Buy Accessible Acceptance Guide

This guide is for use of government buyers and helps them to evaluate acquisition deliverables against applicable provisions as determined by the Wizard, based on generally accepted inspection and/or test methods.

Requiring Official
Project Title
Procurement Number
Requirement description Need development, maintenance and support services to establish CIO websites, databases and applications.
 
Intended use and technical environment The vendors knowledge of incorporating the 508 technical standards through all phases of the lifecycle. Vendors ability to identify 508 violation errors and establish protocol for remediation efforts.
 


NOTE:Technical provisions are determined to apply based on E&IT requirements characterized using the Buy Accessible Wizard. Additional provisions may apply based on the actual characteristics of E&IT products and services.

IdProvision TextHow can I tell if this requirement is met?Evaluation Results
1194.22a A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

Identify the non-text elements that require text alternatives.

  1. Some tips for inspection of HTML to help identify non-text elements and their text equivalents.

    1. Search the HTML source for "IMG" tags. For each IMG, note if there is an "alt" or "longdesc" attribute. The "alt" attribute should always be present (although for spacer and other non-content images, the value of "alt" should be ALT=""). The "longdesc" attribute is optional, and should be used when the text needed to describe the function of the graphic is too long for an alt text. The longdesc can also optionally be used to describe visual information not critical to page comprehension or use. Note if adequate alternative text is contained within the element content.
    2. Search the HTML source for image maps (image with an "ismap" or "usemap" attribute). For each map, note if there is an "alt" text equivalent provided for all active links. Note if adequate alternative text is contained within the element content.
    3. Search the HTML source for "APPLET"or "OBJECT" or "EMBED" tags. For each "applet" element, note if there is an "alt" attribute or nested content which provides the text equivalent. For each "object" element, note if there is nested content which provides the text equivalent. For each "embed" element, note if there is an "alt" attribute.

    Note: There are authoring tools that can help to identify and prevent potential accessibility problems with a resulting Web page. It may be a good suggestion to explore the availability of such tools when issuing RFPs.

  2. Apply AT to verify that all images have appropriate text equivalent. Note the use of AT as a measurement method is limited by the adequacy of algorithms and heuristic methods of the specific AT tool used. It can be used to identify problems with specific AT-E&IT interoperability but it cannot predict results with other AT or with other versions of the same AT, OS, application or accessibility architecture. AT should include the full range e.g. screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternate input devices, etc

Note: Satisfying this requirement will support interoperability between user agents, such as Web browsers, media players and plug ins, and assistive technology such as screen readers and magnifiers.

 
1194.22b Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

Identify all uses of multimedia presentation.

  1. Check each multimedia presentation for the synchronization of captioning and audio description.

    1. Inspect to find synchronized text tracks in SMIL or Quicktime files.
    2. Open captioning might be embedded into video stream, requiring human verification.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology.

 
1194.22c Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

Identify all cases where information is conveyed with color, for example, "Fields in red are required to be filled out".

  1. A simple but not comprehensive way to identify problems would be:

    1. View the page on a black and white monitor.
    2. Print the page out on a black and white printer
    3. Is all information still discernable?

    Note: Sometimes color combinations that are readable become unreadable when mapped to black-and-white in printing which could yield a different result than viewing with the eye, color-blind or not. Printing operations will render shades of gray by dithering, in an attempt to match the luminance of the color original; a person viewing the result might incorrectly conclude that a page lacks color-dependence. Gray-scale and monochrome monitors have become a tiny fraction of the overall market, and some mechanisms that attempt to support them on modern video hardware do so in ways that lead to incorrect conclusions about the software being viewed. In particular, some systems support gray-scale monitors by connecting only the output of the green signal to the monitor's input, effectively discarding the red and blue portions of the signal. This incorrectly maps the luminance information because the discarded colors account for 40% of the total. (In contrast, a black-and-white television will correctly display the picture because the luminance of the gray-scale output is a weighted average of all three colors.)

  2. Insure that links are not distinguished by color alone. Note a common practice of removing underlines for links creates this problem.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology.

 
1194.22d Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

Identify if any style sheets are used, (e.g. by looking for the "link" or "style elements, or the attribute "style=" in any element).

  1. View the pages using a browser with style sheets turned off or inactive and determine if the content is adequately readable.

    Note: Information on how to turn style sheets on and off is typically available from the help pages of Internet browsers.

    Note: One method, but not the only one, for how XML documents can comply with this requirement is to have an available XSL transform on the server that generates XHTML which meets the requirements of these provisions, with any XML data not related to the XSL flowing to a user application that meets the accessibility requirements of 1194.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology. Interference between web pages and user-defined style sheets may be a problem for accessibility but is not specified in the requirements of this or any other technical provision of 1194.

