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What does ADA, WCAG and 508 compliant mean?

miércoles, abril 26, 2023

ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act which was instituted in 1990 to end discrimination based on abilities, requiring organizations to provide “reasonable accommodations” to those with disabilities.

508 compliance refers to the Section 508 standards, which states that all electronic content needs to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA. Unlike the recommendations in the ADA guidelines, this is a legal requirement. 

Do you know that it’s been found that only 3% of the internet is accessible for people with disabilities?

With the UMass Chan CMS, we are regularly updating our functionality to meet the WCAG guidelines for level A and AA. This not only helps those with assistive technologies, low visibility, hearing impairments or those that are blind easily navigate our sites but also provides a better experience for all web site visitors as well as better search engine optimization.

As a CMS editor, here is a checklist of items to help you ensure your web pages are compliant as well:

  • All images have a meaningful “alt” tag
    • If the ALT property is missing on an image, our code will add the image name. This is not meaningful, rather keeps it from being blank.
    • The ALT text should provide enough information for someone who may have low visibility or is blind.
  • All hyperlinks should have descriptive text
    • The text of the link should be meaningful, not just “click here” as those with assistive technology or screen readers can list all links on a page and to quickly find their way around the page, “click here” would have no content, “click here to find out more about our services” would be a better solution.
  • All the text content should be structured using proper heading tags
    • All of our pages require an H1 heading at the top of the page already
    • The next heading you add to your content should be an H2 followed by an H3, Do not use H1-H6 for styling, they should follow in order to provide structure
      • This allows users to quickly tab through headings using screen readers, or even sighted users, to scan the page quickly
  • All PDF files should be accessible
  • All videos should have subtitles, transcripts and audio description
    • We do have 1 video block that allows for transcripts, we will be adding to our other video blocks as well.
  • The color contrast of your web pages should be sufficient according to WCAG
  • All tables should be accessible
    • All tables should be populated with column headers, row identifiers and cell information
      • Make sure to add table headings
      • Do not use tables for layout purposes or spacing
  • All audio files on your website should have a written caption
  • All call to action buttons on your website should have an accessible name and an ARIA label
  • Test your website accessibility according to the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines