Section 508 Compliance Standards

MasterControl and Section 508: Accessibility and Usability

MasterControl is committed to be the most clickable, navigable, and touchable quality management system (QMS) on the market. To achieve this, our engineers have invested roughly 1,700 man hours to ensure that MasterControl solutions adhere to and surpass the internationally recognized best practices outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act to every extent possible. In a sense, we have created our own language to address this crucial issue. Our goal is to improve the accessibility experience by continuing to build on Section 508 compliance as we grow and develop. MasterControl's dedication to accessibility is an ongoing effort that sets us apart from our competitors - we go far deeper than just feeding documents through HTML. We fully understand the best practices for Section 508 compliance and it's our mission to meet - and exceed - them.

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Examples of MasterControl's Functionality that Meets Section 508 Compliance Standards

MasterControl software designers have specifically dedicated their efforts in three primary areas of Section 508 compliance:

  • Screen reader compatibility
  • Keyboard accessibility
  • Reevaluation of the use of color (e.g., contrast functionality to address the levels of color blindness)
While there are hundreds of instances where MasterControl has been enhanced to meet or surpass Section 508 standards, they all ultimately address these three main capacities.

What Does Section 508 Require?

Federal agencies have an explicit statutory obligation to ensure that all electronic and information technology (EIT) that is used, developed, maintained, or procured is compliant with Section 508. In short, all federal information that is accessible electronically must be made available to individuals with disabilities. The information must be accessible in a variety of different ways that are disability specific and MasterControl software has been enhanced to meet those needs. An amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 is intended to remove barriers in information technology, to create new opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and to encourage the development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. According to the statute, federal agencies must ensure that individuals with disabilities who are public citizens or federal employees are given access to and use of EIT that is comparable to that provided to people without disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue burden on the agency. However, if the agency invokes the undue burden exception, the law requires that individuals with disabilities must be provided an alternative means of accessing the data and information. Section 508 requirements do not apply retroactively to technology already in use, but as agencies upgrade or change their EIT, they must comply with Section 508 standards.

The Technical Standards of Section 508

Section 508 includes technical criteria for the following:

  • Software applications and operating systems
  • Web-based internet and intranet applications and information (access to web content)
  • Desktop and portable computers
  • Telecommunication products such as cell phones and voice mail systems
  • Videos and multimedia products (i.e., captioning)
  • Self-contained products such as fax machines, copiers, and information kiosks

For More Information on How MasterControl Can Help with 508 Compliance Standards

For more information about MasterControl consulting offerings, including regulatory compliance services, contact us today