Accessibility focuses on how a disabled person accesses or benefits from a site, system or application. Accessibility is an important part of the designing your site and should be considered throughout the development process. Section 508 is the governing principle and it requires that all government information be accessible to disabled users.
Accessible sites present information through multiple sensory channels, such as sound and sight, and they allow for additional means of site navigation and interactivity beyond the typical point-and-click-interface: keyboard-based control and voice-based navigation. The combination of a multisensory approach and a multi-interactivity approach allows disabled users to access the same information as nondisabled users.
By making your website accessible, you are ensuring that all of your potential users, including people with disabilities, have a decent user experience and are able to easily access your information. By implementing accessibility best practices, you are also improving the usability of the site for all users.
W3C notes that, “accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design , device independence, multi-modal interaction, usability, design for older users , and search engine optimization (SEO). Case studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach, among other benefits.”
When creating digital content, make sure to consider the following:
Remember that providing a secondary channel to meet the Section 508 requirements does not guarantee that disabled users will have an equal and positive experience on your site. You must design your secondary channel with both audience and context in mind. In other words, the “secondary channel” doesn’t have to be treated as “secondary”.
For more information, visit:
For those developing government websites, consult your agency about available guidelines, training and 508 testing for your site. In addition, visit: