4 Tips for Tackling ADA Section 508 Accessibility Remediation
In the physical world, if your place of business isn’t already accessible to individuals with disabilities, you may be required to install a wheelchair ramp, Braille signage or a set of grab bars to attain ADA compliance. In the digital sphere, ADA remediation takes on a slightly different form, but the idea is the same: to ensure that individuals of all abilities have equal opportunities to utilize a public space (in this case, a website) to its fullest intent.
If you’ve been notified that your website is in need of accessibility remediation, you may be asked, for example, to add descriptive alt text to each of the images on your site so that someone who can’t see a photo can hear its description. Or you may be required to update the functionality of your website to remove time limits or perhaps make your site navigable by keyboard, so that someone with reduced motor abilities isn’t hindered by the time or tools needed to perform a particular action on your site.
Those are just a couple of examples. There are lots of accessibility requirements that have been introduced lately – some of which are governed by the law (the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act), and some of which are simply recommended by the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), which aren’t legally binding but were designed to improve accessibility across the web and to help individuals and businesses attain ADA and/or Section 508 remediation and compliance. Although not all websites are required by law to comply, it is still in the best interest of most sites to strive for full accessibility.
Tips for Tackling Accessibility Remediation
For many websites, it’s nearly impossible to be 100% ADA compliant. Still, there are plenty of steps you can take to try to get your site as close to full compliance as possible. Here we have outlined four of the most useful tips for achieving Section 508 website accessibility remediation and, ultimately, (nearly) full compliance.
- Familiarize yourself with the latest compliance changes. Before you get started, do some research into the current requirements set forth by the ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.0. The laws and recommendations are always changing, so staying up-to-date on the latest developments will help you ensure true compliance.
- Use the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool to audit your site. The WAVE Tool scans your site for a number of accessibility issues, including missing alt tags, styles and more, and highlights the areas that require accessibility remediation by injecting icons and indicators directly onto your page within your browser.
- Hire an expert to audit your website’s code. As useful as the WAVE Tool is, no automated program is going to be able to provide complete 508 accessibility remediation services on its own. By hiring a web developer to review your website’s HTML code and CSS, that person can help you clean up any outdated code and ensure that best practices are being followed.
- Stay vigilant. The idea is to only have to remediate the site once, and then simply maintain your compliance from there. So once you’ve implemented the steps above and your accessibility remediation is complete, you’ll want to not only refer back to Step 1 and keep an eye on any changes that may have been made to the accessibility requirements, but you’ll also want to make sure that any new content you add to the site going forward – whether text, images or otherwise – is in compliance with the most current guidelines.
If your site is in need of accessibility remediation and you require additional help, contact Paradigm Marketing and Design today, and we’ll get your site on the road to compliance.