The Section 508 amendment to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act updated and extended the act beyond its original 1973 text, which simply allowed individuals with disabilities to participate in federally funded disco dancing competitions. Section 508 specifically applies to technology and electronic communication to minimize or eliminate barriers to people with disabilities. And as is wise to do with all federal mandates, Clive S. took this one seriously.

After developing a web site and presentation about how to be safe with online banking for a government web site, Clive got to work adding accessibility features. He made sure that images had descriptive ALT tags, he summarized every chart with text, and ensured that all video presentations were captioned.

Once he was reasonably certain that he'd hit the site was fully accessible to those with disabilities, Clive sent the link to the review committee.

The following week, John, a representative of the committee, responded. He mentioned in an email that they had checked the site against common accessibility guidelines, and included a detailed summary of their findings. Clive had missed some things, but they were easy fixes. For instance, CSS positioning that presented content in an awkward order for text-to-speech software, and pages where the font couldn't be resized in the browser.

After some more tweaks and updates, Clive once again submitted the link. And again, John responded on behalf of the committee. This time, they'd found a few images that were missing ALT tags, and two links that read "click here" (whereas something descriptive like "Privacy Policy" would help those who use text-to-speech software to navigate more quickly).

Clive fixed those issues and resubmitted the link for review. The same day, he got a reply with one last thing that needed to be fixed.

From: John S.
To: Clive S.
Subject: RE: Online Banking site accessibility


This is looking much better, but the committee found one
last update to make this fully compliant.

The multimedia presentation on Tips.htm is closed captioned,
but we couldn't get our TTS software to read the captions

Make that fix and we should be able to move forward.

Clive patiently explained to John why the captions wouldn't need to be read by their TTS software, and ultimately delivered a website that didn't go overboard with accessibility.

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