What Are 508 Compliance Requirements
The US law supports people with disabilities. Various civil rights laws accommodate the privileges for more than 25% of the US population which is disabled. To define the scope of civil rights in the digital landscape, the groundwork is covered within Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Section 508 guidelines mandate that federal programs that involve the usage of communication and technology products should not discriminate against users based on their disability. The law applies to federal agencies or companies that receive funding from the federal government. The compliance levels confirm accessibility standards for everything including websites, software applications, mobile apps, documents, along with hardware devices like printers, desktops and mobile phones.
Section 508 is enforced for federal agencies or contractors partnered with these agencies. Does that mean, privately owned firms are not liable to adhere to the law? Well, a large of companies including your vendors are already practicing website 508 compliance standards. Let’s find out why?
Does Section 508 also apply to private businesses?
Section 508 is technically enforced on agencies working for the federal government. If a contractor gets federal funding, then also their technology and communication products need to be compliant with the accessibility guidelines.
Privately owned businesses can’t be regulated using the Section 508 guideline. Still, it’s a good practice to adhere to the law. Most of your business partners or vendors are already practicing Section 508 compliance and VPAT certification. The underlying reason for that is- regardless of your business category, the compliance level determines the purchasing habit of your suppliers or vendors who may adhere to the accessibility law.
Businesses that get federal funding are bound to follow the law. Those who are not directly getting a fund from federal agencies still follow the law to improve their accountability standards. A compliant business is always the preferred choice for vendors and suppliers. Additionally, focusing on accessibility guidelines makes your product and offerings useful for the disabled population. The benefit of widened reach and profitability is another reason that private businesses are adhering to Section 508.
How to achieve Section 508 compliance?
ADA compliance and Section 508 compliance become an easy guide for businesses to compare vendor choices. To achieve the confirmation, you can try an automated Section 508 compliance checker tool. The testing tools focus on the standards requirements of accessibility which are mentioned in the WCAG.
To comply with the requirements of Section 508 your business needs to adhere to the AA level success criteria of WCAG. If your method of practising ADA accessibility already includes compliance to the latest version of WCAG standards, then naturally your business is compliant with Section 508.
For in-depth accessibility remediation, it is best to combine the approach of testing with manual audits.
Want to learn more about 508 Compliance Tests?
Section 508 is a major milestone to determine the accessibility standards in the US. Aiming for digital accessibility offers endless business benefits. Besides, comprehensive audits and testing also help in minimizing the risk of legal recourse. If interested in making improvements in your website’s accessibility compliance, visit the link below to have a word with our audit specialists.