Section 508 is an older federal standard no longer mandated at Penn State. However, it may be required for some projects funded by the U.S. federal government.

List of Regulations

Below is a table summarizing Section 508 requirements for federal government Web sites. Please note that as of 2011, Penn State Policy A.D. 69 mandated WCAG 2.0 Levels A and AA as the accessibility guidelines.

Synopsis of Section 508 Requirements for Federal Government Websites
Paragraph # Text of Regulation How to Implement
A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided. Use TITLE or ALT when available as a minimum.
Provide longer text transcriptions and descriptions for more complex

Details on pages for Images, Image
, animations, Audio and Video, Charts,Math

Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation. Use captioning software for video or Flash animations when possible.

Details on page for Audio and Video

Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color. Supplement color coding with other signals such as shape or text.

Details on page for Color

Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. Use external stylesheets, but also make sure pages are structured
with appropriate H tags to be readable with stylesheets disabled.

Details on pages for CSS and HTML Structure

Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map. If you use server side image maps, provide a text based menu. But
client side maps are preferred (see next paragraph).

Details on page for Image Maps

Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape. Client side image maps are preferred unless they can only be implemented
with server-side image maps.

Details on page for Image Maps

Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables. Use the TH tags for column and row headers of data tables

Details on page for Data Tables

Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers. Additional accessibility tags are needed for very complex data tables.

Details on page for Data Tables

Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation. Use the TITLE attribute and meaningful frame titles.

Details on page for Frames

Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hertz (cycles per second) and lower than 55 Hertz. Avoid rapidly blinking texts and animation.

Details on pages for Fonts | Animation

A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of these standards, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes. Use a text-only page only as a last resort. The text-only page
must be updated with the rest of the site or the site will be out
of compliance.
When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology. Content must accessible on pages using scripts. Some screen readers
are unable to process some types of Javascript links, so a NOSCRIPT alternative must be provided.

Details on Scripts

When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with § 1194.21(a) through (l). 1. Always provide a link to an accessible Web page where a user
can download a plug-in.

2. Plug-ins used should allow you to create Section 508 compliant
content. See vendors for details.

Details on pages for PDF Files, Flash and Microsoft Office

When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall 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. Use new forms tags to facilitate accessibility

Details on page for Forms

A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links or very long lists of links. Details on page for Skip Navigation
When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required. Details on page for Redirects


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