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508-Compliant Websites

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Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federally funded agencies to ensure that their procurement of information technology takes into account the needs of all users, including those with disabilities. To create that a website is 508-compliant, certain criteria must be met. Following is a list of basic guidelines.

Offer Text Equivalents to Images
Alternative text provides a textual replacement for pictures (images). Screen readers and talking browsers cannot do anything with an image itself, but they can announce the alternative text instead.

Present Synchronized Multimedia
Text equivalents for multimedia content must be synchronized with the presentation. In other words, captions must be included. Web authors are encouraged to include transcripts of audio content as well as synchronized alternatives since transcripts permit searching and extracting.

Remain Independent of Color
Do not convey important information with color alone. Fonts, special characters, images with alt-text, or other context denote meaning for users with color-viewing impairments.

Stay Independent of Style Sheets
Do not substitute style changes for the structural elements of HTML like headings, paragraphs, and lists.

Provide Redundant Links for Server-Side Maps
Redundant text links are necessary in each active region of a server-side image map.

Use Client-Side Image Maps
Because polygons can be used to describe any area in as much detail as desired, it makes sense to use only client-side image maps rather than server-side maps.

Label Row and Column Headers
Row and column headers must be identified for data tables.

Use Headers Attribute in Complex Tables
Markup must be used to associate data cells and header cells for tables that have two or more logical levels of row/column headers.

Supply Frame Titles (attributes and elements)
Frames must be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

Reduce Flicker
As a last resort, a text-only site can be created for 508-compliance. The text-only site must have all the information of the main site, must be updated with the same frequency as the main site, and must be immediately and obviously accessible from the main page. When creating such sites, it is important to:

1.Write accessible scripts that can be read by assistive technology.

2.Make applets and plug-ins completely functional without a mouse. Assistive technology must be able to determine the role and default action of each focused object.

3.Design accessible forms that allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

4.Offer skip navigation, allowing users to skip over navigation links.

5.Alert users of timed responses, and give ample time for completion.

If your website requires a few upgrades to become 508-compliant, contact Anttix. Our representatives can assist you in a complete evaluation of your website, as well as any necessary changes.

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