HomeDocsHow do the Section 508 standards differ from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

How do the Section 508 standards differ from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

The Section 508 standards and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are both sets of guidelines for making electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. However, there are some key differences between the two sets of guidelines.

One of the main differences between the Section 508 standards and the WCAG is the scope of the guidelines. The Section 508 standards are specific to the U.S. federal government, and are intended to ensure that EIT procured, developed, maintained, or used by federal agencies is accessible to people with disabilities. The WCAG, on the other hand, are more general guidelines that are intended to be applicable to all types of EIT, regardless of the industry or sector in which it is used.

Another difference between the two sets of guidelines is the level of detail and specificity of the requirements. The Section 508 standards are more prescriptive and specific than the WCAG, and outline specific requirements for each type of EIT covered by the standards. The WCAG, on the other hand, are more general guidelines that outline broad principles for making EIT accessible, but do not provide as much detail on how to implement those principles.

Finally, the two sets of guidelines differ in terms of their enforcement and compliance. The Section 508 standards are enforced by the U.S. Access Board, which has the authority to audit federal agencies and contractors to ensure compliance with the standards. The WCAG, on the other hand, do not have any official enforcement mechanism, and compliance with the guidelines is typically voluntary.

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