Comparing Old Section 508 to WCAG 2.0 AA
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README.md

README.md

Moving from Old Section 508 to WCAG 2.0 AA

Much of this comes directly from the work of the United States Access Board

WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria Original 508 (Old) Summary Similar? Comment
1.1.1 Non-text Content [A] 1194.22a Provides for text alternatives of images and other non-text content, including user interface components Substantially Equivalent with more detail WCAG 2.0 provides additional detail for categories of non-text content (Controls/Input, Time-Based Media, Test, Sensory, CAPTCHA, Decoration/Formatting/Invisible).
1.2.1 Prerecorded Audio-only and Video-only [A] 1194.22a Provides that prerecorded audio is available in a visible format and that silent animations are available in an audible format. Substantially Equivalent with more detail WCAG 2.0 1.2.1.
1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) [A] 1194.22b & .24c Provides for synchronized captioning of prerecorded video and multimedia. Substantially Equivalent with more detail Proposed standard distinguishes between live and prerecorded media. WCAG 2.0 1.2.2.
1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) [A] 1194.22b & .24d Provides for audio description of prerecorded video and multimedia Substantially Equivalent with more detail WCAG 2.0 1.2.3
1.2.4 Captions (Live) [AA] 1194.22b & .24c Provides for captioning of live video and multimedia Substantially Equivalent with more detail WCAG 2.0 1.2.4
1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) [AA] 1194.22b & .24d Provides for audio description of live video and multimedia Substantially Equivalent with more detail WCAG 2.0 1.2.5
1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) [AAA] Not in 508
1.2.7 Extended Audio Description (Prerecorded) [AAA] Not in 508
1.2.8 Media Alternative (Prerecorded) [AAA] Not in 508
1.2.9 Audio-only (Live) [AAA] Not in 508
1.3.1 Information and Relationships [A] 1194.22e through (h) Provides that information, structure, and relationships conveyed visually are available to users of assistive technology.
Provides that semantic markup be used for headings, lists, emphasized or special text, and tabular data, including the association of data cells with their headers
Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard is written broadly and is technology neutral, whereas existing standard is specific to HTML image maps and data tables.
1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence [A] Provides for a reasonable and logical reading order when using assistive technology New 1.3.2 : The sequence which content flows, must follow a logical order.
1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics [A] Provides that instructions are not conveyed only through sound, shape, size, or visual orientation New 1.3.3 : Instructions don't rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound
1.4.1 Use of Color [A] 1194.21i & .22c Provides that information and prompts are not conveyed only through color Substantially Equivalent No technical difference.
1.4.2 Audio Control [A] Provides that there is a way to stop, pause, mute, or adjust volume with audio that plays automatically New 1.4.2 : You need to be able to pause, stop or reduce the volume of audio that plays for more than 3 seconds.
1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) [AA] For software 1194.21j Provides for specified contrast between foreground and background of text and images of text New 1.4.3 : The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1
1.4.4 Resize Text [AA] Provides tor content that remains readable and functional when the font size is doubled New 1.4.4 : Text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.
1.4.5 Images of Text [AA] 1194.21f Provides for the use of text, as opposed to images of text Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard provides detail for two situations where images of text are permissible.
1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced) [AAA] Not in 508
1.4.7 Low or No Background Audio [AAA] Not in 508
1.4.8 Visual Presentation [AAA] Not in 508
1.4.9 Images of Text (No Exception) [AAA] Not in 508
2.1.1 Keyboard [A] 1194.21a Provides for functionality when using only the keyboard interface Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard clarifies the requirement by emphasizing the method of input, rather than the nature of the output.
2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap [A] Provides that the keyboard focus is not trapped when the keyboard is used for navigation New 2.1.2 : Keyboard only user can navigate a site changing focus using only a keyboard. The user is advised before the focus is moved away or if alternate keys are required for navigation.
2.1.3 Keyboard (No Exception) [AAA] Not in 508
2.2.1 Timing Adjustable [A] 1194.22p Provides for flexible time limits Substantially Equivalent with more detail Proposed standard provides additional options to the single approach specified in the existing provision (that the user “be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required”).
