Industry Leader in Digital Accessibility

Section 508 Accessibility Compliance Services

On January 9th 2017 the Access Board released a final rule that updates accessibility requirements covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 along with guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934.  This update is commonly known as the Section 508 Refresh, and is intended to ensure that information and communications technology (ICT) covered by each statute be accessible to people with disabilities.

TestPros understands that Section 508 compliance and associated Section 508 remediation is based on testing to standards, not any specific set of accessibility testing tools, and we work with our clients to implement evaluation procedures that address the applicable standards and guidelines such as Section 508 guidelines, the W3C WCAG digital accessibility guidelines, and other applicable standards and guidelines independent of development platform or testing tools. 

TestPros also understands that Section 508 / WCAG Compliance Testing is based on the premise that accessibility is part of each IT requirement, and should be addressed up front as part of the system development life cycle. As with other forms of testing, we test for compliance early in the system development life-cycle to promote better planning, and to better avoid expensive rework later.

To find out more about Section 508, see our article on “What is Section 508?”.

Department of Homeland Security – DHS Trusted Tester Program for Section 508 Compliance Testing

To meet DHS requirements, we employ certified DHS Trusted Testers to perform Section 508 testing. The DHS Trusted Tester certification program requires testers to pass an initial screening test to demonstrate experience with the standard, and then to attend classes and pass a rigorous test to demonstrate their competence. We use detailed DHS Section 508 Compliance Testing Process – among guidance from other federal agencies – for both Application and Documents compliance reviews – please see our DHS Trusted Tester page for additional detail..

Approach

Section 508 accessibility compliance validation testing with assistive technologies alone does not provide a complete evaluation – even the best tools only address at most 70% of the requirements – and are hard-pressed to keep pace with evolving assistive technologies. To bridge the gap, we test to the standard using a combination of automated and manual methods.

TestPros aligns with Section 508, WCAG 2.0, W3C WCAG 2.1, EN 301 549, ISO/IEC 40500:2012, the A11Y Project, DHS OAST, and/or client-approved compliance test processes, leveraging extensive experience with assistive technologies, and engaging partner firms to provide Disabled User Acceptance Testing as appropriate.

In addition to identifying Section 508 compliance issues, we work with the client or integrator development teams to suggest fixes for software applications and web content accessibility issues. We also provide Section 508 remediation services to address requirements directly.

Section 508, WCAG, and EN 301 549 Compliance

We are expert in a four-step approach to Section 508 compliance that include the following:

  1. Project Assessments
  2. Training
  3. Testing, Compliance Documentation, Certification & Support
  4. Remediation of custom and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software source code
  5. Ongoing Monitoring to ensure compliance is maintained

Usability and Section 508 Accessibility Testing

We deliver testing focused on measuring application design factors such as ease-of-navigation, feature – function and error control, consistency, feedback, performance, visual clarity, intuitiveness, and accessibility. High quality usability is a key factor in customer satisfaction, user acceptance and is critical in the launch of a successful software application.

  • Identify usability and human factors issues
  • Identify Section 508 Accessibility Compliance issues (web pages, PDF files)
  • Assessments conducted via trained Accessibility and Usability Engineers, and user groups comprised of users with various experience levels
  • Delineation of testing procedures and user participant scripts
  • Complete test result reports

Document Section 508 Compliance Testing

  • We conduct all the applicable tests, then identify and suggest Section 508 fixes for MS Word, PDF, and other documents
  • TestPros Section 508 Tested Logo
  • As an option, we can apply the fixes to your documents in order to bring it into full compliance with the Section 508 standard
  • Authorization to use the “TestPros Tested – 508 Compliance” logo (the Terms and Conditions of the 508 Compliance TestPros Tested Logo Agreement)
  • We provide complete test results reports and a VPAT (2.4)

Product Section 508 Compliance Testing Assessment

  • We conduct all the applicable tests, then identify and suggest Section 508 fixes for software applications and web content
  • As an option, we can apply the fixes to your software (Section 508 remediation) in order to bring it into full compliance with the Section 508 standard
  • Authorization to use the “TestPros Tested – 508 Compliance” logo (the Terms and Conditions of the 508 Compliance TestPros Tested Logo Agreement)
  • We provide complete test results reports and a VPAT (2.1)

Our resources include a Section 508 Accessibility Lab, which consists of a wide variety of assistive technology device products and test tools (JAWS, NVDA, IBM PageReader, Opera, WindowEyes, ZoomText, Microsoft Professional Accessibility Narrator, AccVerify, AccRepair, AccMonitor, Compliance Sheriff, WebKing, VisCheck, WebXACT, Bobby, Cynthia Says, and TestPros’ custom developed Section 508 automated test tools.

Mobile Section 508 Testing

TestPros performs Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 testing for mobile devices, testing to the standard as with browser-based content and applications.

  • We use the Section 508 and/or WCAG accessibility guidelines that apply to the app and documentation
  • As the DHS mobile accessibility guidelines mature to include a comprehensive approach, we also use the Veterans Administration (VA.gov) supplemental guidelines for 508 accessibility on mobile devices
  • We conduct preliminary responsive web design testing as a best practice, to ensure accessibility features and controls are “baked-in”
  • We use assistive technologies for mobile include VoiceOver for iOS and TalkBack for Android

Ongoing Monitoring

While websites, software applications, mobile apps, and documents should undergo accessibility assessments before launching or any significant redesign, it is important to remember that content and applications are subject to constant changes. 

For example, some websites have multiple content editors and this increases the risk of inadvertent accessibility issues creeping back into the software. It is therefore very important to monitor for continued accessibility compliance at specific intervals.

TestPros can assist with this ongoing monitoring by implementing monitoring tools and processes to help check on accessibility at certain intervals.  This can be a valuable resource in ensuring accessibility of your content, finding broken links, and other quality related issues.

Ready to Start?

Are you ready to begin making your application, documents, and/or website Section 508 compliant? Contact us today!