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Why is it important to have an accessible website?

The World Wide Web can be a challenging place for those with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have established standards for website accessibility. These standards aim to improve the online experience for those with disabilities or impairments, ensuring everyone has equal access to information.

Am I required to have an accessible website?

According to Section 508 Standards Federal agencies must follow the accessibility guidelines. If your business or organization receives federal funding, your site is subject to accessibility requirements.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, if the government entities receive Federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, generally require that State and local governments provide qualified individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs, services, or activities unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of their programs, services, or activities or would impose an undue burden. One way to help meet these requirements is to ensure that government websites have accessible features for people with disabilities...

What do the Section 508 Standards require?

The United States Access Board's Section 508 Standards apply to electronic and information technology procured by the federal government, including computer hardware and software, websites, phone systems, and copiers. They were issued under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access for both members of the public and federal employees to such technologies when developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.

The Section 508 Standards are part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and address access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. They contain technical criteria specific to various types of technologies and performance-based requirements which focus on functional capabilities of covered products. Specific criteria cover software applications and operating systems, web-based information and applications, computers, telecommunications products, video and multi-media, and self-contained closed products.

Refresh of the Section 508 Standards and the Section 255 Guidelines
On January 18, 2017, the Board published a final rule that updates the Section 508 Standards along with accessibility guidelines for telecommunication products and equipment covered by section 255 of the Communications Act.

Read more Website Accessibility FAQs

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