COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 508 STANDARDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


9440 Viscount Blvd., Suite 200

El Paso, Texas 79925

915-592-7047 Fax: 915-592-0559

www.ramincorp.com

 

 

 


 

 

 

Compliance with Section 508 Standards

 

Overview

Section 508 requires Federal departments and agencies that develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology to ensure that Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities have access to and use of information and data, comparable to that of the employees and members of the public without disabilities - unless it is an undue burden to do so.

Implementation regulations are addressed via the Access Board Standards and the FAR Rule. Only applicable technical provisions from the Access Board's standards need be considered.

 

The primary focus of this appendix is to address the implementation of Section 508 technical standards as it applies to this Task Order Requirement (TOR). Based on an initial review of the TOR, the most applicable standards are Section 1194.21 (Software applications and operating systems) and Section 1194.22 (Web-based intranet and internet information and applications).

 

Detailed Approach for Achieving Compliance to Section 508

 

RAM uses a standard implementation methodology to ensure compliance to Section 508. The process for instituting recommendations and managing changes, modifications and updates to the system is designed to identify applicable requirements and recommend action to achieve compliance.

 

The process begins with the identification of applicable accessibility standards. This requires a working knowledge of Section 508, FAR Rule and the agency's technology architecture, inventory, programs, employees, customer base, and culture. Selection of applicable requirements will vary depending on the aspect of the system requiring modification.

 

After the selection of the applicable accessibility standards, an analysis of the project or program against the requirements will be conducted. This will be documented on an assessment worksheet to record stakeholder compliance for each provision of the standard. This analysis will be used to provide an overall assessment of each systems/applications capability to meet standards. This gives the agency the ability to select or develop Electronic Information Technology (EIT) that is the most compliant.

The next step in the process uses a checklist and control sheet for the implementation of the standards. An accessibility control sheet will be used to document supporting features for each of the required criteria. Issues will be identified, control numbers established, and recommendations tracked to monitor progress toward achieving compliance.

The final step is an overall validation process including a systematic review and validation of each aspect of the EIT application/system. The use of validation tools will be recommended and hands-on testing by disabled users may be a part of the validation process as appropriate. The validation serves as a formal review and acceptance of the EIT in question.

This Section 508 compliance process is designed to identify the best EIT solution at the earliest possible stages, and then methodically analyze each applicable requirement and track resolution of non-compliant issues. Finally, an overall validation process is provided which is tailored to each unique project to ensure a thorough review and testing of the application/system.

The following are examples of the forms and templates that will be used to accomplish this process.

Software Applications and Operating Systems (1194.21)

The following accessibility analysis work sheet addresses section 1194.21 requirements. This worksheet is used to perform initial analysis of applications and operating systems for compliance to Section 508.


 

ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS ANALYLSIS WORKSHEET

 

Section 1194.21 Software applications and Operating Systems

Clause 1194.21

Provision

Description

User Stakeholders

Product/Vendor Stakeholders

a

When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.

Paragraph (a) requires that when software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, the software shall provide a way to control features which are identifiable by text, from the keyboard. For example, if a computer program included a "print" command or a "save" command (both can be readily discerned textually), the program must provide a means of invoking these commands from the keyboard. For people who cannot accurately control a mouse, having access to the software's controls through keyboard alternatives is essential. For example, rather than pointing to a particular selection on the screen, a user may move through the choices in a dialogue box by pressing the tab key.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

b

Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer.

Paragraph (b) prohibits applications from disrupting or disabling activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer. The application programming interface refers to a standard way for programs to communicate with each other, including the operating system, and with input and output devices. For instance, the application programming interface affects how programs have to display information on a monitor or receive keyboard input via the operating system.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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c

A well defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that assistive technology can track focus and focus changes.

Paragraph (c) requires that software applications place on the screen a visual indication of where some action may occur if a mouse click or keystroke takes place. This point on a screen indicating where an action will take place is commonly referred to as the "focus". This provision also requires that the focus be readable by other software programs such as screen readers used by computer users who are blind.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

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FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

e

Sufficient information about a user interface element including the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to assistive technology. When an image represents a program element, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.