 
1194.22e Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

Identify all active regions of all server-side image maps. All regions of all image maps (which excludes maintenance and setup features) are included in the complete set of elements to be assessed.

  1. Inspect web content source to identify server-side image maps and identify the presence of appropriate redundant text links for each active region of all server-side image maps. The two methods to indicate server-side image maps are:

    1. The presence of an ismap attribute in the "img" image element
    2. The presence of "input type = image" within a form.

    Note: That redundant text links are most effective if they are positioned before or at least adjacent to the image map so that a user can know what is going on before getting to a non-readable image map.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers. Web pages must use redundant text links so that screen readers can provide choices to people who cannot see the choices presented on the image.

 
1194.22f Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

Identify all server-side image maps.

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify server-side image maps that could have been represented by client-side image maps. Examine the map-could the map region have been defined with an available geometric shape? The two methods to indicate server-side image maps are:

    1. The presence of an ismap attribute in the "img" image element
    2. The presence of "input type = image" within a form.

    Note: Access to a server-side map file is not in the client HTML and so not typically available over HTTP with most Web servers.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers. Using a client-side map allows assistive technology, such screen readers and alternative input devices, to navigate links embedded in the map.

 
1194.22g Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

Identify all uses of a data table. Establish that the table is a data table which needs column and/or row headers for understanding its contents.

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify appropriate data table headers. Some tips for inspection of HTML to help identify appropriate identification of data table headers:

    1. Column headers: the first data row of the table is composed of "th" elements instead of "td" elements.
    2. Row headers: the first cell of each data row is a "th" element instead of a "td" element.

    Note: Tables that are used strictly for layout should avoid this markup.

  2. Apply AT to make sure row and column headers are identified. Note the use of AT as a measurement method is limited by the adequacy of algorithms and heuristic methods of the specific AT tool used. It can be used to identify problems with specific AT-E&IT interoperability but it cannot predict results with other AT or with other versions of the same AT, OS, application or accessibility architecture. AT should include the full range e.g. screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternate input devices, etc

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers and magnifiers, which must be able to interpret data tables.

 
1194.22h Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

Identify all uses of a data table that have two or more logical levels.

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify appropriate multi-level data table headers. Are row and column headers associated with each data cell?

    1. Inspect the HTML find appropriate identification of multi-level data table headers by looking for various combinations of the "head", "col", "colgroup", and "th" elements, and "axis", "id", "scope", and "headers" attributes.

    Note: Tables that are used strictly for layout should avoid this markup.

  2. Apply AT to make sure row and column headers are identified. Note the use of AT as a measurement method is limited by the adequacy of algorithms and heuristic methods of the specific AT tool used. It can be used to identify problems with specific AT-E&IT interoperability but it cannot predict results with other AT or with other versions of the same AT, OS, application or accessibility architecture. AT should include the full range e.g. screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternate input devices, etc

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers and magnifiers, which must be able to interpret data tables.

 
1194.22i Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

Identify all uses of frames.

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify frames and frame identification. Some tips for inspection of HTML to help identify appropriate identification of frames. For each frame check if either of the following cases is true:

    1. Is the frame clearly identified through the "title" attribute of the "frame" or "iframe" element? e.g. frame src="nav.html" title="Navigational Links"
    2. Is the frame clearly identified by including text within the body of each frame that clearly identifies the frame?

    Note: When including text within the body of a frame for identification, the text should be at the beginning of the frame contents to facilitate quick identification of the frame contents beyond the title attribute.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology, such as screen readers and magnifiers, which must be able to identify frames and frame content for navigation.

 
1194.22j Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Requires the capability to measure screen flicker frequency that might be caused by web pages.

Note: Requires the capability to measure screen flicker frequency that might be caused by web pages.

Note: Requires the capability to measure screen flicker frequency that might be caused by web pages.

  1. Inspection

    1. Exercise the functionality of the page as would be expected in use.
    2. Does the page result in a flicker greater than 2 Hz and less than 55 Hz?

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology.

 
1194.22k A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

Identify all cases where an equivalent text-only page is provided.

  1. Compare each text-only page to the corresponding primary page to see if the information is actually equivalent.

    Note: The link to an alternative text only page should be easily found on the web page and should not require any special technology to be activated.

Note: This requirement is important for interoperability with assistive technology and is applied where interoperability cannot be attained through other means.

