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 worked with an e-commerce site that sells Roman Shades among many other styles of custom drapery in addition to custom pillows. It is a great e-commerce site if you want to have custom drapes made. You should check it out. Now, the owners of the site, Dream Drapes, had bought the site 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 among a number of e-commerce sites that contacted us. We were able to work with their webmasters and made sure they were 508 compliant in their presentation of their site. To show their appreciation for our expertise several custom pillows were sent to our offices that complimented the flat roman shades we have in our conference area. We were amazed that they were the perfect color accent. Later it was revealed that one of Dream Drapes’ designer had stopped by our offices to see if there was anything they could make to show their gratitude for our help. We certainly don’t expect such gifts from our clients, but their gratitude spoke volumes about the effectiveness of DiamondTM services.
• 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.