Section 508, WCAG 2.0 and Digital Accessibility in the Federal Government
Hello everyone thank you so much for joining us today my, name is Karina boy Java and I'm an instructional, designer, and learning, success manager, 8dq. Joining. Me today is Laura lazier who is an accessibility, project, lead, and Paul, Bowman who is our director of training. I just. A moment. Let's. Go ahead and take a look at our agenda here we. Have a lot of great information to, share with you today and of, course you will have access to this deck and you're, very welcome to reach out to us with any questions, so. We'll take a look at what section, 508 is including. Some important, definitions and general requirements. We'll. Discuss, the meaning of digital accessibility and, why it matters to you we'll. Go over the 508 refresh including. The web 2.0. That are now incorporated. By reference, now. The new standards, have some significant. Implications. And we'll address how they fit into the approach of testing. Early and often to ensure accessibility. We'll. Also discuss, how section, 508 applies, to you whether you are in the federal evu or private, sector and the, best part is that we'll do all this in just five and a half hours, I'm. Just kidding everyone nobody panic we'll do this in just about 25, minutes will. Address questions at, the end and we've, also compiled, some excellent resources, for you as you, are transitioning. Into compliance, with the 508 refresh and, the new standard. So. 508. This, is a law that requires the federal, government to provide access to an information. And communication. Technology, also known as ICT. To, people with disability. The. Law has a broad scope because, ICT. Is an enormous category and, includes. All sorts of things that we'll discuss in a moment the. Law applied to four, category. ICT. That is procured, developed. Used, or maintained, by the federal, government. Here. Is where we can see how broad, the section 508 scope is just. By looking at the definition of ICT. Directly. From the text itself, the law states, that ICT. Is. Information. Technology and, other equipment. System, technology. Or processes. For. Which the principle function is the creation, manipulation. Storage, display. Receipt. Or transmission. Of electronic, data and information, as, well, as any associated, content now. Just to break it down a bit the major categories are, hardware, software, and, electronic. Content, and all, of these include, both web-based, and non web-based technologies. And they, do also include mobile technology. And authoring. Tools so. You have things like website. Electronic. Document native, mobile apps. Computers. Tia and many, others this, is just a very short list here to help illustrate. Now. Given the broad scope of ICT. One, of the most common, questions is are there, exception, the. Answer is yes and they, are explicitly. Spelled out in the law there. Are six exceptions, which are listed on this slide I'll, just briefly go over two, of them here the, first one is legacy. ICT, or safe. Harbor. This, is ICT. That complied, with the original, section 508 standards, and it. Is documented, that, it complied and it, has not been changed on or after January, 18, 2018. But. If any new portion, is added after that date the new part must comply with the new standards, the. Second exception I'll go over is best. Means now. Sometimes. ICT. That is fully, compliant, with section 508, is not commercially. Available and, in. This case the agency must, procure, ICT. That sent me both, the, section 508 requirements and. The. Business needs of the agency. Also. Note that the agencies still have an obligation to provide, access, to the ICT, to people with disabilities, by. Alternative. Means that suits their needs. Now. Let's move on to discuss, digital, accessibility, so. We know that section, 508 requires, access to ICT. So. What does access, mean it. Means that a wide variety, of users, including. People, with disabilities are. Able to access the technology, the. Goal of accessibility, is to provide as much as possible. Independent. Access, for. Example, if you, are a user who is blind you don't want to depend on someone, standing, over your shoulder reading. You the content for the website, you. Want the websites to be created, in a way that allows your screen, reader to access it. People. With disabilities, often access, ICT, in alternative, ways using various, tools on this. Slide are listed, just a few common assistive, technologies, things, like screen, readers and magnifiers. Refreshable. Braille displays, captions. Phones and. Of course there's hundreds, of other examples. So. Now that we know what ICT, is and what, access, to ICT, mean let's, ask the question, why, should you care about accessibility.
