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Archive for the "WCAG" Topic

Key Features of the Section 508 Refresh

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As announced earlier this month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the US Access Board’s final rules updating the standards for ICT covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as guidelines for Section 255 of the Communications Act. The updates make long-awaited changes to the federal digital accessibility requirements. The Section 508 refresh is expected to be published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017, with an effective date of one year after the publication date. A safe harbor will exist for information and communication technology (ICT) that meets the current Section 508 standards.  After the effective… Read More

What Does the Future Hold for Web Accessibility Guidelines

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“Disabilities do not change, technology changes.”  This observation, shared by Gregg Vanderheiden, Ph.D, captures the crux of the issue facing those who work on the web accessibility guidelines committees and was the heart of the discussion by the “W3C-WAI: New Horizons for 2020” panel at this month’s M-Enabling Summit. What is the best way to provide guidance that focuses on accessibility needs in a way that is useful in the years to come, while also providing enough guidance on solution techniques to be useful and relevant to current developers? The W3C-WAI: New Horizons for 2020 panel was led by Judy… Read More

Understanding the Proposed Section 508 Refresh – Areas Requiring Clarification

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In my last two posts I gave an overview of the US Access Board’s (“The Board”) latest proposal to update the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines related to Section 508 (“The Refresh”) and detailed some of the proposed updates in The Refresh.  In this final post in the series I’ll share some areas in the proposed update which I believe will require further clarification from The Board.  Requirement of PDF/UA-1 Conformance It would appear that agencies can choose PDF/UA or WCAG 2 Level A/AA for conformance for PDF documents.  If that is not the case clear guidance should be given that PDF/UA… Read More

Understanding the Proposed Section 508 Refresh – Proposed Changes

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Last week I gave an overview of the US Access Board’s (“The Board”) latest proposal to update the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines related to Section 508 (“The Refresh”). This week I’ll share some of the proposed updates in The Refresh.  Please note this is not a complete list, but those that I think are of note for a broad audience or relevant to common scenarios that we come across. Structure of Standards and Guidelines This proposal follows the prior advanced notices by restructuring Section 508 around feature capabilities of products and services rather than types of products or services. … Read More

Understanding the Proposed Section 508 Refresh – Overview

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Section 508 is the portion of the Rehabilitation Act that covers the accessibility of information and communication technology used, developed, maintained, or procured by the United States Federal Government. In February, the US Access Board (“The Board”) released their latest proposal to update the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines related to Section 508 (“The Refresh”).  These updates also contain revised guidelines for Section 255 of the Communications Act that apply to manufacturers of telecommunications products and services.  This latest proposal continues the trend to harmonize and/or incorporate standards and guidelines of Section 508 and Section 255 with… Read More

Does that WCAG 2 Success Criteria Really Apply?

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Many years ago when we created our Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) we decided it was best to remove the need for testers to choose which Section 508 standard paragraph or WCAG success criteria (SC) applied to a violation. Instead we created best practices in AMP that were very clear explicit tests that mapped back to the accessibility standard paragraph or WCAG SC, allowing the system to then automatically generate a level of support to the correct accessibility standards. Fairly often I see people in our community incorrectly applying a WCAG 2 SC. This post will cover some of the commonly… Read More

Is the Alt Attribute Dead?

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In March 2014 the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WG) published several new ARIA techniques for WCAG 2 and updated several failure techniques. A primary change is the allowance of new methods other than the alt attribute for non-text elements (e.g. images). This post serves to describe the change in position, its roots, and implications for use. A New sufficient technique to promote ARIA for elements that don’t support alt The sufficient technique ARIA10 was created to provide an example of how ARIA could be used to provide alternative text for an element that does not support the… Read More

What Accessibility Standards Apply to Mobile Applications?

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Mobile Apps (including mobile web apps) are generally covered by the same standards for access by people with disabilities that apply to non-mobile software and web applications. Applicable U.S. laws such as the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), Section 508, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply in different ways. The following standards apply to each U.S. law listed below: Section 508 The technical and functional requirements of Section 508 such as Section 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems, Section 1194.22 Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications and Section 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria can be… Read More

Are Mobile Applications Required to be Accessible?

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Mobile Apps (including mobile web apps) are generally covered by the same requirements for access by people with disabilities that apply to non-mobile software and web applications. If your organization is subject to U.S. laws such as the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), Section 508, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) these laws may apply to your mobile content. Other national laws such as the Equality Act in the United Kingdom may also apply for those doing business in the United Kingdom. In the past comprehensive accessibility was not possible on mobile platforms but now Mobile… Read More

How much time does it take to remediate a site or application for compliance?

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One question we receive a lot at SSB BART Group is, how long does it take to bring a system into compliance with 508 or the WCAG.  This post is an attempt to shine some light on that question – thoughts and comments are welcome. The time to remediate a site or application varies widely between sites and there is no generic time to use in a model that applies across all sites or applications.  The time to remediate any a given system is based on three key factors: (i) the number of operable pages or screens in the system, (ii) the overall user interface complexity… Read More

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