencies, including websites, to be accessible to those with disabilities.

WebpageFX 508 Compliance solutions, also called ADA compliant solutions, meet all the accessibility requirements outlined in this legislation.
Roughly 19% of the population is living with some type of disability, and ensuring your site is accessible to this population is certainly to your company or organization's benefit. This changed when the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) started bringing attention to the issue. These were two of the first complaints filed against educational institutions, but because they receive federal funding, they were required to have Section 508 compliant sites. In 2006, for example, the NFB, NFB of California, and a blind college student filed a lawsuit against Target Corporation.
This violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the court ruled in favor for the NFB. Between 2012 and 2015, one blind man in Beaver County filed 66 lawsuits against various businesses with inaccessible sites a€“ and has a€?reached confidential settlementsa€? with every single one. Our thorough approach will leave you with a 508 compliance website that is accessible, attractive, and engaging for any viewer. We will analyze the layout and navigation of your site to ensure it satisfies user requirements.
In addition, we will verify all users have the ability to make purchases and complete online forms successfully.
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. Our Design staff is well-versed and experienced in coding and testing practices to ensure that completed projects meet the level of accessibility required. 508 compliance essentially means that people who produce things on the web for any federal agency have to ensure that the posted materials are accessible for people with disabilities.
Once I make the text white and turn off the borders, no one will know this table exists, except for those using a screen reader. In the bottom graph, I also bolded those keywords in the title, so the emphasis is safely embedded. When you save it as a PDF, these tags get automatically saved in the PDF, so you don’t have to go through the extra steps listed.
My main critique with those fonts is that they are default – and so make you look default when you use them. The impact of the law is widespread because anyone wishing to do business with the Federal government must also comply with Section 508.
You will certainly gain insight and empathy for the extraordinary determination of those with visual disabilities. With this option, we will analyze and evaluate your organization's website for compliance standards and provide a full report of the 508-compliance site audit we perform. The burden is on the Federal Agency to maintain the website and ensure users with disabilities have access to and use of information comparable to that of the general public.
In knowing how to satisfy these conditions, we are able to provide exceptional websites that adhere to the requirements of this act. Don't miss out on potential sales because your site is not accessible to 19% of the population.
Additionally, we will make sure the pages and design elements within your site are visible and accessible to all users. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Those folks are going to use things like screen readers or other assistive devices to access our posted materials so it is our responsibility to make it all work. Thanks for the tip, Matthew, because this option doesn’t mess with my overall visual design. You can also set the order that elements are read in a PDF in PowerPoint by moving the elements forward or backward using the Selection & Visibility Pane.
The importance of assistive technology is brilliantly depicted in Assistive Technology: Enabling Dreams a fine online video from the George Lucas Foundation. Based on this analysis, we will determine and outline what requirements are met in addition to outlining our recommendations for improvement and enhanced accessibility. While the experience may not be exactly the same, all users must be able to access the same information, including images and media files, as well as perform common tasks, such as making a purchase or filling out a form on your site. Even if your website is strictly consumer-based and 508-compliance is not a requirement for you, we can help you make certain you're reaching all of your potential customers! In Acrobat, there is a Read Out Loud feature that can help you test what will be read from a PDF. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation. It works for me in Acrobat Pro but not in Adobe Reader for some reason (may be a system setup issue on my side).

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