Section 508 accessibility testing can be daunting, but when done by a team who specialize in the field, it can be a truly enlightening and rewarding process for all involved. Read on to learn all about Section 508 and Section 508 testing.

You’ve probably heard the term “Section 508” being tossed around when speaking about accessibility and compliance. But what does it mean? To whom does it apply? What is Section 508 testing? Why is it important?

We’re here to help break down the lingo so you know what Section 508 is and how it might apply to you.

What is Section 508?

Section 508 (of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973) mandates Federal agencies to “develop, procure, maintain, and use electronic and information technology” in ways that allow Federal employees with disabilities the ability to use information and data in the same way as  employees who are not disabled access and use the same information and data. The regulation states equal access must be provided unless “an undue burden would be imposed on the agency” in making this possible.

With the same goal of equal access in mind, Section 508 also states that members of the public who are individuals with disabilities, and who are seeking information or services from a Federal agency, should have equal access to and be able to use information and data as do individuals who are not disabled.

Simply put, “Section 508” refers to making sure individuals of all abilities have equal access to the information and data they seek from federal agencies or which they need to do their jobs within a federal agency.

Who Needs to Comply?

If you’re a federal government employee or contractor, you need to understand what Section 508 is and how it applies to you and your role, as well as to your products or services. This is a far-reaching piece of legislation that applies to many roles across many organizations in various ways.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Section 508, as you read above, is about ensuring persons with disabilities have access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that gives them the ability to interact or work with data and information within a federal agency. A few examples of ICT include:

  • Computers
  • Telephones (including smartphones)
  • Software
  • Websites
  • Electronic documents
  • Videos
Who Needs to Comply with Section 508?

If you work for the federal government or are a contractor, you will need to comply with Section 508 when developing, procuring, maintaining, or using ICT. If you’re building a presentation or website, creating electronic training or documents, or building or providing ICT solutions, you need to understand and adhere to Section 508.

Your Section 508 Lifeline

If you need a little help when it comes to Section 508, we’re here to be your lifeline. At Training Compliance Support Access, we are dedicated to the advancement of equal access and empowerment of persons with disabilities through the provision of Assistive Technology (AT) tools and solutions aimed at fostering independence and productivity.

We specialize in the assessment, implementation, and support of reasonable accommodations for individuals with a variety of support needs. These can include (but are not limited to) persons who are blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, as well as those with mobility or cognitive challenges.

TCSA believes:

  • In an accessible experience for all.
  • That equal access is possible - web-based and digital content is key to achieving equal access. We can provide quality, accessible documents with a short turnaround.
  • Creating an accessible experience requires special knowledge, and we bring combined expertise and user knowledge to auditing and remediating digital document accessibility.

Contact us today to get TCS Access on your Section 508 accessibility testing, ADA, or PDF/UA standards team!