Accessibility

ADA Section 508 Compliance

ADA Compliance refers to the American with Disabilities Act. Compliance with the ADA law, specifically section 508, requires that a website be accessible to people with disabilities. Criteria for compliance are based on access guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. Also, COMAR 17.06.02.05.

More information:

How to check

Follow these steps to check how compliant your website is:

  1. Go to http://achecker.ca/checker
  2. Enter your website's home page address in the form field
  3. Click "Check It"
  4. Allow the page to load
  5. A list of compliance issues will appear

    Note: the information above is correct as of 1/5/2011

Some issues are considered more egregious than others. For example, not using Alt Text for images is considered especially bad. Using Alt Text with images means that web page reader software can read a description of the image to a visually impaired person. To add Alt Text to an image (using Front Page or SharePoint Designer) follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the image - the "Picture Properties" window appears
  2. On the General tab, in the Text field under "Alternative representations" enter a short description of the image
  3. Click OK
  4. Save

What happens in the html is that an "alt" attribute is added to the image tag like this:
<img src="someimage.jpg" alt="text read aloud by reader" />

The Alt Text information "text read aloud by reader" is not displayed to the web visitor but can be read aloud by a web page reader.

If you have questions regarding the list of compliance issues or other ADA compliance questions please contact the Web Office.