Website Accessibility Section 508 Refresh in Progress: Government Agencies Face Clear Choice

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According to the United States Access Board there are changes coming to Section 508 and government agencies will be faced with a choice about how they will move forward with web accessibility testing. Although the changes coming to Section 508 have not been fully detailed, WeCo is providing the human-based testing services now.

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Website Accesibility is a Social Responsibility and a Business Necessity

Government agencies will be faced with a choice about how they will move forward with web accessibility.

According to the United States Access Board there are changes coming to the law that guides government agencies in creating accessible electronic documents. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is currently in the process of being “refreshed.” This refresh is expected to incorporate WCAG 2.0 guidelines as part of the revised standard for accessible web pages and electronic documents. It is also expected that the new law will mandate some form of human-based testing, as such testing is a part of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

WeCo has positioned itself to provide the human-based accessibility testing services. Although the changes coming to Section 508 have not been fully detailed, government agencies will be faced with a choice about how they will move forward with web accessibility testing, especially given that WCAG 2.0 stipulates that human testing is required to accurately determine a website’s accessibility. No doubt when the law finally comes into effect, potentially in early 2015, there will be many providers offering to evaluate site accessibility using human testers. Thankfully, forward thinking government agencies can use WeCo today for such human-based testing.

WeCo employs dozens of disabled professionals whose job it is to evaluate websites and documents according to the highest standard of accessibility. In doing this, WeCo not only provides its customers with a valuable a service, it also offers meaningful careers to disabled employees who are all too often overlooked by the traditional workforce.

If government agencies avail themselves of WeCo now, they will be ahead of the law when it finally comes into effect, and they will reap the immediate benefits of having a website that has been shown to be accessible to the largest minority group in the country. This will help these agencies fulfill their mandate of making information available to everyone. If these agencies wait to implement the human testing requirement of WCAG 2.0, they will be forced to operate under a looming deadline and will risk exposing themselves to legal action if their websites and documents do not meet WCAG 2.0 standards by the time the new Section 508 requirements come into effect.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, WeCo is a mission-based, for-profit organization. While creating a strong accessibility learning environment for your organization, we also provide professional employment to people who live with disabilities. Considering that up to 80% of people in this group are either unemployed or employed below their education and capability levels, the work WeCo does is even more uplifting and important. WeCo is recognized by the State of Minnesota as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. In WeCo’s first year in business they were featured in the MarketWatch Wall Street Journal, Google Finance and Tech{dot}MN. Find more about the company at t heweco.com.

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Toni Grundstrom
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