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transition the new section 508

Transition:the new Section 508

Diagram of evolving web technologies over time. From 1991 and plain text through Mosaic, Netscape, Opera, I.E. and the various evolutions of CSS, HTML and Javascript/AJAX "The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." –

Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Director and inventor of the World Wide Web


Let’s talk about standards!

What are they for,

how do they work,

where are they going?

Sharron Rush


People with disabilities

…can acquire the same information

…participate in the same activities

…be active producers as well as


i t accessibility movement
I.T. Accessibility Movement

Illustration of Universal Access symbols - wheelchair, Braille letters, tab navigation. The words accessibility, open standards, innovation.

Grounded in civil rights

Universal access to built environment – required by ADA

Standards bodies recognized need to address IT accessibility

Concepts and vocabulary extended into learning and communications


universal design
Universal Design…
  • supports all people
  • supports all technology
  • improves experience for all
  • strong relationship to usability
  • “Good design IS accessible design” ~ Dr. John Slatin
why advocate for inclusive design
Why advocate for inclusive design?

Legal Technical


Humanitarian Visionary

Image: Man on soap box as advocate

legal mandates
Legal Mandates
  • International – UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities, 2006
  • Global requirements based on WCAG2
  • US Federal standards, Section 508
  • Other national laws
  • State and local laws
us federal law
US Federal Law
  • Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act
  • Oct 2010, President signed 21st Century Accessible Technology bill
  • ADA. DoJ recent notice of intention to extend to web.
all 50 us states now mandate accessibility
All 50 US states now mandate accessibility

Legally binding for agencies, educational entities, purchases

Most reference Section 508

legal progress in us
Legal progress in US
  • 1998 – 2002 National Federation of the Blind (NFB) vs SW Airlines, AOL others
  • Most settled out of court, few clear legal precedents established
  • Since 2002, states and NFB are filing under local and ADA laws with greater success
  • Structured negotiations successful in increasing accessibility without litigation
demographic forces
Demographic Forces
  • Number of people with disabilities is growing
  • 55 million Americans / 1 billion worldwide
  • Fortune: “$1 trillion annual market” in US
  • $200 billion in discretionary spending
  • More as population ages
improved technical performance
Improved technical performance
  • Harmonize with global standards
  • Internationalization
  • Demonstrated ROI
because we can
Because we can!

Image of 9-year old girl in home made super girl costume, arms crossed, goggles on, looking determined!

human rights
Human Rights

In 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesrecognized technology access as a basic human right. Logo of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations

accessibility standards

Accessibility Standards

Overview of standards

How they interrelate

How to choose

role of standards
Role of Standards
  • Shared understanding of requirements among:
      • Consumers
      • Authoring Toolmakers
      • Developers
      • Makers of browsers and AT devices
  • “How to” Techniques and testing criteria for content creators
components of web accessibility
Components of Web Accessibility

ATAG(authoring tools)

Diagram of the relationship between authoring and evaluation tools, Web content, and user agent tools such as browsers and assistive technologies. As each component adheres to common standards, accessibility and interoperability are improved. At the W3c, groups of experts work in collaboration on the

ATAG – authoring tools accessibility group;

WCAG – web content accessibility group; and UAAG – user agent accessibility group, and others.

WCAG(web content)

UAAG(user agent)

global standards
Global Standards
  • WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. International standards for the web
  • ATAG - Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines. Vendor standards for interoperability
  • UAAG - User Accessibility Guidelines for browsers and assistive technologies
  • ARIA - Accessible Rich Internet Application research for emerging technologies

section 508 guidelines
Section 508 Guidelines
  • Only used in US
  • Subpart B - technical standards
    • 16 rules of web-based intranet and internet accessibility standards
    • Besed on WCAG1
    • In process of “Refresh”

standards are being revised
Standards are being revised
  • Section 508 in “refresh” (expect to harmonize with WCAG 2.0)
  • WCAG 2.0 released in December 2008 – accessibility defined within 4 basic principles.



new 508 references wcag2
New 508 references WCAG2

“E207.2 WCAG Conformance.  User interface components and content of platforms and applications shall conform to Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements specified for web pages in WCAG 2...”

wcag2 defines four principles of accessibility
WCAG2 defines four principles of accessibility

Content is POUR

  • Perceivable
  • …Operable
  • …Understandable
  • …and Robust
pour principles are widely applicable
POUR Principles are widely applicable
  • Documents
  • Web pages
  • Web applications
  • Content management
not just for web pages
Not just for web pages

Advisory E205.1 Official Agency Communications.  WCAG is written to be technology neutral.  While oriented towards web pages which are defined as being delivered using HTTP, it is straightforward to apply the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements to all electronic content.

WCAG 2.0,Guideline 1 1. Perceivable - Information and user interface components must be presented to users in ways they can perceive
WCAG 2.0,Guideline 3 3. Understandable - Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable
wcag 2 0 guideline 4 4 robust content must be
WCAG 2.0,Guideline 4 4. Robust – Content must be

flexible enough to be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies

section 508 to wcag2 map
Section 508 to WCAG2 Map
  • Created by Tom Jewett and Wayne Dick for CSUN 2009
mapping strategy
Mapping strategy

Comprised of six steps:

  • State the need
  • Identify gap in equally effective access
  • Which of four basic principles apply?
  •  which guidelines?
  •  which Success Criteria?
  • Find the sufficient techniques to test and validate.
Graphic representation of WCAG2 guidelines. Accessible version found
implementation strategy
Implementation Strategy
  • Explicit policy statement with reference to standards
  • Training and orientation to standards
  • Design with progressive enhancement
  • Create internal supports
  • Iterative testing
  • Include people with disabilities in user testing
progressive enhancement
Progressive Enhancement
  • Replaces the notion of “graceful degradation”
  • Layers content, semantic HTML, CSS and scripting
testing for accessibility
Testing for Accessibility
  • Structure based on internal policies
  • Specific protocols will depend on goals
  • Should be part of overall QA
  • Will be iterative
  • Can improve user experience for all
automated free one page tests
Automated free one-page tests
  • AChecker
  • The Wave
  • Worldspace

Results emailed to you by

  • AMP Express
manual testing with toolbars
Manual Testing with toolbars

Tools we use (and there are others…)

  • Accessibility Extension for Firefox
  • Accessibility Toolbar for IE
  • DequeWorldspaceFireEyes
  • Jim Thatcher’s Favelets
  • Web developer toolbar
  • W3C – Web Accessibility Initiative

How to Meet WCAG2

  • WebAIM’s WCAG2 Checklist

Unofficial guidance

  • Designing with Progressive Enhancement

Book from Filament Group

  • Adaptive Web Design

Recent book by Aaron Gustafson

thank you
Thank you

You make all the difference!

@knowbility on Twitter