Invest in Section 508 Testing to Win Government Contracts

  • 25.09.2023

Contact Us About 508 Accessibility Compliance

    Federal contracts are beneficial, they are long-term and you are most likely to them renewed annually.

    The allure of timely payments and a promising future may entice countless businesses toward government contracts. However,  for many businesses securing such contracts is far from straightforward. The complex landscape of rules and regulations presents a significant challenge. Moreover, businesses employing technology must adhere to Section 508 accessibility standards, as it is a pivotal requirement for federal contract eligibility.

    If your efforts to secure such contracts have been met with frustration, maybe your products and offerings are not Section 508 compliant. Believe it or not, the path to gaining a competitive advantage and winning federal contracts is easy.

    All it takes is an investment in regular accessibility testing. If you miss out on this opportunity, you will have to rethink the strategies to expand your business and get more federal contracts.

    What is Section 508? Why is it important towin federal contracts?

    Section 508 is a vital federal law in the United States. It is practiced to confirm digital accessibility for people with disabilities. It is an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandates that federal agencies must make their accessible electronic and information technology (EIT).

    The federal government is a significant buyer of goods and services, including technology products. Section 508 compliance is necessary for contracts related to website development, software creation, hardware procurement, telecommunications services, and document management. Businesses can only be eligible for these lucrative contracts if they comply with Section 508 requirements. It means their digital products, websites, software, and documentation must have barrier free access to people with disabilities.

    Apart from legal mandates, compliance with Section 508 offers you a competitive edge. You will get preference as an accessibility-compliant vendor or contractor. Therefore, if you aspire to secure federal contracts, Section 508 compliance is a prerequisite. It opens doors to a broader customer base and demonstrates a commitment to accessibility.

    The VPAT process is complicated. Let us handle it for you.

      Tips for securing federal contracts with accessibility conformance

      Businesses of this digital era should consider the two key aspects, i.e. 508compliance and website development. Your website is the digital forefront of business and it should reflect your commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. Your website is the first point of contact, so it has to be developed as per accessibility guidelines.


      You can achieve 508 compliance by adhering to the WCAG guidelines. This, in turn, can help you win federal contracts. Use the following tips to position yourself as a preferable vendor for federal agencies.


      1. Vendor Certifications: Seek recognized certifications for accessibility compliance, such as the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). Fill out the VPAT correctly and entirely to demonstrate your commitment to accessibility to federal agencies.

              Include clear accessibility statements on your websites, detailing your commitment to accessibility and providing contact  information for accessibility inquiries.


      1. Prioritize Mobile Accessibility: Ensure your websites and apps are mobile-friendly and work well with assistive technologies commonly used on mobile devices, like VoiceOver on iOS.
      1. Provide Alternative Text: Include descriptive alt text for images, graphics, and charts to make visual content accessible to screen reader users.
      1. Keyboard Navigation: Make sure all functions can be accessed and operated using a keyboard alone, without relying on mouse actions.
      1. Video Accessibility: Caption videos and provide transcripts to make multimedia content accessible to users with hearing impairments.
      1. Accessible Documents: Ensure that documents, such as PDFs, are created with accessibility in mind, including proper formatting and tagged content.
      1. Conduct Accessibility Testing: Regularly test your digital products and services, including websites and software. Tools like WAVE and JAWS can be used tofind issues related to screen readers, keyboard navigation, and color contrast. Although these tests are only 30% accurate, you have to include human intervention to confirm your chances of winning the federal contracts.

      How to test your website for ADA and Section 508 accessibility guidelines?

      Developing a 508 compliant website is essential for securing government contracts. Follow the below listed testing approaches to become the top choice for federal agencies.


       1.Automated Testing:


      Utilize automated accessibility testing tools like Axe, WAVE, or Site Improve to quickly identify common accessibility issues such as missing alt text, contrast errors, and structural problems. Many organizations even prefer installing browser extensions like Axe browser extension or tota11y. These extensions can identify issues as you browse your website and provide immediate feedback. There are different online services to check your website’s HTML and CSS for compliance with web standards.


      While automated tools can efficiently identify certain accessibility issues, there are certain drawbacks to entirely relying on technology:


      • Automated testing tools can produce false positives (identifying issues that don’t exist) and false negatives (missing real accessibility problems).
      • Limited context makes these tools unable to assess the overall user experience
      • Dynamic content of your website can be a challenge for an automated tool
      • Cognitive disability and usability are two aspects where automated scans are only 30% accurate
      • Tools may not keep pace with the evolving guidelines for accessibility

      These reasons may lead to non-compliance, so it is essential to opt for a hybrid approach and include accessibility audits. Let’s explore how manual accessibility testing contributes to offering you a competitive edge for federal contracts.

      2.Manual Testing:

      Keyboard Navigation: Audit experts test all interactive elements on your site, including forms and buttons. They thoroughly test tab order and focus visibility.


      Screen Reader Testing: Manual audit helps inverifying that content is read aloud accurately.


      Alternative Text: Manually review and add descriptive alternative text to images, icons, and charts, ensuring they convey their intended meaning to users who cannot see them.


      Diverse perspectives: Manual testers can simulate various disabilities, including visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments. They do this to replicate real-world scenarios and confirm a thorough assessment.



      Securing federal contracts can be a straightforward journey when you invest in Section 508 testing. By partnering with ADACP’s Accessibility Audit Experts, you not only ensure compliance with federal accessibility standards but also gain a competitive edge in the procurement process. Our audit experts specialize in Section 508 and ADA compliance testing. With their decade long expertise, these audit specialists can meticulously evaluate your digital assets and guarantee you meet the stringent accessibility requirementsofgovernment agencies.