Table of Contents
Introduction to Accessibility
Accessibility is the idea of making sure that all benefits of our society should be available to everyone regardless of their vision or hearing or mobility. From employment, to entertainment, there are ways to make an experience available to someone who is blind or low vision, hard of hearing or deaf, or with other differences.
Accessibility on the web involves making sure that we haven’t designed websites for people expecting them to use all of their senses, because this can make content inaccessible for those who can’t. For example, if your website is only accessible via mouse, someone using a screen reader and navigating by keyboard could not access it.
Many people are familiar, at least in passing, with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. The ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.
One way that the US government has responded to the need for increased accessibility and to remain in compliance with the law is by implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This is described next.
Section 508 requires that US federal government agencies acquire ICT (Information and Computing Technology) that meets accessibility standards whenever possible, and to ensure their websites meet a minimum standard of accessibility.
The specific standards they rely on are the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), currently in Version 2.1. The WCAG 2.1 standards are created by the World Wide Web Consortium, an international standards organization for the internet.
In order to meet the need for Section 508 certified website auditors, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Accessible Systems and Technology (OAST) has developed the Trusted Tester program.
DHS Trusted Tester Certification
The Trusted Tester Program is a self-paced, ~85 hour program consisting of 3 courses (an introduction to accessibility, an introduction to Section 508, and a web auditing course. I have written about the Section 508 training program previously. One tool used in this program is called ANDI, the Accessible Name & Description Inspector.
The bulk of the material is in the web auditing course. This course, made up of 20 lessons, takes you through each of the auditing criteria and has you practice. Once you’ve passed practice quizzes auditing each of the items in isolation and scoring 100%, you must complete a practice exam where you audit a small website (3 pages) against all of the criteria. You must score 90% on this practice exam and then audit a different website for the final exam and also score 90%.
How Provisio Makes Salesforce Accessible
As a Certified Section 508 Trusted Tester and a Senior Business Analyst at Provisio Partners, I play a role in ensuring that our Salesforce solutions can be made accessible to all. We have built solutions for clients with low vision including a variety of Salesforce accessibility features including high contrast, alt text, consistent tab order and so on.
If you’re an organization serving clients with low-vision, who are hard of hearing, or who have other accessibility needs consider Provisio Partners as your Salesforce Implementation Partner.