All Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) websites, applications, and other digital media are expected to comply with Section 508 requirements. New and redesigned sites should be compliant when submitted to the Web Governance Team for approval to send live.
Section 508 requires all federal agencies to make their electronic and information technologies accessible to people with disabilities. In practice, this means that the content on your websites should be provided in a way that is accessible to all of your visitors, no matter how they access your site. For more information, visit Section508.gov.
How do you meet Section 508?
Some of the most common tasks related to Section 508 are:
- Writing alt text for images
- Writing text versions for videos and animations
- Adding captions to videos
- Following the graphic guidelines for color contrast and image refresh rates
- Making PDFs, Powerpoint presentations and other documents accessible
- Developing web applications so they can be used without a mouse. EERE has specific guidelines for testing applications for accessibility.
Before you start a website or application project, know what you will need to do to meet Section 508 requirements. It's easy to make an accessible product if you work accessibility into your normal planning, design, and coding schedule.
The Office of Management and Budget memorandum "Strategic Plan for Improving Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act" requires federal agencies to increase transparency by providing the public with a standard feedback mechanism and statement available on agency websites.
All federal agencies, whether internal or external, should include an accessibility statement on their websites. Secondary sites can link to the accessibility statement on the domain website.
Accessibility statements should include the following at a minimum, per General Services Administration guidance:
- A link to an accessibility statement on the domain website—either by itself, or within a page which contains several website policies. The best practice is to include the link in the website’s footer.
- Contact information for the agency Section 508 program, such as the Section 508 PM’s email address or a general mailbox managed by the Section 508 Program (either directly, or using an online form)
- The date the page was last updated or reviewed
- The ability for website visitors to provide comments and/or feedback regarding the agency Section 508 program.
An example of an agency accessibility statement can be found on the U.S. Department of the Interior's website. Additional information, examples and best practices on agency accessibility statements can be found on the Section508.gov website.