Best Practices for 508 Compliance

To help you create Section 508-compliant websites and meet accessibility standards, we’ve compiled a simple list of best practices.

Since Section 508 is a federal requirement, many resources on Section 508 compliance are available are through the United States government. Unfortunately, navigating the maze of federal websites can be daunting. Section 508 standards can be found at Access-Board.gov.

Have clear visuals.

Any images on your site need to include alt text in the code or descriptive captions. Don’t use color as a navigational tool, as colorblind people and screen readers cannot differentiate based on color alone.

Supplement audio and video.

Multimedia sources require additional treatments for accessibility. If your website includes video, provide synchronized captioning. Audio podcasts should include transcripts.

Be keyboard-friendly.

Include headings, lists, and other structural elements; these allow navigation with a keyboard, which is essential for people who cannot use a mouse.

Include accessible forms and files.

Users with screen readers or other assistive technology should be able to fill out and submit all forms. Any files on the website, such as documents, PDFs, etc. should be accessible, as well.

Build in "skip navigation."

If your site contains repetitive elements, a “skip navigation” link allows users to skip over them and get to the main content of the page.