Exploring the Basics: What is 508 Compliance and Why Should You Care?

5 min read

What is Section 508 compliance?

Section 508 compliance is conformance to Section 508, which is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and requires all federal organizations to give their employees with disabilities as well as members of the public who have disabilities access to information comparable to the others.


Examples of information and communication technology (ICT) covered under Section 508 include computers, telecommunication equipment, multifunction office machines such as copiers that operate as printers, software, websites, information kiosks and transaction machines, and electronic documents.


Exploring the Basics: What is 508 Compliance and Why Should You Care?


Why you should care about Section 508 compliance

Apart from federal organizations, many private businesses are increasingly striving to have their ICT, including online content, ADA Section 508 compliant websites. Any business dealing with digital products and services must adhere to 508 accessibility standards for the content they share on their website and the final product they share with their clients.


Section 508 compliance is now not only helpful for target audiences but also holds many benefits for businesses, which is why if you have a business, you need to care about it. Some of the benefits of 508 compliance include the following:


  • Avoidance of costly lawsuits


Section 508 focuses only on the federal agencies. It is recommended that businesses that receive funding or associate with government agencies adhere to the accessibility standards for 508 compliance. It will assist in lowering the possibility of a lawsuit and the costs or penalties connected with it for your company.


  • Building your brand


Businesses that strive to raise their accessibility standards demonstrate that they value their customers more than just their bottom line. It cultivates a reputation for social responsibility and fosters user trust in your brand. It adds to a favorable and approachable brand image and represents the moral principles of the company.


  • More customers


In America, one in four adults has a disability of some kind. A large portion of your target audience is probably being missed if your material does not adhere to accessibility guidelines. Making sure that all of your consumers with disabilities choose your brand over competitors' will require completing 508 compliance testing before releasing any content, technology, or product onto the market.


  • Saving costs


In the event that a sizable portion of your intended market is unable to obtain the product or service details, you can have to invest a lot of time, energy, and financial resources in responding to their inquiries. To educate this segment of your audience, you might need to commit additional resources. Customers can access the information independently with the use of material that complies with 508, saving time, money, and effort.


  • Improved search engine optimization


It's imperative that your company optimize its Internet presence. Enhancing ADA compliance through work on 508 compliance makes your material more search engine-friendly. You must include heading tags, alt text for images, transcripts for audio and video content, and a consistent content structure for improved 508 compliance. Enhancing accessibility increases the likelihood that your website's organic search rankings will raise.



  • Improved overall user experience


Following Section 508 accessibility guidelines can help elevate your customers' experience, much like it can benefit your content's SEO. Having a well-designed and consistent content structure will make it easier for consumers to locate the information they need. By providing inclusivity and clarity to all users who access your website, services, or products, it will improve the user experience.



  • Opportunities for partnerships with federal organizations


In the US, no company would want to pass up the chance to collaborate with a federal agency. Typically, national organizations enter into long-term contracts with private businesses and buy goods or services in bulk. You must start immediately adhering to Section 508 if you want to set up your company to be eligible for commercial prospects with the US government.


  • Enhanced innovation


Performing ongoing accessibility audits of your products, services, and content could yield some insightful findings. Your product designers may be able to innovate and enhance your offering to better cater to all segments of the market with the help of these data.


Need help with Section 508 accessibility?

If you need help with Section 508 accessibility, including the development of 508-compliant websites, call ADACP at (626) 486-2201, and you will be matched with a Section 508 consultant who will assist you in all your ADA Section 508 compliance issues.

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