Paragraph (d) requires that software programs, through the use of program code, make information about the program's controls readable by assistive technology. Simply stated, this paragraph requires that information that can be delivered to or received from the user must be made available to assistive technology, such as screen reading software. Examples of controls would include button checkboxes, menus, and toolbars. For assistive technology to operate efficiently, it must have access to the information about a program's controls to be able to inform the user of the existence, location, and status of all controls. If an image is used to represent a program function, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

e

When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images shall be consistent throughout an application's performance.

Paragraph (e) requires that when bitmap images are used by a program to identify programmatic features, such as controls, the meaning of that image shall not change during the operation of a program. "Bitmap images" refer to a type of computer image commonly used in "icons" (e.g., a small picture of a printer to activate the print command). Most screen reading programs allow users to assign text names to bitmap images. If the bitmap image changes meaning during a program's execution, the assigned identifier is no longer valid and is confusing to the user.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

f

Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.

Paragraph (f) provides that software programs use the functions provided by an operating system when displaying text. The operating system is the "core" computer software that controls basic functions, such as receiving information from the keyboard, displaying information on the computer screen, and storing data on the hard disk. Other software programs use the standard protocols dictated by the operating system for displaying their own information or processing the output of other computer programs. When programs are written using unique schemes for writing text on the screen or use graphics, other programs such as software for assistive technology may not be able to interpret the information. This provision does not prohibit or limit an application programmer from developing unique display techniques. It requires that when a unique method is used, the text be consistently written throughout the operating system.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

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FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

g

Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes.

Paragraph (g) prohibits applications from overriding user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes. As described above, the operating system provides the basic functions for receiving, displaying, transmitting, or receiving information in a computer or similar product. Thus, the operating system would appear the logical choice for "system-wide" settings that would be respected by all computer programs on a computer. Many modern operating systems incorporate the ability to make settings system-wide as an accessibility feature. This permits, for instance, users to display all text in very large characters. Often, persons with disabilities prefer to select color, contrast, keyboard repeat rate, and keyboard sensitivity settings provided by an operating system. When an application disables these system-wide settings, accessibility is reduced. This provision allows the user to select personalized settings, which cannot be disabled by software programs.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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h

When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.

Paragraph (h) addresses animated text or objects. The use of animation on a screen can pose serious access problems for users of screen readers or other assistive technology applications. When important elements such as push buttons or relevant text are animated, the user of assistive technology cannot access the application. This provision requires that in addition to the animation, an application provide the elements in a non-animated form.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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i

Color-coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.

Paragraph (i) prohibits the use of color as the single method for indicating important information. For instance, a computer program that requires a user to distinguish between otherwise identical red and blue squares for different functions (e.g., printing a document versus saving a file) would not comply with this provision. Relying on color as the only method for identifying screen elements or controls poses problems, not only for people with limited or no vision, but also for those people who are color blind. This provision does not prohibit the use of color to enhance identification of important features. It does, however, require that some other method of identification, such as text labels, be combined with the use of color.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

j

Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Paragraph (j) requires software applications to provide users with a variety of color settings that can be used to set a range of contrast levels.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

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FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

k

Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Paragraph (k) limits the flashing or blinking rate of screen items.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

l

When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

Paragraph (l) requires that people with disabilities have access to electronic forms.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

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FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

 


The following control sheet addresses Section 1194.21 requirements and is used to ensure all requirements criteria are addressed and implemented. Additionally, this control sheet provides a management tool to monitor progress toward achieving compliance.

 

Section 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems

Accessibility Requirements Control Sheet

For Application/Operating System:_________________

Criteria

Supporting Features

Remarks and explanations

Control #

Status

(a) When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.

 

 

 

 

(b) Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of other products that are identified as accessibility features, where those features are developed and documented according to industry standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility features where the application programming interface for those accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the operating system and is available to the product developer.

 

 

 

 

(c) A well defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that Assistive Technology can track focus and focus changes.

 

 

 

 

(d) Sufficient information about a user interface element including the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to Assistive Technology. When an image represents a program element, the information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.

 

 

 

 

(e) When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images shall be consistent throughout an application's performance.

 

 

 

 

(f) Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.

 

 

 

 

(g) Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color selections and other individual display attributes.

