Section 508 ADA web compliance laws
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual’s ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage the development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2819, which extended this federal law to include state agencies and other state-funded entities.
Defining persons with disabilities includes as it applies to the web:
- Visual impairments – blindness, visually impaired, color blindness, etc.
- Nervous system impairments – epilepsy, hand tremors, etc.
- Physical impairments – dexterity difficulties, paralysis, use of prosthetic devices, temporary casts/splints, etc.
How people navigate websites
Mouse, fingers via touch screens, keyboards, trackballs, screen readers (JAWS), braille machines, mouth sticks, adaptive keyboards, head pointers, etc.
Ways to make your posts and pages ADA Compliant
Alt Text Images
Include Alt Text for all images. If an image has text on it, that entire string of text must be added to the Alt Text box.
Text placed on jpg/gif or other web images cannot be read by screen readers, therefore the information is not available to all users unless alt text is added.
When adding an image, scroll down to the Alt Text field and type in ALL of the text on the image. ie: Healthy Summer Meals for Kids. No Cost For Kids 18 and Younger. Do this for every image you upload. Photos without alt text will not be displayed on the website.
Do not add screenshots of flyers, documents, etc. to your webpage. Images containing words should show just a few words. Otherwise, you have to type all content on your page.
If an image does not contain text, the alt text should convey what the photo is. For example: Photo of elementary students at chess competition with a trophy.
Twitter/Facebook posts: If you add an image (flyers, infographic, etc) containing text/instructions to a Facebook or Twitter post, you must type in all of the written content appearing on that image in your post/tweet.
Use meaningful hyperlinks
Use strict HTML
Our website does not automatically strip out custom styling from Google and Microsoft products and their code will override our custom CSS. Eliminate this by right-clicking where you want the information to go and choose "Paste and Match Style." This will keep the formatting of our website clean and ADA compliant.
Check contrast, colors
Text should be high contrast against any colored background to accommodate visitors with color blindness or low contrast vision.
Never use light blue text on blue, yellow on orange, blue on green, etc.
Limit movement of content
- Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
- Moving or flashing text is non-accessible to persons using screen readers and those with learning disabilities.
- Flashing images/text may also provoke an epileptic seizure. So, if you do not know how to measure the frequency, it is best to leave the questionable item off of the page.
- If using slides or a slideshow, always add visual play and pause features so users have control over the time the slide is present.
- Never employ the “autoslide” function that automatically advances a slide.