Home / Website Accessibility: Coding & Testing to Section 508 Regulations


Registration Begins:  November 19, 2016
Registration Closes:  December 10, 2016
Date Course Starts: December 17, 2016
Date Course Ends:  January 21, 2016
Length:  4 weeks, excluding holidays
Meeting Dates and Times:  N/A (Course is asynchronous)
Tool Used for Meetings:  N/A
Cost: Free
Rockcliffe Membership Requirements: Currently in Alpha Testing.

Instructor: Kelly Lupo

Course Description
While this course is about website development, I bring a far more human spin to it: How your code affects actual people on the other end of the Internet. This course will go into checking websites against Section 508 regulations, as well as some basic ways that you can meet them – regardless of your preferred programming language.

Regardless of whether you are hired at a university that is maintaining their status as being ahead of the accessibility curve, or are working as a consultant to maintain a very small website for a resistant “Mom & Pop” pizza parlor owner, I hope this course will give you the tools to both make the case for accessibility, and then to efficiently and effectively deliver a visually appealing, accessible, product.

The course will not teach you how to code, though I do give examples in CSS or HTML1 for many of the regulations in order to illustrate the concepts. Instead, you will learn criteria2, such as contrast requirements, that make digital and print objects accessible. These criteria can be applied almost universally – to documents, online courses, and more. I have even applied these concepts to paper research posters and in-person PowerPoint presentations!

Course Objectives
The objective is to learn how users with disabilities, and their assistive technologies, interact with websites, and what we can do to facilitate this process based on the Section 508 standards.
By the end of this course, the participant/learner will be able to…

  1. Describe how a disability affects users’ interactions with the web,
  2. Describe how assistive technology assists users with disabilities in using the Internet, and
  3. Write a proposal for or against making a company’s website Section 508 compliant.
  4. Install and use at least one automated accessibility checking tool to test different websites.
  5. Create or convert a website which meets or exceeds the criteria set forth in Section 508.

Targeted Learners
This course can be beneficial for web developers of intermediate programming experience and above

Attendance Requirements
There are no synchronous meetings; however, there are projects which must be completed after each module.  Successful completion of each project will fulfill the attendance requirements.

Successful Completion
All projects and graded assignments must receive an 80% or better in order to pass that module for CEU’s.

Materials and Tools Required
Website Compliance Auditing (Choose 1 or More):
In order to get used to using tools from the field of accessibility, we will be using common and free auditing tools in order to check our own work as well as websites of your choosing. Your final project will be assessed using these same tools.  (Note: If you wish to use more than one tool, this is fine, but you will need to choose at least one tool to practice with – either from the list below, or one of your choosing. My recommendation is the WebAIM Chrome extension.)

  • WebAIM’s WAVE Chrome Extension

This is a Chrome plugin which requires installation (they had a version for Firefox, but Mozilla disallowed a function that WebAIM required, which broke the tool). Neither Chrome nor the extension require administrator privileges.  I highly recommend this version if possible, as it is the easiest and simplest to use.

  • WebAIM’s WAVE URL checker

No installation required

  • CynthiaSays

No installation needed, however, you are limited to 10 pages per day.  They do allow you to (for free and once all errors have been corrected) display an icon with their logo noting that your site is certified as Section 508 compliant.
Website Creation (Choose 1):

  • WordPress.com, a free though limited website host. However, you must purchase a premium package in order to gain access to CSS needed for compliance with some regulations.
  • WordPress (full) – I can spin up a sub-domain with WordPress installed, which will give you free and full access to all functions of WordPress.
  • Hosting packages – these usually cost $6-$10 per month (plus $9-$12 per year for the domain). The site is then completely yours, and you can install whichever platform you choose (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, a flat-file system, Ruby/Rails, etc).

Technical Requirements

  • Technical requirements of this course are a computer (PC or Mac) with an Internet connection and web browser. I recommend this computer be no more than 8 years old, but older machines may work just as well.
  • The most up-to-date web browser for your version of Windows, MacOS, or Linux/Unix machine is recommended, and you will need Flash if you wish to view any video content. Video content will be summarized using text, so it may not be exactly the same. All videos should have captions.
  • The course can be accessed via mobile technology. However, in order to participate in optional module 3, you would need to use Siri or an Android screen-reader application (such as TalkBack, which is Google’s default, or ScreenReader).

Required Skills
This course is geared towards learners with at least a fundamental to intermediate understanding of programming and web development.

This course complies with all Section 508 practices possible through use of the Moodle framework. Additionally, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework has been considered in the following ways: a) content is also typically available through text and multimedia presentations, and b) more in-depth information, as well as additional scaffolding, are presented for learners of different ability levels.

Registration is Closed


Course Information

  • Course Location: Rockcliffe Moodle eCampus
  • Course Delivery: Online

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