Accessibility in the Age of Agile: Strategies for Section 508 Success

location_city Washington schedule Oct 15th 04:15 - 05:00 PM EDT place Ballroom D people 2 Interested

Creating systems that accommodate users with disabilities is a requirement of all federal agencies, as indicated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508. But, it’s not just a federal concern, but instead a challenge for all organizations that seek an inclusive experience for their customers, patrons, or constituents. In the process of moving to agile development models, often times accessibility testing can be forgotten or overlooked. This can result in non-compliant code being pushed to production and a remediation plan that batches Section 508 fixes in a later release. This creates a frustrating experience for users who need accessibility features to access content and complete functions. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recognized this problem early. They have been taking a multi-pronged approach to ensure their systems provide a high quality user experience for everyone. Come hear about some of their methods.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

  • Introductions
  • What is 508 & why does it matter
  • Types of issues that fall under accessibility compliance
  • What we did under waterfall & why that doesn’t work in Agile processes
  • Things we do now in the new paradigm:
    Modification of development contracts to include Trusted Testers
    2. Create a collaborative relationship between QA and new Trusted Testers including a CoP
    3. Run basic 508 training for UI Developers
    4. Implement Automated testing tools
  • Future activities
    Enhance 508 evaluation criteria in COTs software procurements
    2. Focus more on compliance of MS Office and PDF documents and video content
    3. Increase the ability to cross-pollinate ideas and solutions amongst Trusted Testers in all DHS agencies.

Learning Outcome

Attendees will leave the presentation with a greater understanding of the value of accessibility compliance to Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They will be able to recognize opportunities within their own organization, federal, non-profit, or commercial, to remove impediments to continuous release of accessible system features. And they will learn more about the importance of recognizing accessible design elements early in feature discussions.

Target Audience

Federal staff responsible for compliance to Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, anyone who wants systems that everyone can use regardless of disability.

Prerequisites for Attendees

It would be helpful if people already had a cursory understanding that section 508 compliance is required by law in federal IT.

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

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