Mar 29 2011

Accessibility of documents on websites

Category: Acquisition Process, Is it E&IT?, Website AccessibilityBuyAccessible Team @ 9:00 am

How often do your contractors or internal staff create information deliverables, like reports, that you intend to put on the web? If you plan to make reports available through a link on website, then it becomes subject to Section 508 Provisions from 1194.22, 1194.31, and 1198.41(a) apply.

  • 1194.22 Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications- Some of its provisions apply to reports on the web, for example (a) providing text equivalents for non-text elements like images, (c) information conveyed with color is also available without color, (g) row and column headers for data tables, and (n) making electronic forms accessible
  • 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria- Need to assure that the document can be used with assistive technology like a screen reader.
  • 1194.41(a) Information, Documentation, and Support- Reports should be provided alternate formats upon request

Additionally, if the report contains interactive elements, then 1194.21 Software and Operating Systems also applies.

Here are some reference materials that may be helpful:

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3 Responses to “Accessibility of documents on websites”

  1. Heron says:

    That’s a good point raised. Staff often release papers not intended for use on the Internet, but which subsequently nevertheless do find their way on the corporate site. I wasn’t aware of these specific provisions.

  2. Jim Tobias says:

    Are information deliverables like reports subject to Section 508 only if they are published on the web? How about reports or other documents that circulate among staffers via email? If the latter are covered as well, are there guidelines or best practices collected anywhere? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks for your comment. Under the current standard, provisions are only mentioned for information on the web. We expect that the new standard will cover other types of information. Our team recommends that all significant documents be made accessible, because you never know if you will be posting that document on the web in the future. Remediation of inaccessible documents is expensive, so it is faster and cheaper to do it right the first time.

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