1 in 5 Americans may have trouble using your website.
The United States Census Bureau found that 56.7 million people – 19 percent of all Americans had a disability. Current laws do not require private companies to make their sites accessible to people with disabilities. Would you change your website if 1 in 5 couldn’t use it properly? We certainly think it would be foolish, but most of all unethical to ignore millions who don’t have the advantages of most when browsing the Internet. The current laws only require federal agencies and organizations working with federal agencies to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. Our team at DC Web Designers believes and works hard to inform our clients about Section 508 and the benefits that it provides for everyone who is compliant.
What is Section 508?
Section 508 is a set of standards that allow accessibility to online materials for users with disabilities. Currently, only federal agencies and organizations that do business with federal agencies must follow these set of standards. The law states that any and all digital communications that a company under Section 508 jurisdiction creates must be 508 compliant. This includes website content, emails, computer software, gaming systems, apps, and PDF versions of traditionally printed assets. PDFs require 508 remediation as they are not accessible by screen readers.
Should Your Website Be 508 Compliant?
In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed. It afforded protections against discrimination to Americans with Disabilities and required reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. Finally, it also enforced accessibility requirements on public accommodations such as wheel chair ramps and lowered curbs.
Our belief is like many others who have weighed in on this topic. The laws have simply not caught up to the technology and the Internet is just as vulnerable for discrimination as anywhere else. With that said, at this point in time, it really becomes more of an ethical question than a legal one. Do you believe the Internet should be allowed to discriminate against Americans with disabilities?
It’s time for a change!
We answer the phone, return calls the same day, and provide proposals by the end of the week. We look forward to learning more about your project.
Why your web presence should be 508 Compliant
The main benefit to being 508 Compliant is an obvious one; you provide ALL of your users the ability to consume your online assets in a fair and just manner. By being compliant your content can be utilized by individuals with disabilities. However, there is an additional user group that benefits from compliant websites. The following users all find benefits from websites abiding by Section 508:
- Users who speak English as a second language
- People living in countries where bandwidth is low
- Seniors and older individuals who benefit from larger fonts and high contrast colors
- Users who can not read or have trouble reading
- Cultures and societies that speak many languages
- The general public who appreciate your effort to make your website compliant
In addition to the benefits of being 508 compliant, there are downsides for failing to meet these standards.
- Not eligible to work with the federal government
- Loss of competitive advantage
- Negative PR
- Poor brand perspective
Ensure Your Digital Products and Website are ADA Section 508 Compliant
Let DC Web Designers help ensure your digital assets are 508 compliant.
Our services include:
- Accessibility Audits
- Converting Digital Assets to Become Compliant
- Ongoing Compliance Testing
- Ongoing Compliance Support
- Online & In Person Training
- Compliance Consulting
Having an office a few miles off of the beltway and a large portion of our clientele on the Dulles corridor, a good share of our clients are Federal agencies, or organizations working directly with them. This unique clientele has required our team to be dedicated to building compliant websites and converting digital assets to becoming compliant. In addition, the majority of the content management systems we utilize all have 508 Compliant capabilities allowing us to train our clients and other organizations on creating digital content that falls within the rules of Section 508.