To. Begin with it's the law all, federal. Agencies are, required to, comply with section 508, and in, addition, there are many other accessibility. Laws, at the federal, state and local level. Beyond. That federal. Grant recipients, and private. Entities doing business, with the federal government are also impacted. By accessibility. Requirements. And, even. When it's not the law there, are significant. Reasons, to care, if. You are a business, your, customers, with disabilities who, want accessible. ICT. For. Example, you, don't want a potential, customer going, to your website with a screen reader and maybe trying, to put some ions in the shopping cart only. To find out that the process is not accessible, so, they get frustrated, and they give up and they go to your competitor. Customers. With disabilities are not a tiny, margin way, off to the side there that you shouldn't worry about about. 20%. Of the US population has. A disability and. People. With disabilities, have, 490. Billion dollars in after-tax. Disposable. Income, so. The bottom line is that if your ICT, is not accessible, you are, missing out on business. Going. Back to the legal side of things for a moment it, goes without saying that lawsuits, are expensive. It. Can cost thousands. Of dollars simply. To file, a response to a complaint so, say. You're formally accused of not being accessible even. If you just want to say no we don't agree with you and here's why, well, that sentence might cost you five thousand dollars in. 2017. Alone, there. Were over 800 lawsuits. Related to website, accessibility. And many. Of those are legitimate but, there's. Also a significant. Trend it's in what's known as, drive-by. Demands, and lawsuits. Unfortunately. There's a lack of clarity in some parts, of accessibility, law and sometimes. People, use this gray area not, for real advocacy. But, to try to make a quick buck the. Point here is that agencies, and businesses are, not immune to this type of attack and, whether. Or not they are truly at fault it, can get very expensive, quickly. Now. To move on to a positive, point on why, you should care about accessibility. Because. It gives you a competitive, advantage, it. Helps, to think of accessibility, as a business, tool if, you, are a federal contractor, or vendor you know that you have to provide section. 508 compliant. ICT, it's. Very significant. To note here that the US government is the single, largest purchaser. Of ICT. In the world, because. Of this we can see, that section 508, is really, a driving, force in accessible. ICT in, the, entire world. Okay. Now let's shift gears a little bit and talk about the 508, refresh, the. Original, section 508 was enacted, in 1998. In the. 20 years since then of course technology has changed drastically. Especially. The trend of conversion, technologies, and multifunction, devices so now, we have a phone that's not just a phone but a computer, a camera.
A Video, player a music, library and we, also have content, that's shared across different. Platforms and so, the technical, standards, that we conceived, of 20 years ago had become very outdated, in. Addition, to this there. Were a number of gaps in the original standards, for, instance relating, to documents. By. Navigation, air validation. And others. So. For, all of these reasons and also to, align with industry, and international, standards the, 508 refresh was, passed in 2017. Here. We have a summary of the major changes in the refresh now I won't go over all the mouse but I do want to highlight the first tooth specifically, in the, new standard the focus, is on the functionality, of the technology, rather, than the product type, again. This is because we now have multifunction. Devices and so this is a more flexible approach that. Will allow the standard, to keep pace with evolving, technologies. The. Next major change and, this is very significant, is that. What CAC 2.0, level a and double-a, success, criteria, have been explicitly. Incorporated. By reference. Electronic. Content, is required, to meet these standards there. Are international standards, and they are very carefully, designed to, ensure that success, can be objectively. Measured. Here. We have a quick bullet breakdown, of how, the old 508, standards. Compared. To the wood tack 2.0. That, are now incorporated, by reference the, old. Standards, were more static, again, they were based on the product type whereas. The new standards, are more flexible the, focus is on functionality, and principle. The. Old standards, had more gaps in gray areas, whereas, the new standards, are more concrete and, explicit. In. The new standard there, are 38, success, criteria, for electronic, content, and then, you compare this to the old standards, there were only 22, so. This means there, are 16 rules, that, are either new or substantially. Changed. So. What does this all mean what. Implications. Do the 508 refresh and, the new standards, have, well. Firstly, there is a need for awareness. You, know is everyone, at your agency, or organization aware. Of these rule changes if, you, are a manager, or a leader are, you communicating these, new requirements, to all the relevant stakeholders. You're. Also looking at updating. Various agency, policies, and transitioning. Your practices, to meet the new requirements. The. Good news is that there. Are many resources available help. Agencies, accomplish, this and we've. Compiled, a great list at the end of this presentation. There's. Also a need, for training, you know are your procurement, specialists. Trained, in how to procure accessible. ICT after. The 508 refresh what. About your website developers, and testers how, are they trained they, need to have knowledge, of how to implement, the web 2.0. Standards, ranging. From a general, familiarity, to a highly, technical proficiency. Along. With that goes the need for validation, and testing, tools that, are based on look at 2.0. There. Are automated, tools available to. Test websites and applications during. Every, stage of development. DEQ. Has our own tools some, of them are free and some, of them are enterprise, level other. Companies, of course have their tools as well and, of. Course there's, the need for collaboration. Accessibility. Is a complex. Endeavor, and. Relies, on. Collaboration. And communication. Especially. You know if you have a very large agency. With thousands. Or even millions, of. Employees, it's. Really critical, to have effective, collaboration. Don't. By now. We're. Seeing that compliance, with section 508, is a significant. Venture, it. Doesn't, happen magically and, it doesn't happen overnight. The. Best and most efficient. Time. Is to shift left, the. Shift left approach is centered, on the idea of incorporating, accessibility. From the beginning because.
