Section 508 Remediation

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Section 508 is part of a 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applies to all Federal agencies that develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. More than 13 million people in the United States have at least one disability protected under Section 508.

When achieving 508 compliance, SRCA utilizes multiple reviews, applying requirements from the most recently revised 508 standards. Our project specialists are skilled in working within the Section 508 guidelines, as evidenced by SRCA’s relationships with the CDC, FAA, NOAA, and the Department of Labor (DOL). For digital distribution, such as PDF and HTML, SRCA designers help direct standards usage for 508 compliance and formatting. This process includes using specific text-based HTML tags and stylings available within InDesign, Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Microsoft Office applications to complete the compliance application.

With any document under review for remediation, the processes are the same. First, the document is visually reviewed for everyday common items that may lead to issues, such as text formatting styles, video, and graphic usage, hyperlinks, etc.

Once a general idea of the document’s purpose is understood, the content is tested against standard 508 compliance checks. SRCA recognizes the following features are required and mandatory to ensure accessibility compliance:

  • A text equivalent (alternative text and captioning) for all non-text elements (images, charts, graphs) is required for digital versions. Image captions and alternative text are not redundant; alternative text will describe visuals, whereas captioning will give a related brief description. SRCA will provide Alt Text for each photo and chart to support 508 compliance.
  • The use of data tables will be minimal. Data tables will be in their most simplified format with no merged or split cells. Row and column headers will be identified for all data tables.
  • Lists will be made using built-in lists functions to be appropriately tagged in the digital version of the book. The digital version of the book must use headings (have heading tags for assistive technology navigation purposes) and utilize appropriate nesting of headings that follows a logical outline order.
  • The digital document must be void of empty tags. The document should be built out using paragraph spacing tools rather than tabs and returns for paragraph spacing.
  • The book’s content will be designed in print and digital versions so that color is not the sole method for conveying information.
  • Visual presentation of the text must have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.

Section 508 remediation example of using the ANDI software to make a website accessible

Section 508 remediation example of using Adobe Acrobat and the tag tree to make a document accessible