Making your application accessible - Section 508 compatibility
Section 508 is a federal law, in effect since June 2001, that requires federal buyers to purchase, use, and maintain applications that are accessible by people with disabilities. For information about requirements specific to web applications, see . Pay special attention to these sections:
- Section 1194.21 (paragraphs A-L) outlines the requirements for software applications and operating systems.
- Section 1194.22 (paragraphs A-P) outlines the requirements for web applications.
While Section 508 is a federal law, many state and local governments are also requiring Section 508 compliance. Leaders in the software industry, such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, have embraced Section 508. Many companies require the software that they purchase to support Section 508.
An accessible application can be used by anyone, regardless of disability.
Assistive technologies are devices that people with disabilities use to access computers. Examples of assistive devices include:
- Alternative keyboards and mice (for example, single-hand Braille keypad)
- Head pointing devices
- Voice-recognition software
- Voice-enabled browsers
- Screen magnification software
To determine whether your applications support Section 508, ask the following questions:
- Can you complete tasks without a mouse?
- Can you complete tasks with your monitor turned off (screen reader operating)?
- Can you complete tasks with the speakers turned off?
Section 508 support continues to evolve. AR System provides improvements, and some areas still can be improved to make AR System forms more accessible.
BMC tested Section 508 in the JAWS screen reader, version 16. Because JAWS is a Windows product, Section 508 support is limited to PC clients.
This section outlines the methods by which AR System supports Section 508 accessibility requirements. Topics include:
- Section 508 guidelines for application design and testing
- Setting accessibility options
- Web settings to support Section 508
- JAWS settings for the Web
- Low Vision users and AR System clients
- No Vision support for AR System features
- Shortcut keys for AR System
- How rich-text-format fields work with accessibility
- Screen refresh issues and the Web
- Verifying your AR System forms for No Vision users