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Section 508 validators
A Section 508 validator is a software application that can help you determine if your web pages meet the Section 508 standards. These are tools useful in ensuring that your website is accessible to persons with disabilities.
It is important to note that although these validators are readily available via the Internet, they may not be what you specifically need. It is a good idea to try them out first before including them in your accessibility procedures.
Also, remember that Section 508 validators do not entirely solve your accessibility problems. They can nonetheless let you find the issues much faster. Manual testing is still required to ensure your site’s accessibility.
Examples of Section 508 Validators
A number of groups have developed Section 508 validators for web developers to test their sites with. Let us take a look at some of these validators and their specific functions.
This Section 508 validator is provided by the Section508.info website. You can enter the URL of the page you wish to validate. If you haven’t uploaded the page yet, you can paste the page’s source code in the specified field.
If the validator finds any violations for Section 508, it will display the issues for you to correct. The provider of this validator ensures that validation results are easy to understand.
If your page has passed the validation, the validator will give you a block of code you can paste to your page. This code displays an image telling your visitors that the page has passed the validator by the Section508.info site.
Cynthia Says is a validation tool provided by HiSoftware. This application is designed to determine errors in your page that are related to Section 508 and/or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0.
To use this program, you first have to enter the URL of your page. Then you need to specify if you wish to test it using Section 508 or WCAG 1.0 standards. Cynthia Says also provides options related to warnings, text quality, and file sources.
After you have entered your URL and have set the desired options, this Section 508 validator will display a table containing the checkpoints for the chosen standards. If you chose Section 508, the validator will display checkpoints contained in this standard. In each checkpoint row, you will find a cell that tells you if your page has passed that particular checkpoint.
AMP (Accessibility Management Platform) Express is a validator designed by SSB. AMP Express can measure compliance against Section 508, WCAG 1.0, and WCAG 2.0.
One unique feature provided by AMP Express is the validation of multiple pages. To use AMP Express, you have to enter your starting URL, select the standard you wish to use, the number of pages you wish to test, your email, and other necessary details.
Once the program has finished the validation, it will send you an email containing your login information. You will use this information to obtain your accessibility review.
This tool is developed by Greytower Technologies. Users can access SiteSifter through a paid monthly subscription. SiteSifter helps website developers in increasing the chance that their site is compliant with Section 508, WCAG 2.0, and other international web guidelines.
Users have to first indicate which standard they want to use in testing their page. Then they can enter the address of their page and start the test. SiteSifter will check the document and provide a detailed report of the errors it has found if there are any.
As we have seen, we have a good set of options when it comes to Section 508 validators. However, using these programs is only the first step in achieving accessibility.
Once you have tested your site using a Section 508 validator, you should then perform manual validation. This involves testing procedures done by an actual Section 508 expert. You can use the information provided by the validator in finding the areas in your source code which you and the checker must focus on.
If you have any questions or if you need help regarding manual Section 508 validation, we would be happy to assist you. Feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to help you make your site comply with the Section 508 standards.