In 2001, Criterion was created with the sole purpose of helping federal agencies, and vendors, comply with Section 508 guidelines. Since inaccessible technology interferes with an individual’s ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily, Section 508 requirements were enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, and to create new opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace. Criterion provides clients with Section 508 compliance solutions including 508 Testing and 508 Certification.
The unusual combination of expertise needed to successfully navigate Section 508 requirements is not commonly found in most IT groups. This includes expertise in the areas of: Federal Regulations and Contracting, Disabilities, Assistive Technologies, Web Accessibility Guidelines, and Web Accessibility Testing Protocols.
For this reason, 508 testing “skunk work” projects by federal vendors seldom satisfy the numerous web accessibility requirements, or the intent of Section 508 regulations. The resulting lack of 508 compliance can result in a vendor not achieving certification and subsequently losing federal contracting opportunities.
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508 Compliance Testing Milestones
Criterion’s streamlined accessibility testing process ensures our WCAG audits are completed within 7 to 10 business days. Typical WCAG accessibility audit milestones, include:
- Develop End-User Test Cases
- Issue Online Accessibility Training Courses to Client’s Web Development Team
- Conduct 1st Pass Accessibility Audit by End-Users with Disabilities
Conduct 1st Pass Accessibility Validation Scan
NOTE: Accessibility validation tools can accurately identify less than 17% of WCAG guideline failures. Visit Criterion’s Blog for more information about the Limitations of Accessibility Validation Scans.
- Upload 1st Pass Audit Results to Secure JIRA Portal
- Assign a Dedicated Accessibility Consultant to Support Client’s Web Development Team
- Final Accessibility Audit by End-Users with Disabilities
- Final Accessibility Validation Scan
Creation of ADA Compliance Documentation
- Criterion Section 508 Compliance Certification
- Section 508 Compliance Statement
- Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT )
- Section 508 Contract Clauses for 3rd Party Vendor Management
PDF Accessibility Testing
508 compliance require PDF documents to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Since 2001, Criterion has repaired more than 3 million documents for Health and Human Services (HHS ), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), The U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Congress.
Our PDF Accessibility Testing Team identifies and repairs document issues stemming from:
- Color Contrast
- Properties Information
- Image Placement
- Alternate Text,
- Table Formatting
- Heading Styles
- Logical reading order, and more!
Online Accessibility Training
To build your web development team’s knowledge and understanding of Section 508 accessibility testing techniques, Criterion provides clients access to our award winning online accessibility training courses.
Written by Criterion’s subject-matter experts, and instructional designers, our online accessibility training courses are tailored to provide the knowledge needed to create and maintain Section 508 compliant websites, mobile apps and PDF documents.
508 Compliance Consulting
Criterion specializes in supporting federal agencies with large scale 508 compliance solutions. For example, our multi-year contract with the U.S. Forest Service has provided the department with the following Section 508 solutions:
- Section 508 Program Management and Governance
- Section 508 Strategic Planning and Advisory Services
- Section 508 GAP Analysis Services
- Section 508 Survey Design, Administration and Analysis
- Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Accessibility Support
- 508 Compliance Testing
- 508 Compliant Application Design
- Help Desk Section 508 Support
- Section 508 User Guide Development
- Section 508 Awareness Training
- Section 508 Acquisitions and Vendor Management Support
- New Product and/or Vendor 508 Compliance Testing