Section 508 Comprehensive Compliance Checklist

We love working with government agencies, with doing so we always abide by the U.S. Government website regulations. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all federal electronic data to be accessible, this section was added in 1998 to articulate those standards. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others.

The following is our checklist of standards that we must check the box on while developing a product for the government:

Sub-Section I – Images

Sub-Section II – Video

Sub-Section III – Visual Contrast

Sub-Section IV – CSS

Sub-Section V – Links

Sub-Section VI – Imagemaps

Sub-Section VII – Tables

Sub-Section VIII – Advanced Tables

Sub-Section IX – Frames/iFrames

Sub-Section X – Flicker/Refresh Rates

Sub-Section XI – Text-only Options

Sub-Section XII – Javascript

Sub-Section XIII – Screen Readers

Sub-Section XIV – Forms

Sub-Section XV – “Skip Links”

Sub-Section XVI – Dynamic Content


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508 Checkpoint Criteria Yes
1.1 Do images that convey contextual content have equivalent alternative text specified in the alt attribute of the img element?      
1.2 Do images that are purely decorative, and not contextual, have empty, or null, alternative text specified, e.g. alt=””?      
1.3 Does the alternate text convey contextual relevance to the page it is on?      
1.4 Do images that convey complex content have longdesc attributes or equivalent text content available elsewhere on the page?      
1.5 Does text content contained in images disappear when images are not available, i.e. is there text contained in the images?      
1.6 Do image map area elements have the link destination correctly titled? If the title attribute is used, it ought not to duplicate the alt text.      
1.7 Do form non-text controls, e.g. input type image, provide a text alternative that identifies the purpose of the non-text control?      
1.8 Do noframes elements have appropriate equivalent or alternative content for user agents that do not support frames?      
2.1 Is a full text transcript provided for all prerecorded audio?      
2.2 Is a full text transcript provided for all prerecorded video?      
2.3 Are open or closed captions provided for all synchronized video?      
2.4 Is fully synchronized text alternative or sound track provided for all video interaction that is not otherwise described?      
3.1 Is information conveyed by color also conveyed by context, markup, graphic coding, or other means?      
3.2 Does a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 exist between text, and images of text, and background behind the text?      
3.3 Is a correct contrast ratio maintained when images are not available?      
3.4 Is a correct contrast ratio maintained when CSS is disabled?      
3.5 Are links distinguished from surrounding text with sufficient color contrast and is additional differentiation provided when the link receives focus, e.g. it becomes underlined?      
4.1 With CSS disabled, is color and font information rendered in the browser’s default CSS?      
4.2 With CSS disabled, are headings, paragraphs, and lists obvious and sensible?      
4.3 With CSS disabled, does the order of the page content make sense as read?      
4.4 With CSS disabled, is most text, other than logos and banners, rendered in text rather than images?      
4.5 With CSS disabled, does any content that was invisible before stay invisible?      
4.6 With CSS disabled, is any content or functionality provided by the CSS through mouse action also provided through keyboard-triggered event handlers?      
4.7 When tables are used for layout, does the content linearize properly when layout tables are turned off?      
5.1 Are links in server-side image maps repeated elsewhere in the page that are non-graphical, e.g. a normal list of links?      
6.1 Are client-side image maps used instead of server-side image maps?      
6.2 Do client-side image maps have appropriate alternative text for the image, as well as each hot spot region?      
7.1 For tables containing data, do th elements appropriately define every row and/or every column headers?      
7.2 For tables containing data, do th elements contain the scope attribute for row and/or column headers that are not logically placed, e.g. in the first row and first column as applicable?      
7.3 For tables containing data, is the summary attribute used to explain the meaning of the table if it is not otherwise evident from context?      
7.4 For tables that are used for layout, are the elements or summary, headers, scope, abbr, or axis attributes NOT used at all?      
8.1 For complex tables, do the elements appropriately define row and/or column headers?      
8.2 For complex tables, does each th element contain an id attribute unique to the page and/or does each thelement and any td element that acts as a header for other elements contain a scope attribute of row, col, rowgroup, or colgroup?      
8.3 For complex tables, does any td element that is associated with more than one th element contain a headers attribute that lists the id attribute for all headers associated with that cell?      
8.4 Are the summary attribute and thead and tbody elements used to clarify the table meaning and structure if needed?      
9.1 Does each frame and iframe element have a meaningful title attribute?      
9.2 Does the page have equivalent content in a noframes element for user agents that do not support frames?      
10.1 Does any page element NOT flicker at an unhealthy rate, e.g. less than three flashes per second?      
10.2 Does any page NOT contain the marquee and blink elements?      
11.1 Does a document have a text-only version? If so, does it meet all Section 508 criteria?      
11.2 Does the text-only version contain the same exact information as the original document?      
11.3 Does the text-only version provide the functionality equivalent to that of the original document?      
11.4 Is an alternative provided for components, e.g. plug-ins & scripts, which are not directly accessible?      
12.1 Is any content or functionality provided by JavaScript through mouse action also provided through keyboard-triggered event handlers?      
12.2 Are link-type behaviors created with JavaScript on ONLY focusable elements?      
12.3 If content or functionality provided by JavaScript can not be provided to assistive technology, is equivalent content or functionality provided without JavaScript?      
13.1 Are links provided to any special readers or plug-ins that are required to interpret page content?      
13.2 Do special readers or plug-ins comply with the requirements of Section 508 paragraphs §1194.21(a)-(l)?      
14.1 Does each appropriate input element or form control have an associated and visible label element or title attribute?      
14.2 Are all cues for filling out the form available to users of assistive technology, e.g. mandatory fields, help boxes, error messages?      
14.3 Is the tab order to reach the form and the tab order between form elements logical and consistent with the normal and visual order of entering form data?      
14.4 Are logically-related groups of form elements identified with appropriate fieldset and legend elements?      
 14.5 Is placeholder text, if used, NOT redundant or distracting to users of assistive technology?      
14.6 Do form error messages identify the error(s) to the user and describe them to the user in text?      
15.1 If repetitive navigation links are at the beginning of the source of the HTML page, can a user navigate via a link, the “skip link”, at the top of each page directly to the main content area?      
15.2 If a “skip link” is provided, does the anchor element contain text content that is visible with CSS disabled?      
15.3 If a “skip link” is provided and it is hidden with CSS, is it available to users of assistive technology, e.g. not using the display:none method?      
15.4 Can a user navigate over groups of links, between multiple groups of links, and between sections of the page content by means of section headings or visible and audible local links?      
15.5 Are heading elements used to convey logical hierarchy and denote the beginning of each section of content?      
16.1 Is enough time provided to allow users to read and interact with content?      
16.2 Is the functionality of the content predictable, i.e. will a user experience contextual changes when unbeknownst to them?      
16.3 Does the user have control over the timing of content changes?      
16.4 If a page or application has a time limit, is the user given options to turn off, adjust, or extend that time limit?      
16.5 Can automatically moving, blinking, or scrolling content that lasts longer than 3 seconds be paused, stopped, or hidden by the user?      
16.6 Can automatically updating content be paused, stopped, or hidden by the user or the user can manually control the timing of the updates, e.g. automatically redirecting or refreshing a page, a news ticker, AJAX updated field, a notification alert, etcetera?      
16.7 Can interruptions be postponed or suppressed by the user, e.g. alerts, page updates, etcetera?      
16.8 If an authentication session expires, can the user re-authenticate and continue the activity without losing any data from the current page?      
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