Accessibility and Section 508 Support

Optimizing Applications for People with Disabilities

These numbers may surprise you, but according to data for the year 2014 approximately 20% of the US population has some form of disability.

20% of population have some sort of disability

Accessibility: Disability Types

Types of Disabilities

Disabilities come in various forms and here are the ones that have the most effect on how people browse websites or interact with software in general.

  • Low Vision
  • Color Blindness
  • Hearing Loss
  • Limited Fine Motor Controls

To ensure that your website or web application is usable by everyone you are targeting with your content, keep these disabilities in mind and make sure any user can:

  • Consume Content
    For this purpose, they can use high contrast themes, Braille displays, audio narrators, text transcript for multimedia elements.
  • Navigate the App/Website and Input Data
    Support keyboard to navigate between screens/pages and fill out forms.

Business Case for Accessibility - Benefits for All Users

Accessibility overlaps with other web development best practices, such as search engine optimization, responsive design, and others, giving you:

  • Device independence
  • Better readability and easier navigation
  • Better search results on the web
  • Faster web page downloads

In a nutshell, accessibility design improvements will benefit all users, thus greatly increasing your audience reach.

Accessibility - Wider Audience Reach

Accessibility Guidelines and Regulations

When you read about accessibility guidelines and regulations, you will come across a lot of acronyms and official names and regulation names such as WAI, WCAG, ARIA and Section 508. Let's take a quick look at what they all stand for and what are the connections between them.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), a part of The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), publishes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) which include guidelines for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA). All these guidelines have a lot in common with the regulations imposed on software by national governments. In United States, the goverment-imposed standard is most commonly referred to as Section 508. The full name is "Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d))". This set of regulations is a must-follow for all software companies that develop software to be used by government agencies.

 

Section 508 WCAG Diagram - Accessibility Guidelines and Regulations, DevExpress

 

You can refer to the following resources to learn more about the mentioned W3C initiatives, guidelines and about Section 508.

Accessibility Compliance for DevExpress .NET & JavaScript Products

DevExpress .NET and JavaScript Controls comply both with Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 (Level AA). To get more information related to the Section 508 conformance, please download the latest version of our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) PDF files.