 
1194.22l When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by Assistive Technology.

Identify all uses of scripts to display necessary information or create interface elements. For example, one would identify a script on an HTML document by the presence of: - The "script" element - Event handler attributes, i.e. attributes whose name begins with "on" e.g., "onmouseover" - JavaScript URLs, i.e. href attributes that use the javascript protocol e.g., a href="javascript:dosomething()"

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify presence of functional text for scripts. Some hints on how to determine what part of a script is necessary information vs. decoration:

    1. Image rollovers-Scripts that are used to change an image's state when a user moves a mouse over it are an accessibility problem if:
      • text or other meaningful information is conveyed in the mouseover image (e.g., the normal state is a blank button, but on mouseover the button shows a title for the item or a recognizable logo);
      • the item changes other content on the page (e.g., mousing over an area on the page causes text or other content to appear in another area, when that content is otherwise invisible).This is an issue for users who are blind or use a keyboard or switch device exclusively.
    2. interface adjustments-can be ok, but needs verification
    3. form validation-ok if server-side error reporting is provided
    4. form submission-If the form uses an anchor and JavaScript to submit a form (e.g., a href="javascript:document.forms[0].submit()), people with JavaScript turned off won't be able to submit the form.
    5. dynamic html-often problem, really needs human judgement
    6. redirect/refresh page-problem (accessible alternatives exist)
    7. create popup window and change current window ? Popup windows "a href="javascript:window.open('foo')" and window focus changes "a href="javascript:window.parent.frames[1].focus()" confuse users of screen readers by changing the focus on their windows without permission.
    8. generate content-problem

  2. Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported.

  3. Apply AT to make sure functional text is available. Note the use of AT as a measurement method is limited by the adequacy of algorithms and heuristic methods of the specific AT tool used. It can be used to identify problems with specific AT-E&IT interoperability but it cannot predict results with other AT or with other versions of the same AT, OS, application or accessibility architecture. AT should include the full range e.g. screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternate input devices, etc.

    Note: Some screen readers will react to scripts and some will not-testing with a modern screen reader may not find problems for other screen readers still in use.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology such as screen readers. If information conveyed by scripting languages is not coded properly, it will be at best difficult to read.

 
1194.22m When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with 1194.21(a) through (l).

Identify all cases where an applet, plug-in or other application is required on the client system to interpret page content. Some tips for inspection of HTML to help identify required plug-ins, applets or other applications include:

  • Look for the "object", "applet", or "embed" elements.
  • Look for links to files with extensions other than .html, .htm. jpeg .gif and .xhtml, or any proprietary tags that are not directly handled by a browser-some plug-in manufacturers may require these.

  1. If plug-ins, applets, or other applications are required, then look for links to download the software necessary to render the content from those file types. For pages that use an applet, plug-in, or have a link to a file type that has inaccessible content, verify that the page has a link to an accessible version of the required application or content.

  2. Run the plug-in, applet, or other application on the page and test the interface against 1194.21 or otherwise verify that the plug-in actually conforms to 1194.21(a) through (l).

    Note: The types of other applications that must be supported may include MSWord, Excel and Powerpoint in addition to pdf, shockwave, and flash files.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers. Plug-ins or applets must be available to the user. The interoperability is between the user interface presented by the plug-in or applet and the assistive technology.

 
1194.22n When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using Assistive Technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

Identify all information, field elements, and functionality that are required for completion and submission of the form.

  1. Inspect web content source to help identify form functionality, for example in HTML look for the element "form". Verify that the form functionality is accessible. Some examples of accessible approaches to various form element functionality include:

    1. For selection menus (or drop down boxes), radio buttons and check boxes- to ensure that AT user can ascertain the options being presented by these elements as well as determine/ edit choice marked.
    2. For edit boxes (text fields and text areas): be able to relate label to entry area and enter / verify text entered.
    3. For buttons (like reset, submit): be able to determine their purpose and activate them.
    4. For forms embedded in data tables: be able to associate the column header and row header with a text entry cell in the form.
    5. For instructions: be able to navigate/access the instructions relevant to the part of the form being filled and return to that part.

    Note: Some design features of an electronic form generally facilitate access to assistive technology, such as the relationship between control labels and controls or the sequence/ordering of form fields and directions or cues. Look for the attribute named "tabindex" ? if used, the sequence of this attribute should be the same as the optimal sequence for a user moving through the form. Note that some browsers cannot tabindex.

    Note: Labels should be associated with input fields in the HTML using the explicit "label" tag-this association is what is required by assistive technology. If this is done, the placement of the label for display on the page is not relevant for assistive technology.

