New Directives, llc offers pdf document compliance services in accordance with Section 508.
Section 508 is a federal law that requires agencies to provide individuals with disabilities access to electronic and information technology and data comparable to those who do not have disabilities. The Section 508 standards are the technical requirements and criteria that are used to measure conformance with the law.
Simply put, 508 compliance means that all users, regardless of disability status, can access technology. This usually means that online documents are compatible with assistive technology, such as screen readers.
Let's Look at a Few Numbers
The U.S. Census Bureau* reports that 19 percent of Americans have a disability.
One in five Americans (49 million people) has a disability. (U.S. Census Bureau, 1994) An estimated 20.3 million families or 29% of all families have at least one member with a disability. (Family Resource Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey, 1990)
How do they utilize the Internet on a daily basis like everyone else? Section 508 compliance ensures that accessibility will not be a barrier to your audience.
Who Needs to Be Compliant?
All federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding are required to be 508 Compliant.
- government agencies
- government centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)
- federally funded non-profits
- public higher education institutions
- public K-12 schools
If you are a part of a federally funded industry, or if your company has adopted these internal regulations, you must provide equal accessibility to users with disabilities. Many large companies have voluntarily chosen to be 508 Compliant and offer accessibility for their online audience.
Making content accessible to people with disabilities online begins with making files compliant from your end.
Compliant Documents Should Include:
- Documents distributed via e-mail (includes Broadcast messages)
- Documents posted to any internal or external website