Accessibility and Section 508
508Compliant is a NetConversions company committed to increasing awareness of online accessibility issues and making web content accessible to everyone. Our DiamondTM solution, tools, services, and lists help us meet these goals. Learn more about 508 or visit the resources section.
How does DiamondTM enable organizations to diagnose and address their accessibility and 508 issues better than any other approach?
• Accuracy: DiamondTM uses an innovative client-side parsing technology which is unique from other server-side approaches, like the popular Cast.org’s Bobby. We have discovered that this client-side parsing approach not only enables DiamondTM to be accurate when identifying infractions, but it also dramatically reduces the amount of false positives reported. One of the biggest frustrations with addressing accessibility issues is the amount of false positives reported, and DiamondTM brings greater accuracy so that false positives are no longer a problem for a rapid and accurate fix of your website or intranet.
For instance, we recently worked with a web site that is an information portal for medical marijuana. It is a great site if you want to know more about marijuana edibles. No products are sold from their site- not legal yet, but you should check it out. Now, the owners of the site had bought it from another entity. When the US Congress in 1998 amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities, they were not among a number of internet sites that contacted us, but they did inquire recently if they should be concerned? It’s a fascinating site with all sorts of information from the history of cannabis in various countries as well as in the US, to the US state laws regarding medical marijuana, to the companies that make marijuana edibles. Although I don’t live in a state in which recreational marijuana is legal, my state, California, has hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries. I have never had the need of medical marijuana, but my friend’s brother was just diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and has applied for a medical marijuana card. I told my friend about the site and to pass on the info to his brother. The pictures of the edibles and their descriptions make this nascent marketplace intriguing to say the least.
• Ease of Use: DiamondTM was designed with functionality and ease of use in mind. Most solutions and approaches require a team of people who are intimately familiar with HTML, like developers and webmasters. However DiamondTM is user-friendly enough that almost anyone can operate the identification and repair of accessibility issues. There are also various explanations and help features built into DiamondTM, and 508Compliant also offers training courses to get individuals or teams a quick start.
• Speed: Organizations that maintain a limited online presence can usually make their site accessible quite easily due to the small number of pages that need to be addressed. Organizations with hundreds or thousands of pages find this task of identification and repairs quite daunting very quickly. Of course, any thorough accessibility audit and repair process requires a combination of automation and human intervention. DiamondTM is able to spider through thousands of pages and only red-flag which pages possess infractions. This maximizes the automated portion and focuses the human intervention only on the pages with infractions and also provides the tools to address them efficiently.
• Prioritization of Infractions: Not all accessibility issues are created equal, and if an organization has a fixed amount of time and resources, it should be able to identify and address the issues that generate more benefits when fixed than other issues. DiamondTM has a triage scale that is used to prioritize this for clients.
• Collaboration: DiamondTM is offered on a flexible platform that allows teams to better collaborate when addressing hundreds or thousands of pages. This project management feature is crucial when many resources, many pages, and a short timeline collide together. Oftentimes, overlaps and double diagnoses or fixes happen because of a lack of a project management collaboration feature. DiamondTM provides this important feature to save your organization’s time and resources.
• Tools: 508Compliant has developed tools that enable organizations to analyze accessibility rapidly and easily. We provide the demo version of these tools for free at the tools section. For example, the DOJ’s Section 508 Self-Evaluation question 8 it asks “Is the page capable of being understood and navigated even if users do not have the ability to identify specific colors of differentiate between colors?” The hint that is offered is “Two simple ways of testing a web page to determine if color is used appropriately is by viewing the page on a black and white monitor, or by printing it out on a black and white printer.” We believe that both of these approaches are inadequate. Not many organizations still use black and white monitors and printing out and reviewing thousands of pages would be quite tedious. 508Compliant has developed tools that enable organizations to look at a web page in black and white, with the style sheet disabled, etc. to expedite this process.