  2. Apply AT to make sure screen readers get information in correct order. Note the use of AT as a measurement method is limited by the adequacy of algorithms and heuristic methods of the specific AT tool used. It can be used to identify problems with specific AT-E&IT interoperability but it cannot predict results with other AT or with other versions of the same AT, OS, application or accessibility architecture. AT should include the full range e.g. screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternate input devices, etc.

    Note: When forms are used together with tables, some screen readers can have a conflict with select boxes, permitting the user to select more than one choice in a list.

Note: Satisfying this requirement supports interoperability with assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers.

 
1194.22o A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

Identify those links that are repetitive navigation links.

  1. If a page has repetitive navigation links, is there a mechanism to skip past:

    1. Does an adequately identified link provide a jump past the repetitive navigation links to the main content area?
    2. Does this link appear before the repetitive navigation links?

    Note: Where to skip is not specified. Typical appropriate locations are to the beginning of the following block of links or to the top of the content new to that page.

    • Jump to content may be a more general way of achieving this and would cover cases in addition to skipping repetitive links.
    • Jumping straight to the beginning of the content may prevent the user from seeing additional links that are not repetitive.
    • Navigation links are sometimes hidden because it is thought that only screen reader users need them. People that access web content only using the keyboard also need these links to enable them to bypass repetitive links. Therefore they should not be hidden, but also visually displayed prominently so as to be quickly locatable.

    Note: When frames are used, grouping all the navigation links within a single frame may be an approach. Provided that:

    • The frame containing the rep nav links is properly identified as required by 1194.22 (i)
    • There isn't a set of repetitive links in the content frame
    • The frameset is static.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology, but supports usability with assistive technology such as screen readers.

 
1194.22p When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
  1. For timed response alert, determine if the page requires a user response within a time interval. If yes:

    1. Does the page have features that give the user the ability to indicate that more time is required?
    2. Does the page provide ?sufficient time? for the user to indicate that more time is required?
    3. Determine if the Alert is given in an accessible fashion

  2. For additional time, determine if the page provides adequate timed response alert (method 3 above). If yes:

    1. Does the page provide additional time as requested?

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology.

 
1194.24c All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency's mission, regardless of format, that contain speech or other audio information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be open or closed captioned.

Determine if the training and informational video or multimedia production is in support of the agency?s mission.

  1. Inspect the production, and verify that captions are adequate.

    Note: This requirement specifically applies to video and multimedia productions. Audio only is not subject to the requirements of this provision. Typically, captions are used for audio that is presented with visual information.

    Note: The Media Access Group at WGBH publishes a series of consumer guides to issues related to media access. Media Access Group (or MAG) Guides are publications which contain tools, strategies and helpful hints for consumers. MAG Guide Volume 3 offers guidance to the somewhat complex mandates governing the provision and availability of closed captioning and video description on television.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology. Open or closed captioning is built in to the video and multimedia training productions.

 
1194.24d All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency's mission, regardless of format, that contain visual information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be audio described.

Determine if the training and informational video or multimedia production is in support of the agency?s mission.

  1. Inspect the production, and verify that audio description is adequate.

    Note: The Media Access Group at WGBH publishes a series of consumer guides to issues related to media access. Media Access Group (or MAG) Guides are publications which contain tools, strategies and helpful hints for consumers. MAG Guide Volume 4 is a simple guide to activating video description through the Second Audio Program (or SAP channel) of stereo-equipped televisions or VCRs.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology. Audio description is built in to the video and multimedia training productions.

 
1194.24e Display or presentation of alternate text presentation or audio descriptions shall be user-selectable unless permanent.

Determine if controls for alternate text or audio description are available. Acquire a sample video/multimedia production that has alternate text and captioning.

  1. Inspect system specifications and user manual for support of closed captions and descriptive audio. Note whether manuals have instructions on how to activate these features.

  2. View the sample production for captioning:

    1. If open captioning-no problem since open captioning are always permanent.
    2. If closed captioning-determine if the caption display is user selectable. Turn on closed captions and view content with known captions.

  3. View the sample production for audio description:

    1. If open captioning-no problem since open captioning are always permanent.
    2. If closed captioning-determine if the caption display is user selectable. Turn on closed captions and view content with known captions.

    Note: DVD content and menus should be designed to independently turn the audio description on and off. This is often not the case today; currently most audio description requires vision to turn it on/off.

Note: Satisfying this requirement does not involve interoperability with assistive technology. Open or closed captioning and audio descriptions are built in to the video and multimedia productions.