Section 508 Background Information
US Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act in 1988, requiring Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology can affect an individual's ability to interact with information quickly and easily. Section 508 was implemented to remove barriers in the world of information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
Section 508 Implementation
The County of San Diego strives to achieve web accessibility for persons with disabilities by implementing Section 508. Section 508 guidance also recommends that efforts be made to comply with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. The County of San Diego works toward meeting these standards.
Section 508 Criteria
Section 508 criteria for web-based technology mainly support access for people with vision impairments who rely on assistance to access computer-based information, such as screen readers, which translate what's on a computer screen into automated audible output, and refreshable Braille displays. Verbal tags, graphics identification, and style labeling, are necessary so that these devices can "read" them for the user in a sensible way. Section 508 also promotes the usability of multimedia presentations, image maps, style sheets, scripting languages, applets and plug-ins, and electronic forms. Moreover, Section 508 ensures the availability of all web mediums in an alternate accessible format.