508 Web Requirements
The following 15 Steps to Website Accessibility provide
a framework to use when checking a website for Section 508 compliance.
This is simply a more common language form of the standard 508
requirements. For a complete list of the 508 Standards, including
the official text of the Web Requirements, please visit http://www.section508.gov.
15 Steps to Website Accessibility
- Make sure all images, graphs, and other non-text items have
a text equivalent.
- Provide synchronized captions for all video, as well as captions
or a transcript of audio content.
- Do not use color as the only way to convey information.
- You can use style sheets for layout, but the page must still
make sense without them.
- When using images as links, for example a drop down menu,
make sure each link (as well as the overall image) has alt
text describing the destination. Avoid using server-side
image maps. If you do use server-side image maps, be
sure to provide separate identical text links to access the
- Label column and row headers in a data table. Try to
avoid using tables for layout purposes, but if you do then
do not label headers.
- Make sure all cells in the table are associated with the
appropriate headers. When the table is set-up correctly, screen
readers can navigate through data tables one cell at a time,
and they will hear the column and row headers spoken to them.
- Be sure to give each frame a title that identifies its purpose.
- Avoid any graphics, animations, movies, or other objects
which have strobing, flickering, or flashing effects.
- Use a text-only alternative only as a last resort,
and be sure to keep it up to date with other content.
- When using scripts, make sure all text within the script
is provided as text or alt text and that any interaction can
be achieved with a keyboard.
- Be sure to include a link to any applet or plug-in required
to access content on the same page as the content. For example:
Adobe Reader. The plug-in itself must meet more specific
requirements, which can be found in the official requirement.
- If a form can be filled out online by a user, all aspects
of the form must be made accessible. This includes labels
for each field, as well as ensuring the form can be filled
out using a keyboard.
- Include a way for the user to immediately skip to the main
content of the page.
- When a timed response is required, alert the user and give
sufficient time for them to indicate that more time is needed.
Last Modified: 06/27/2012