 

 

 

 

(h) When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the user.

 

 

 

 

(i) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.

 

 

 

 

(j) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a variety of color selections capable of producing a range of contrast levels shall be provided.

 

 

 

 

(k) Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

 

 

 

 

(l) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using Assistive Technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

 

 

 

 

 

Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications (1194.22)

This section requires that all web-based applications and information be presented in a manner that provides accessibility to disabled users. Meeting the standards of an accessible Web site requires an understanding of special needs of users with disabilities.

The following accessibility analysis work sheet addresses Section 1194.22 requirements. This worksheet is used to perform initial analysis of Internet information and applications for compliance to Section 508.


 

Section 1194.22 Web based Intranet and Internet information and applications

Clause 1194.22

Provision

Description

User Stakeholders

Product/Vendor Stakeholders

a

A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

Paragraph (a) requires that a text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided. As the Internet has developed, the use of photographs, images, and other multimedia has increased greatly. Most web pages are created using HTML, or "HyperText Markup Language." A "page" in HTML is actually a computer file that includes the actual text of the web page and a series of "tags" that control layout, display images (which are actually separate computer files), and essentially provide all content other than text. The tags are merely signals to the browser that tell it how to display information and many tags allow web designers to include a textual description of the non-textual content arranged by the tag. The provision is necessary because assistive technology cannot describe pictures, but can convey the text information to the user. Currently, most web page authoring programs already provide a method for web designers to associate words with an image and associating text with non-textual content is easy for anyone familiar with HTML. This provision requires that when an image indicates a navigational action such as "move to the next screen" or "go back to the top of the page," the image must be accompanied by actual text that states the purpose of the image, in other words, what the image is telling you to do. This provision also requires that when an image is used to represent page content, the image must have a text description accompanying it that explains the meaning of the image. Associating text with these images makes it possible, for someone who cannot see the screen to understand the content and navigate a web page.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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b

Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

Paragraph (b) provides that equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation. This would require, for example, that if an audio portion of a multi-media production was captioned as required in paragraph (a), the captioning must be synchronized with the audio.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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c

Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

Paragraph (c) prohibits the use of color as the single method for indicating important information on a web page. When colors are used as the sole method for identifying screen elements or controls, persons who are color blind as well as those people who are blind or have low vision may find the web page unusable. This provision does not prohibit the use of color to enhance identification of important features. It does, however, require that some other method of identification, such as text labels, must be combined with the use of color.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

d

Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

Paragraph (d) provides that documents must be organized so they are readable without requiring browser support for style sheets. Style sheets are a relatively new technology that lets web site designers make consistent appearing web pages that can be easily updated. For instance, without style sheets, making headings appear in large font while not affecting the surrounding text requires separate tags hidden in the document to control font-size and boldface. Each heading would require a separate set of tags. Using style sheets, however, the web site designer can specify in a single tag that all headings in the document should be in large font and boldface. Because style sheets can be used to easily affect the entire appearance of a page, they are often used to enhance accessibility and this provision does not prohibit the use of style sheets. This provision requires that web pages using style sheets be able to be read accurately by browsers that do not support style sheets and by browsers that have disabled the support for style sheets.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

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e

Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

Paragraph (e) requires web page designers to include redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map on their web pages. An "image map" is a picture (often a map) on a web page that provides different "links" to other web pages, depending on where a user clicks on the image. There are two basic types of image maps: "client-side image maps" and "server-side image maps." With client-side image maps, each "active region" in a picture can be assigned its own "link" (called a URL or "uniform resource locator") that specifies what web page to retrieve when a portion of the picture is selected. HTML allows each active region to have its own alternative text, just like a picture can have alternative text. See 1194.22(a). By contrast, clicking on a location of a server-side image map only specifies the coordinates within the image when the mouse was depressed - which link or URL is ultimately selected must be deciphered by the computer serving the web page. When a web page uses a server-side image map to present the user with a selection of options, browsers cannot indicate to the user the URL that will be followed when a region of the map is activated. Therefore, the redundant text link is necessary to provide access to the page for anyone not able to see or accurately click on the map.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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f

Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

Paragraph (f) provides that client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape. As discussed above, there are two general categories of image maps: client-side image maps and server-side image maps. When a web browser retrieves a specific set of instructions from a client-side image map, it also receives all the information about what action will happen when a region of the map is pressed. For this reason, client-side image maps, even though graphical in nature, can display the links related to the map, in a text format which can be read with the use of assistive technology.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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g

Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

Paragraphs (g) and (h) permit the use of tables, but require that the tables be coded according to the rules for developing tables of the markup language used. When tables are coded inaccurately or table codes are used for non-tabular material, some assistive technology cannot accurately read the content. Many assistive technology applications can interpret the HTML codes for tables and will most likely be updated to read the table coding of new markup languages. (See 1194.23(c)(8-9) in the NPRM.) The Board will be developing technical assistance materials on how tables can comply with this section. In addition to these specific provisions, the technical assistance materials will address all of the provisions in this part.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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h

Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

Paragraphs (g) and (h) permit the use of tables, but require that the tables be coded according to the rules for developing tables of the markup language used. When tables are coded inaccurately or table codes are used for non-tabular material, some assistive technology cannot accurately read the content. Many assistive technology applications can interpret the HTML codes for tables and will most likely be updated to read the table coding of new markup languages. (See 1194.23(c)(8-9) in the NPRM.) The Board will be developing technical assistance materials on how tables can comply with this section. In addition to these specific provisions, the technical assistance materials will address all of the provisions in this part.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

i

Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

Paragraph (i) addresses the use of frames and requires that they be titled with text to identify the frame and assist in navigating the frames. "Frames" are a technique used by web designers to create different "portions" or "frames" of their screen that serve different functions. When a web site uses frames, often only a single frame will update with information while the other frames remain intact. Because using frames gives the user a consistent portion of the screen, they are often used for navigational toolbars for web sites. They are also often faster because only a portion of the screen is updated, instead of the entire screen. Frames can be an asset to users of screen readers and other assistive technology if the labels on the frames are explicit. Labels such as top, bottom, or left, provide few clues as to what is contained in the frame. However, labels such as "navigation bar" or "main content" are more meaningful and facilitate frame identification and navigation.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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j

Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Paragraph (j) sets limits on the blink or flicker rate of screen elements.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

FORMCHECKBOX Speech

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k

A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

Paragraph (k) requires that a text-only web page shall only be provided as a last resort method for bringing a web site into compliance with the other requirements in 1194.22. Text-only pages must contain equivalent information or functionality as the primary pages. Also, the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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FORMCHECKBOX Visual 

 

l

When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

Paragraph (l) requires that when web pages rely on special programming instructions called "scripts" to affect information displayed or to process user input, functional text shall be provided. It also requires that the text be readable by assistive technology such as screen reading software. Scripts are widely used by web sites as an efficient method to create faster or more secure web communications. A script is a programmatic set of instructions that is downloaded with a web page and permits the user's computer to share the processing of information with the web server. Without scripts, a user performs some action while viewing a web page, such as selecting a link or submitting a form, a message is sent back to the "web server", and a new web page is sent back to the user's computer. The more frequently an individual computer has to send and receive information from a web server, the greater chance there is for errors in the data, loss of speed, and possible violations of security. Also, when many users are simultaneously viewing the same web page, the demands on the web server may be huge. Scripts allow more work to be performed on the individual's computer instead of on the web server. And, the individual computer does not have to contact the web server as often. Scripts can perform very complex tasks such as those necessary to complete, verify, and submit a form and verify credit information. The advantage for the user is that many actions take place almost instantly, because processing takes place on the user's computer and because communication with the web server is often not necessary. This improves the apparent speed of a web page and makes it appear more dynamic. Currently, JavaScript, a standardized object-oriented programming language, is the most popular scripting language, although certain plug-ins (see below) supports slightly different scripting languages. This provision requires web page authors to ensure that all the information placed on a screen by a script shall be available in a text form to assistive technology.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

FORMCHECKBOX Hearing

FORMCHECKBOX Mobility

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FORMCHECKBOX Visual

 

m

When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with 1194.21(a) through (l).