People Without accessibility. Of one is expensive, and difficult. So. With, shift left you're really making, accessibility. A permanent. And sustainable. Part of the workflow and you're, changing, the work paradigm, the. Idea, here, is that you're preventing, problem. So that you don't have to waste resources. Trying to fix them later on. Let. Me share a really memorable example, with you here in, 2016. UC. Berkeley was sued for inaccessibility. Specifically. There were about 20,000. Recorded, online lectures, that were open to students, and the public but. They did not have captioning, so. The University decided that making them accessible would, be too expensive. So in response they. Simply removed, public, access to them there. Was just a loose situation. For everybody the, university, was slammed, with a lawsuit, people. With disabilities, got the message that hey we're just not going to make this accessible feel. With it and members. Of the public without disabilities. That. Could previously, access. This open, wealth of knowledge well, now they can't if. The, university, had instead, used, the shift left approach and, had planned for accessibility, to their videos from, the very beginning it, could have avoided an issue like this so. This was an eating you example, okay. But section, 508 actually, explicitly, requires. That, agencies, determine in, advance how. Users, with disabilities will. Access, the particular ICT. So again, here, is where it shifts left high limb because you're having to think proactively, before. Something because, problem. Now. Let's get a little bit more specific, and address how section. 508 applies, to you specifically. Whether. You are a federal, or edu employee, a contractor. Or vendor a developer. Or tester, or a procurement. Specialist. We'll. Go over some things that you should be thinking about with the 508 refresh and, the, new standards. All. Right if you are a section, 508 Program Manager or other federal employee, one. Of the first things you can be thinking about is how to build awareness and support for, the new requirement, and, this, includes, making sure that employees, understand.
How To play their, part and, also having. Discussions, between, stakeholders, to, go over you, know what is the agency, doing to comply what, step are they taking, are there any improvements to, make and so on, you've. Also likely, started, the process of updating your agency policies, to reflect the refresh and if you have not now. Is the time and if, you don't have a section 508 policy, at all yet now, is the time at the. End of this presentation, is a really, great, resource it's called the revised 508, roadmap which. Included some great details, on how to update your policies. Including. Some sample policy, language. You. Should also ensure that your website is here to look at 2.0, the. Documents, you create need to be accessible, according, to the standard these. Might be things like informational. PDF, posted, on the agency website, or forms, that people need and so on again. You can use the various testing tools to ensure that your website and ask are compliant. There's. Also many opportunities to, train your people lots. Of resources are available for. Instance we've just released an online course at DQ University, that focuses, on section 508 and spelled, out the technical standards. Another. Important, point is to think proactively, how. Well people with disabilities, use your ICT, a recommendation. For, agencies, is to, create personas or test, case for. Example you have a hypothetical, person Jane who has a cognitive disability. How. Will Jane access, the agency website, are there any roadblocks, that you may encounter how, can they be removed. You. Now. Let's, move on to federal, contractors, and independent. Vendors, probably. A question on your mind is whether you need a newbie pack the. Answer is maybe, version. 2.0, and 2.1 are, aligned, with a refresh, the version one is not however. Be. Sure to check with the agency you're doing business with to see what their requirements were, request arm but. If you are building entirely, new ICT or, if your ICT, is changing, then, you should use the latest version which, is 2.1 and that. Is the one that puts it on the IPI right by the B if. You do complete, a repack make. Sure that you have it readily available and, it's a best practice to have it posted on your website and, and. This is really critical be. Sure to address how your, particular, product or service meets, the standards, so. Rather than saying yes, it meets this criteria, and my criteria, explain. Also how, it needs them of. Course, you want to make sure that your Repat is accurate, if. Any inaccurate, claims are made this puts your company, at serious, risk an. Agency. May, or may not check, your Veet Pat claims, although, they should they. May just take them at face value however. They, may and they should include. Language. In the contract, obligating. The vendor to fix any accessibility. Issues, if there are false claims. Okay. Now moving on to edu. Employees, you. Probably, know already the, public schools have accessibility, requirement, under the ABA here's. An important, note last. Year the deal deal, J was considering, setting, work at 2.0, level double-a, as the. Standard, in say a local government, which would of course effect, publicly, funded school, but. Unfortunately this. Initiative, has been halted, however. It really, illustrates that, there is a drive, to align. Institutions. With global standards, so look, at could in fact be, incorporated. In the future so. When you think about it if you, already have to be accessible under the ABA why. Not be accessible, using, the work had standards, which. Would meet that portion, of your ad a obligation, and it. Would also minimize, your legal, risk. Speaking. Of what CAC many. People wonder well, where is the overlap, you know if we follow look at 2.0, what's, left to consider for section 508 in.
