Welcome to our free Web Accessibility and Section 508 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Web Accessibility and Section 508 Training for Experienced Web Designers course.
This summary is focused on the sixteen standards for web accessibility written by the Access Board for Section 508 of the Workforce Reinvestment Act of 1998.
Beginning in June of 2001, all government web sites were required to conform to these standards. Any contractor doing web development for the Federal government must build web sites that conform to these standards. Any company doing business with the Federal government or with states receiving technical assistance funds (Tech Act states) would do best to put forth an accessible web presence.
For these and the numerous other reasons stated in Section 1, you'll want to follow these standards for your business.
The full set of Section 508 final standards is available on the Access Board web site. The specific standards for the web are in 1194.22 of that document entitled "Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications."
As of this writing (October 2007), the Section 508 Standards are being revised, but they probably will not be formalized and in effect for perhaps a year. There is an Access Board site that addresses the revision and a Wiki that is used by the Advisory Committee (TEITAC) drafting the revision.
Here is the summary of the standards: