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Removing Barriers to Technology with 508 Accessibility Compliance

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What is 508 Accessibility Compliance and how can it be achieved? Let’s delve into the topic to find out more.

The World Wide Web can be likened to a public library, open to all members of the community. The goal is for everyone to be able to enter the library effortlessly. While some visitors may take the stairs, others may require alternative access, such as a ramp. By providing these access ramps, more people are able to enter the library. And the more accessible the library is, the more likely people are to return, share their experiences, and bring others along. Similarly, digital accessibility serves as the entry ramp to the internet.

According to the World Health Organization’s fact sheet, over 1 billion people experience disabilities, which accounts for approximately 15% of the global population. So, what are the different types of disabilities?

Types of Disabilities

  • Visual impairments, including color blindness.
  • Cognitive issues, such as speech, reading, and language impairments, or attention disorders.
  • Motor and neurological impairments, such as limited sensory and motor controls, or difficulty using limbs.

In today’s business landscape, customer experience matters more than ever. Therefore, people expect compliance processes to focus on improving and enhancing their experiences. This is where Section 508 accessibility compliance changes the game. It ensures that everyone has equal access to Information and Computer Technology.

Why Accessibility is the Best Approach?

508 accessibility compliance aims to ensure that everyone has equal access to web content, including websites and documents like PDFs. This helps provide a more streamlined and user-friendly experience for every individual.

Although digital accessibility is essential for differently-abled individuals, it benefits everyone. Just as people with disabilities use accessibility features in their physical environments, such as handrails, automatic door openers, ramps, and lower curbs, everyone, regardless of their abilities, would actively use or at least appreciate the option to use accessibility features while browsing the internet.

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Improving Overall User Experience

Design compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) ensures that web content can be accessed across various devices, operating systems, and assistive technologies. This guarantees that every web user benefits from these standards. Accessibility features in the digital space include semantic HTML and alt text, ARIA labeling, and more, making it easier for everyone to navigate websites and documents using keyboards.

Innovations like voice-activated devices and text-to-speech were initially designed to assist individuals with specific needs, but they have found broader application. Therefore, investing in 508 compliance services not only helps individuals with accessibility needs but also improves the overall user experience.

A Billion Dollar Opportunity

Disability is not limited to birth conditions. Aging and accidents can also limit individuals’ abilities. As people age, their interactions with banks, stores, or utilities may not be as effortless as before. According to a Forrester report dated May 2022, people with disabilities comprise the world’s largest minority market, and they spend approximately $2 trillion annually.

Furthermore, in the consumer market, the baby boomer generation tends to have the most disposable income. When a business fails to comply with accessibility standards, it not only overlooks its potential customers but also loses a significant portion of revenue.

Apart from the financial benefits of making your documents and website accessible, it is simply the right thing to do. Just as you would provide a ramp for individuals in wheelchairs to enter your company premises or allow a seeing-eye dog to guide a blind person, as business owners, we must consider our online presence as an extension of our physical locations and make accessibility accommodations. Engaging professional website and document remediation services can be a helpful step in this direction.

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Enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Using descriptive links and text is not only beneficial for accessibility; it also supports search engine optimization (SEO). The anchor texts added to websites help search engines understand the content. One of the tangible benefits is that the website can achieve a higher organic search engine ranking. Professional website and PDF remediation services aid in transcribing audio/video files, adding alt text to images, captions to videos, and more. Therefore, collaborating with a service provider with good SEO expertise is immensely beneficial for businesses.

Social, Corporate, and Economic Considerations

Ignoring the rapidly evolving legal landscape regarding accessibility design standards would be naive, given the positive benefits of conforming to these standards. Aside from hefty fines and damage to a brand’s reputation, worst-case scenarios could lead to the permanent closure of businesses. For instance, high-profile lawsuits have already been filed against the likes of Domino’s Pizza (2019), Amazon (2018), Burger King (2018), Nike (2017), and others.

While embedding the principles of digital accessibility is a complex undertaking, engaging in professional 508 document remediation and website remediation services can help organizations focus on the most critical aspects. In this way, companies can easily foster inclusivity and diversity.


In conclusion, Section 508 accessibility compliance focuses on providing equal access to the disabled population, creating cultural inclusivity, and bridging digital gaps. Complying with accessibility laws can provide significant value to businesses by ensuring that everyone can interact with their website in the best possible way, opening up new revenue streams. Let’s remove technology barriers and make the digital world accessible to all.

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