A, Nutshell what. CAC 2.0, will cover your web content, to. Be section, 508 compliant, you then need to address everything else that falls under the definition, of ICT, that we covered earlier and you, also need to provide the appropriate documentation, and, support services, for the ICT. So. Ask yourself is your, ICT, accessible, seems. Like website, documents. Form mobile, app lectures. And so on. Again. You can use various tools to test for accessibility and. I've, underlined, mobile, apps here because it's an important, one that's lagging, behind. Okay, websites have received a lot of attention but. Apps are not as accessible as they should be because. They're kind of in a gray area it's. Not spelled, out in the ABA that applications. Must be accessible but if they are not this, is a form of discrimination that. The school is making and you, open yourself up to a potential, lawsuit. Okay. Considerations. For developers, and testers as. I mentioned before plan. On accessibility, from the very beginning of, the project and keep. In mind again there various tools that you can use throughout the entire project lifecycle, to test for accessibility. The. Idea is that you test early and test often, as we discussed before this. Helps, you to identify any issues early, on and address, them before they become enormous, all. Developers. And testers should, have a basic, understanding of, accessibility, principles. And then, of course some. Of these people will need to be experts, and know all the technical details. I'll. Make a quick mention here if you're a trusted, tester listening. In you may be wondering if you need to update your certification. There. Are two important, dates to keep in mind first. If you're, a trusted, tester v3, that provides testable, and DHS, agency, then. You must obtain the, v5 certification. By April, 1st 2019. Second. Starting. On September 30th, 2019. V3. Or v4. Test results, will no longer be accepted, in DHS. Headquarters and, DHS. Component, government, processes, so. Just keep the base in mind in this applies to you. Okay. Finally, let's turn our attention to procurement, specialist. You. May be aware that the far council has not yet published guiding to reflect their fresh changes. Nevertheless. Agencies. Are still advised to align, and update their procurement policies, to reflect the, new standards. There. Is a really comprehensive, resource, available. On the section 508 gov, website, that, covers, in detail what, steps you should take to make sure that you're procuring, accessible. ICT. Another. Thing you should do is make sure that you verify the accessibility. Claims for any ICT. Even. If there's a V pad be, sure to do your own testing, and again. Their automated, tools and manual, techniques, to do this, keeping. In line with that it's, also important. To include language in, your contract, that specifies what. Happens, if the ICT, isn't actually compliant. Now. The specific, language will, depend, on the situation but, for instance you may say that the vendor will be required, to replace. Or repair the. Non-compliant. ICT, at no, cost to the agency. Okay. So with that final note we're wrapping up the first portion, of this webinar and that. Brings us to the questions, part I know that we covered, a lot of information here, and there are many things to think, about so please. Feel free to type. In your questions, to us and we, will address them. Okay. Great job Karina. They're. Actually, been some really good questions in the chat and one of the questions that was, just asked. That Paul answered, via the chat was. Whether. The. Section, 508 is pointing to. What. Cake, 2.0. Or section 5 away and what the difference between the two were and the, answer is that section 508 is the law and WIC egg is the, technical, standard, reference by that law so. Section. 508 used to have its own technical specification. But that's not the case anymore as you as you mentioned Karina and now. Section 508 references, the wet cake standard instead so that was something that was asked. In the chat I just wanted to make sure that was highlighted, because. Paul has. Been doing. A rock star job of answering questions on the fly so I just wanted to make sure that people saw that. So. I guess, let me take a look at some questions that we have here. You. Have oh, oh. Is, that Paul sorry, there's, also the question about what. Cake two point one versus two plain oh. Yeah. Do you want to touch on that sure. Or the. Basic, idea is that the, section. 508 standard, references. The 2.0, version of the technical standard it does not reference the, 2.1 version at this point that, could change at some point in the future but right now you're. Required to abide, by 2.0. Not 2.1, that. Doesn't mean you can't do the 2.1 so if you if, you choose to. Meet. The 2.1 standard, then you'll be meeting the 2.0 standard by. Definition and you'll. Be doing a little bit extra which. Is a good thing but.
