Section 3: Section 508, ADA, and Web Sites
Section 508 and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) establish U.S. requirements for Web accessibility. The annotated resources below provide links to official documentation and articles and tutorials about how to follow these guidelines and regulations.
For W3C Web accessibility guidelines, see Section 1: W3C and Accessibility here at WebsiteTips.com.
For more Web accessibility tutorials, along with more resources and books on Web accessibility, see also Section 2: Accessibility Articles, Tutorials, Resources, and Books here at WebsiteTips.com.
Do you know of some good articles, tutorials, tips, Web sites, books, or other resources related to Web site accessibility and Section 508? Recommendations are welcome and encouraged!
On this page:
- Section 508 U.S. Regulations
- Web Accessibility and Section 508
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines and Information
Section 508 U.S. Regulations
Section 508 establishes requirements for any electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the U.S. Federal government. Below are annotated resources to official documentation, tutorials, and other helpful information.
Section 508 Official Regulations and Information
- Department of Justice Section 508 Home Page
Official government site for accessibility regulations.
- Section 508 Facts: Understanding Section 508 and the Access Board's Standards
Helpful FAQ outlining what Section 508 is, who it applies to, a definition of the Technical Standards, and a timeline of its development and related events. [access-board.gov.]
- Section 508 Standards: 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
This part of Section 508 provides what's required for Web site compliance.
Section 508 Articles and Tutorials
- Accessibility: More Than The Right Thing To Do
Excellent article at evolt.org. Although it discusses accessibility requirements for websites related to federal government (and increasingly more states), it's also important information for designers to consider for any Web site.
- Accessibility: The Clock is Ticking
by Alan Herrell (aka the head lemur) for A List Apart. Explains how the new Section 508 U.S. regulations will impact how we build sites, the tools we use, browsers, and a history. Another informative article by Alan Herrell.
- Accessibility: The Politics of Design
by Alan Herrell (aka the head lemur) for A List Apart. Explains what the 508 regulations are, what they mean for site developers, validating tools.
- Section 508: The Road To Accessibility
An outreach site for 508 information, training, FAQs, program, forum, vendor products, links, more. A main site to visit for helpful info.
- Section 508 Web Accessibility Checklist
Provided by WebAIM, this helpful checklist can be used online or printed. Terrific resource.
- Section 1194.22 Web-based Internet information and applications - Detail
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
Great chart that outlines what's needed to make your site compliant to the Section 508 guidelines. By ITI (Information Technology Industry Council).
- Sun Microsystems Accessibility Program
A must-visit site on your journey exploring accessibility issues. Large area of Sun's site, covering many aspects of accessibility for designers, developers, Section 508 guidelines, and general information.
- The Accessibility Forum
"Bringing accessibility stakeholders together to support informed decisions about E&IT products relative to Section 508." Information about forum activities, helpful accessibility templates, more. Very helpful links section to more information and guidelines.
- Your Web and E-Commerce Sites: Have You Made Them Section 508 Compliant?
by Jill Vaille. Feature article for This View From The Bay newsletter. Well done, thorough, informative, covering the issues of what to consider for your site, with links to resources.
Web Accessibility and Section 508
Articles and Tutorials on Web Accessibility and Section 508
While many of the above articles touch on Section 508, the articles and tutorials below are more specific to both of these issues.
- A Primer for Accessible Web Pages
by Matt Margolin and Apple Developer Connection. Excellent, concise tutorial that explains the basics for accessibility guidelines and the U.S. 508 guidelines. Working toward separating content from design is a major help, and this tutorial explains the differences, how to implement them. Covers the longdesc attribute,
ALTattribute, the object attribute, image maps, frames, tables, more. [11/30/01 by Matt Margolin and Apple Developer Connection, O'Reilly Network]
- Web Accessibility for Section 508
Written by Web Accessibility expert Jim Thatcher. Take the entire course online and learn about and how to apply guidelines for section 508, Web accessibility, standards. Very well done, easy to understand. Funded by the NIDRR and GSA at Georgia Institute of Technology, Center for Rehabilitation Technology.
- What's All This Talk About Web Accessibility, Part 1: Inside Adaptive Technology
by Lisa Jahred for InformIT. First of a 3-part series, this one gets inside adaptive technology and discusses section 508 guidelines. Good introduction. [12/21/2001 by Lisa Jahred for InformIT]
Accessibility, Section 508, and Requirements for Education Web Sites
According to The Access Board, 1 U.S. “states receiving assistance under the Assistive Technology Act State Grant program are required to comply with section 508 and the Board's standards, according to the Department of Education, which administers the Act.”
- Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
See the section “1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.” (TIP: Since there are no hyperlinks to each section of this long document, you can use your browser's FIND feature to copy/paste that phrase and find it quickly.) Established by The Access Board.
- Standards for Electronic and Information Technology: An Overview
The Access Board provides a summary of the Section 508 Guidelines for standards compliance for Internet and Intranet webpages, including who must comply with Section 508 Guidelines, such as states receiving assistance under the Assistive Technology Act State Grant program requiring certain education sites to comply.
1The Access Board is an independent U.S. federal agency that develops, maintains, provides technical assistance, and enforces accessibility requirements for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines and Information
The U.S. ADA regulations might play an important role in your Web site needs or you might wish to learn more about it. Below are some links to official sources for more information.
Official ADA Regulations and Information
- U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act Home Page
Links to government regulations, including ADA, Section 508 links, more.
- Department of Justice ADA Regulations and Technical Assistance Materials
Law, regulations, FAQs, information services, much more.
- ADA Standards for Accessible Design
HTML or PDF file with “the full formatted text and graphics, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations, complete with links to figures, graphics and cross-referenced sections, making it easier for users to quickly read and understand related requirements.”