Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures that all websites, apps, and software are accessible to individuals with disabilities. However, in order to be 508 compliant, you must first test your application to ensure it meets all of Section 508’s requirements. While testing for 508 compliance is a complex process and should be done by qualified quality assurance testers, there are some general guidelines you can look for yourself.
Below is a general checklist for 508 compliance to help get you started:
Image Text/Alt Text
Images, videos, logos, and all other non-text elements on your site should have text alternatives, also known as alt text. Alt text should describe the image and the information it provides. If, however, the image is simply decorative, you can tag it as “null.”
In order to be 508 compliant, a web page should not flicker more than three times per second. Anything more can trigger seizures in those with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
Online forms should be easy and simple to fill out for all individuals. When building a form, look out for these 508 compliant qualities:
- Simple, logical layout
- Able to fill out forms with assistive technology or just a keyboard
- Properly labeled fields
- Placeholder attributes
- Fieldsets and a coordinating legend or key
The text on your app, site, or software should be easily read. As such, you need to have a proper amount of color contrast between the text and the background. The better the contrast, the easier it is for individuals to read.
In addition to color contrast, the text should also be large enough for people to read. Text size should be at least 16px, though it can be larger if you so choose.
Remember, these are only some of the many accessibility criteria that must be met under Section 508. In order to be completely compliant, you’ll need quality assurance testers to run through the entire checklist for you.