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Section 508: The LAW! | Elearning Accessibility Tips and Tricks

Do you HAVE to make your elearning accessible? What if you work for a private corporation? I am not a lawyer, but I offer some general thoughts to consider, and I cover what the mysterious Section 508 is and how to use it to make your instructional design and elearning accessible.

We’re talking about accessibility and the law! In this video, I give you exactly what you need to know as an e-learning developer, with a caveat: I am not a lawyer!

In this video we dive a little bit deep into the weeds so you can really learn what’s required under the law and how accessibility is truly defined. If you are working for the government or on anything funded by the government, this is critical information that you need to know!

Here’s the gist: if you work in corporate or for privately funded organization that doesn’t contract with the government legally you’re probably not required to make your content accessible.

Now I’m talking about legally here – that doesn’t mean ethically you’re totally off the hook! If you have people in your organization who do have disabilities, because one in four americans has a disability, you should be making your content as accessible as possible. If you work for the government or anything that’s funded by the government or is government-like, you’re almost definitely legally required to make your content accessible. And this can be legally a really big deal! Institutions of higher education have been sued by the government for not having accessibility features on their publicly available content.

Check with your leadership for accessibility requirements in your organization.

So what is the law? The law is section 508. You’ve probably heard of it: 508 is a shorthand for accessibility. Section 508 is the part of federal law that’s adopted by most states as well as the federal government to define accessibility.

States have their own accessibility guidelines as well, but generally these states point to section 508 of federal lawy. Generally, wherever you are in the United States, if you are looking to make something accessible you need to refer to section 508.

If you want your content to be 508-compliant, it needs to follow the WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. WCAG 2.0 simply requires your content to be: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.

Watch the video to learn more!


See all of my Elearning Accessibility Tips and Tricks

WebAIM’s checklist

WCAG 2.0 Level AA Full Guidelines

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