Paragraph (m) is, in part, a new provision developed in response to comments received on 1194.23(c)(11) of the NPRM and discussed in the preceding paragraph. While most web browsers can easily read HTML and display it to the user, several private companies have developed proprietary file formats for transmitting and displaying special content, such as multimedia or very precisely defined documents. Because these file formats are proprietary, web browsers cannot ordinarily display them. To make it possible for these files to be viewed by web browsers, add-on programs or "plug-ins" can be downloaded and installed on the user's computer that will make it possible for their web browsers to display or play the content of the files. This provision requires that web pages, which provide content such as Real Audio or PDF files, also provide a link to a plug-in that will meet the software provisions. It is very common for a web page to provide links to needed plug-ins. For example, web pages containing Real Audio almost always have a link to a source for the necessary player. This provision places a responsibility on the web page author to know that a compliant application exists, before requiring a plug-in.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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n

When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

Paragraph (n) requires that people with disabilities have access to interactive electronic forms. Electronic forms are a popular method used by many agencies to gather information or permit a person to apply for services, benefits, or employment. The 1998 Government Paperwork Elimination Act requires that Federal agencies make electronic versions of their forms available on-line when practicable and allows individuals and businesses to use electronic signatures to file these forms electronically. (See 1194.23(b)(10) in the NPRM.) At present, the interaction between form controls and screen readers can be unpredictable, depending upon the design of the page containing these controls. Some developers place control labels and controls in different table cells; others place control labels in various locations in various distances from the controls themselves, making the response from a screen reader less than accurate many times.

FORMCHECKBOX Cognitive

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o

A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

Paragraph (o) provides that a method be used to facilitate the easy tracking of page content that provides users of assistive technology the option to skip repetitive navigation links.

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p

When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

Paragraph (p) addresses the accessibility problems that can occur if a web page times-out while a user is completing a form. Web pages can be designed with scripts so that the web page disappears or "expires" if a response is not received within a specified amount of time. Sometimes, this technique is used for security reasons or to reduce the demands on the computer serving the web pages. A disability can have a direct impact on the speed with which a person can read, move around, or fill in a web form. For this reason, when a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate that additional time is necessary.

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The following control sheet is used to address all Section 1194.22 requirements and is used to ensure all requirements criteria are addressed and implemented. Additionally, this control sheet provides a management tool to monitor progress toward achieving compliance.

Section 1194.22 Web-based Internet information and applications
Accessibility Requirements Control Sheet

For Web site/application:________________

Criteria

Supporting Features

Remarks and explanations

Control #

Status

(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

 

 

 

 

(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

 

 

 

 

(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

 

 

 

 

(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

 

 

 

 

(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

 

 

 

 

(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

 

 

 

 

(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

 

 

 

 

(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

 

 

 

 

(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation

 

 

 

 

(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

 

 

 

 

(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

 

 

 

 

(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by Assistive Technology.

 

 

 

 

(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with 1194.21(a) through (l).

 

 

 

 

(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using Assistive Technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

 

 

 

 

(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

 

 

 

 

(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

 

 

 

 

3. Validation methods

The following guidelines detail standard procedures for validation of compliance to Section 508 requirements. These steps should be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the application being validated. When appropriate an automated accessibility tool and browser validation tool can be used to assist the validation process.

1.      Validate syntax (e.g., HTML, XML, etc.).

2.      Validate style sheets (e.g., CSS).

3.      Use a text-only browser or emulator.

4.      Use multiple graphic browsers, with:

  • frames, scripts, style sheets, and applets not loaded

5.      Use several browsers, old and new.

6.      Use a self-voicing browser, a screen reader, magnification software, a small display, etc.

7.      Use spell and grammar checkers. A person reading a page with a speech synthesizer may not be able to decipher the synthesizer's best guess for a word with a spelling error. Eliminating grammar problems increases comprehension.

8.      Review the document for clarity and simplicity. Readability statistics, such as those generated by some word processors may be useful indicators of clarity and simplicity. Better still, ask an experienced (human) editor to review written content for clarity. Editors can also improve the usability of documents by identifying potentially sensitive cultural issues that might arise due to language or icon usage.

9.      Invite people with disabilities to review documents. Expert and novice users with disabilities will provide valuable feedback about accessibility or usability problems and their severity.