It's Not required, great. Thank, you that is another good question I was asked that you answered so thanks for touching on that I. Have one here that, asks. Do you have any recommendations. With regard to PDF, content in general. Their, current workflow involves, a manual check checker, using, a built-in accessibility checker, in Adobe Acrobat. Are, there any pre-emptive. Steps that can be taken to make pdf's more accessible, or, any tools that we would recommend, and. This, especially relates, to an idiot institution. So, we actually have a very, very comprehensive, course. On making. PDF. Files accessible. So, that's one. Starting, point that you. That. You can take a look at if you'd like more details please feel, free to contact. Us, so. I think that's a really comprehensive resource, of it that you could take a look at okay. Thank, you here's. Another question Karina. You mentioned, mobile apps being. Accessible. And that's a great importance, is but K 2.0. A concern, for making them accessible or, is that something two data points -. Could. You repeat that I didn't catch that fully so. This is just in relation to mobile. Apps you had touched on how it's important for them to be accessible is that. Something that falls under what, cake 2.0, or is that at what cake. 2.1. Concern. So. They look have actually, come I'm sorry good, go. Ahead you started I was. Going to say that work had actually. Covers. Web. Content, but you can't apply the principles, to native. Mobile apps and we, also offer courses on that, Paul did you want to get some more detail. Yes. Just as you, look. At guidelines themselves are, they're. Written in a way that could, be applied to the web could be applied to documents. Digital, content of all kinds they, do lean, towards, the web but there's no explicit. Reference. To, native. Mobile apps per se but, they can apply in fact the w3c, has put together some some. Reference, materials, that show, how what CAG can apply to the. Web and documents. And, even. Native. Software for the out for desktop. They. Wrote it that way to be technology, agnostic on, purpose but, it does admittedly, lean, more, towards the, web but there's no explicit reason. Why you can't, use it for, other technologies. Great. And how, are a few minutes over folks but we have a couple of questions still, left and so I think we're just going to keep on answering those. For. A few more moments so. The next one is, is. The trusted tester program only, for government, employees and, how. Might people go. About becoming a trusted tester. So. The trusted tester is, actually, open to anyone. And you can go through a number, of courses and, receive. Certification if, you just do a quick Google search how. Do I become a trusted, tester you can find the exact step and maybe, that courses, that you need to take. And. Then another question we had was do, you have any thoughts on the use of ICT, versus, e IT. The. IP was. The term that was included, in the. Original. Section 508, so don't be confused, if you see EIT and ICT, so going. Forward we recommend, and referring, to things of ICT, just to keep aligned, with the refresh but. It's really the same the, same thing but going, forward use ICT. Great. Our. Federal contractors, generally held to both the level of a and double-a, standards, for their products. Yes. Section 508 refresh, has, been, implemented. For quick. Hike a and EE yes. Perfect. Thanks Laura then, maybe to add on to that this is problem and again the. Contractors. It's the way the law is written the contractors, are not the ones directly, responsible, it's the federal. Government. Entity, but during. The, process of writing the contracts, the. Federal government entity. Is supposed to include, accessibility, that's. What ropes in the federal contractors, so. The federal contractors, by virtue of the. Requirements, on the, government, have, to abide by section, 5 wait in order to meet the contracts, and their responsibilities. For the government and but. It does cover both and doubling that's, true. Great. Thank you Paul. So. It looks like questions, are slowing down, so. I. Think with that we'll start wrapping it up thanks. To everyone who has. Joined for, today's webinar um here. Is a slide of helpful, resources that we've compiled again. The slide deck and recording, will be sent out. DQ. Also has a couple of free resources that can help you get started with, your, section, 508.
Process. And become a compliant one. Is ax which is our free, Chrome. Or Firefox browser. Extension. It's a, automated. Testing tool that. Will, do an audit on your web page and then, deaky university is also free for individuals, who. Have a disability we, offer scholarships, to, all, of our online courses so, if, you are a person with a disability and, you want to take advantage of this offer this, is a great way to get involved. And start learning more about accessibility. So. Those are a few ways to get started and. Then. This is going to be a webinar series, so. We are, the. Next version, of this, series we'll be talking about agile, accessibility. In Section 508 so. Stay tuned for that will probably be announcing that relatively, soon I want. To give special, thanks to Corinna Laura. And Paul for doing a great job on presenting and for the questions and we. Will be hosting webinars. In the future soon, thanks everyone for attending I.