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Integrating 508 Compliance Into Your Web Development Process

Fed Writers
February 21, 2024
Fed Features

Web development for 508 compliance with accessibility and security icons.

Following 508 Compliance is not just the best practice to reach the most people, it’s also the law. There are many things to consider when creating content accessible to individuals with disabilities so the best plan of action is to consider it from the start, integrating it into your web development process.

Research Accessibility Requirements

To begin, take time to review the 508 Guidelines required for government communications. 508 Compliance follows the standards of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), which are a set of rules accepted on an international level to maintain accessibility and inclusive design. Once you are clear on the guidelines, you can begin to plan the framework of your website.

Determine Platform and Design

Build your website design with the 508 guidelines in mind, after determining your choice of developer, host, or app is conducive to an accessible product. Research specific barriers different disabilities face when consuming digital content, and use that input while still in the planning process. While plotting out the design, be sure to consider:

  • Color Choices – Text should have a stark contrast against the background.
  • Layout – Determine the layout of your website in a way that allows full keyboard navigation with ease.
  • Images – Choose relevant, easy to understand images for alt-text purposes.
  • Multimedia – Include a combination of video and images throughout your site.

Make Accessibility Part of the Flow

After learning compliance requirements, researching disability needs and finalizing a design plan, it’s time to get to work. To more easily maintain an accessible website, integrating these steps from the start will make it more likely to meet guidelines. Each time you place an image, pause to assign the alt text before you move on. Video or audio should have subtitles and transcripts available immediately. Getting in the habit of building accessibility in as you go will create a more streamlined process through any future changes or additions.

Plan On A Test Run

When you have completed your website, it’s time to take it for a test drive. There are a variety of ways to test your 508 compliance with reports given for changes needed. Even with a seal of approval on mandated compliance standards, you can take it a step further by creating a focus group to test the website using accessibility features.

Bring on the Experts

With so many types of content and information, it can seem overwhelming to consider every aspect of digital accessibility throughout your web development process. To take that burden away, FedWriters can meticulously assess and remediate any format to meet 508 compliance guidelines. Click here to learn more about accessibility and how we can help.