If you run or build a site for any organization that receives money from the federal government, you should be aware that you are legally required to be 508 compliant. Compliance standards are very loose and vary in their interpretation. I have personally built over 10 sites needing compliance and have a quick checklist for compliance.

  • Sites should be built with SEO in mind to quickly gain a leg up on 508 compliance.
  • All images should have title and alt tags to comply with screen reader functionality.
  • All colors should be web safe (for larger areas) and take into account people with color blindness.
  • For any multimedia presentations, are there equivalent text alternatives and are they synchronized with the presentation?
  • Are redundant text links provided for each active region of a server-side image map?
  • Are row and column headers identified for data tables?
  • Is a text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, provided?  (This is to ensure that a web site complies when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way.)
  • If pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, is the information provided by the script identified with functional text that can be read by screen reader technology?
  • If electronic forms are designed to be completed on line, does the form allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues?
  • Are there methods to increase text sizes for available content?

I’ve scoured the web for many of these items as well as created my own based on the section 508 website. Please take a look and use compliance whenever you can.