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Global Accessibility Awareness Day: What Does 508 Compliance Look Like?

Written by: EnCompass Staff,

For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to support digital accessibility of the information we produce for you, our partners and clients around the world. In this brief video, Communications Specialist Julie Harris walks us through some of the steps she takes to make a PDF document “508 compliant.”

What Is 508 Compliance?

508 compliance is the United States government’s mechanism for assuring that people of all abilities have equal digital access to information and communication products. We call that process “508 compliance” because of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 is the part of U.S. law that requires information and communications produced with U.S. government funds to provide “comparable access” for people with disabilities.

At a basic level, this means embedding documents, videos, and other digital communication products with alternative text, captions, and other features to help them successfully navigate and interact with the content. For example, someone might use a screen reader to “see” the content in a document. Someone else might rely on captions to “hear” a presentation or a video. You can learn more about adaptive technology on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.

Why We Invest in 508 Compliance

For EnCompass, accessibility is much more than a legal or contractual requirement. Accessibility, which we achieve in part through ensuring 508 compliance, is one of our core values and part of our organization’s commitment to inclusive development. We invest in the process of making digital information accessible because we want our work to be available and useful to all of our potential audiences, whether they are clients, partners, participants, or interested members of the public. We hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes view of one process we use to do that.

 

Questions or Ideas?

Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet us at @EnCompass_World.

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EnCompass Staff

EnCompass offers innovative solutions for organizational excellence.  We seek to enhance the impact and capacity of government and multilateral agencies, corporations, and nonprofits around the world through customized services in organizational and leadership development, training, technical assistance, and evaluation.

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