Policies and Principles

Make usability testing and 508 testing required PRIOR to launch

Launching sites without usability testing and 508 testing is a waste of time and money - it's always more expensive to fix these issues when left to the last minute. Rather, institutionalizing user testing (like GSA's First Fridays, for example) as well as 508 testing into the development cycle of government websites will result in better, more efficient and cheaper products .

Submitted by (@jonathanrubin)

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139 votes
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Usability and Design

Build in accessibility during the visual design phase.

Graphic designers should work closely with accessibility /508 experts before implementing a design into a website. Some accessibility issues can be avoided or/and fixed early during the visual design phase. For example, some of the principals that should be considered to make a design accessible are: Color contrast, use of CAPS, font size, heading structure, reading order, form controls. A great related resource: http://webaim.org/resources/designers/#infographic ...more »

Submitted by (@maria.marrero)

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31 votes
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Accessibility

efficiency, jobs & QA: accessibility funding for dedicated staff

Trying to train everyone on the finer points of 508 and related accessibility is inefficient and a losing proposition. Take all of the money spent on 508 training and repurpose it to hire dedicated, experienced experts to help with publishing and accessibility compliance. Agencies should receive funding for centralized, dedicated staff that have time and skills to review and publish web, print, video, etc. and make ...more »

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23 votes
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Accessibility

Accessibility of non-.Gov/.Mil sites

There are a large number of Federal Agencies that use .ORG or even .COM sites for a number of reasons. Whenever sites are being designed or managed, Section 508 and Accessibility should be mandated by the agency for these sites as well. Conformance reporting should include all of an agency's sites, not just the public facing .gov/.mil sites.

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14 votes
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Accessibility

Establish Mechanisms to Allow for Virtual Advisory Boards

Receiving ongoing feedback from key stakeholder communities, in a transparent manner, could significantly improve the quality of the content. For example, more systematized, direct engagement with disabled users could help not only improve compliance but actually address the more fundamental issue of usability. This approach could be used for other issues including Low English Proficiency/ Multilingual content and the ...more »

Submitted by (@andrewpwilson)

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11 votes
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Accessibility

Accessibility at the browser level for those with disabilities

As the "war" over the best form of html continues it's clear there will be diverse forms of html employed for years to come. Developers are constantly working backwards, all from different perspectives to try to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities. There are simply too many cooks in the kitchen. It seems to me that content accessbility is best addressed at the browser level because this is where specific ...more »

Submitted by

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4 votes
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Usability and Design

Mandate usabiity as accessibility is mandated

It is absolutely appropriate that accessibility for those who use assistive technologies is mandated through Section 508; but it's curious that usability for the majority of the public, the non-assistive device users, is optional and often determined by schedules and management prerogative.

 

Mandate that all government sites meet measurable usability goals as determined by business and user needs.

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3 votes
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Policies and Principles

Option on site for 508 compatibility

Allow those who require 508 features and accomodations to select a version of the site with those features. Otherwise the site can contain any design elements that best display the content. These two different "modes" meet the spirt of 508, if not the letter.

Submitted by

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-11 votes
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