2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide [A] 1194.21h Provides for user control over moving, blinking, scrolling, and information that updates automatically Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard specifies options (pause, stop, hide, or control the frequency) instead of “displayable in at least one non-animated presentation mode”, and allows for when animation “is part of an activity where it is essential” (for example, data that is being updated in real time).
2.2.3 No Timing [AAA] Not in 508
2.2.4 Interruptions [AAA] Not in 508
2.2.5 Re-authenticating [AAA] Not in 508
2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold [A] 1194.21k & .22j Provides that nothing flashes more than three times per second, unless the flash is very small and does not contain too much red Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard takes into consideration the size and hue of the flash.
2.3.2 Three Flashes [AAA] Not in 508
2.4.1 Bypass Blocks [A] 1194.22o Provides for a skip navigation link or other means to bypass repetitive content Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard uses the phrase “blocks of content that are repeated” instead of just “repetitive navigation links”.
2.4.2 Page Title [A] 1194.22i Provides for descriptive and informative page titles Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard is for all types of content instead of just HTML frames.
2.4.3 Focus Order [A] Provides for a keyboard-oriented navigation order that is reasonable and logical Provides that links, form elements, and other user interface controls and components have a reasonable and logical navigation order New 2.4.3 : Focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability.
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) [A] Provides that the purpose of any link is understandable from its text or context New 2.4.4 : The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone.
2.4.5 Multiple Ways [AA] Provides for two or more means to locate content New 2.4.5 : Allow for multiple ways to navigate content (search, site-map, and navigation menus)
2.4.6 Headings and Labels [AA] Provides that headings and labels are descriptive New 2.4.6 : Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.
2.4.7 Focus Visible [AA] 1194.21c Provides that the keyboard focus is visually apparent when using the keyboard to navigate Substantially Equivalent, simpler and more focused Proposed standard uses the phrase “indicator is visible” instead of “well-defined on-screen indication”.
2.4.8 Location [AAA] Not in 508
2.4.9 Link Purpose (Link Only) [AAA] Not in 508
2.4.10 Section Headings [AAA] Not in 508
3.1.1 Language of Page [A] Provides that the default language of content is exposed to assistive technology New 3.1.1 : Define the language of the page programatically.
3.1.2 Language of Parts [AA] Provides that changes in language are exposed to assistive technology New 3.1.2 : Define the language when text differs from the page language.
3.1.3 Unusual Words [AAA] Not in 508
3.1.4 Abbreviations [AAA] Not in 508
3.1.5 Reading Level [AAA] Not in 508
3.1.6 Pronunciation [AAA] Not in 508
3.2.1 On Focus [A] 1194.21l & .22n Provides that user interface components do not initiate a change of context when receiving focus Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard is explicit instead of having the requirement implicit in that “the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.”
3.2.2 On Input [A] 1194.21l & .22n Provides that changing the setting of user interface components does not automatically cause a change of context Substantially Equivalent
3.2.3 Consistent Navigation [AA] Provides that repeated navigational components occur in the same relative order each time they are encountered New 3.2.3 : Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated.
3.2.4 Consistent Identification [AA] 1194.21e Provides that components having the same functionality are identified consistently Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard is for all types of content instead of just “bitmap images”.
3.2.5 Change on Request [AAA] Not in 508
3.3.1 Error Identification [A] 1194.21l & .22n Provides that automatically detected input errors are identified and described in text to the user Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard is explicit instead of having the requirement implicit in that “the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.”
3.3.2 Labels or Instructions [A] 1194.21l & .22n Provides for labels or instructions when content requires user input
3.3.3 Error Suggestion [AA] Provides that the system makes suggestions for correction when input errors are automatically detected and suggestions are available New 3.3.3 : Suggestions are provided to the user if an error is determined and can be mitigated.
3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) [AA] Provides that when legal, financial, or test data can be changed or deleted the changes or deletions can be reversed, verified, or confirmed New 3.3.4 : Actions that have legal & financial must be more robust.
3.3.5 Help [AAA] Not in 508
3.3.6 Error Prevention (All) [AAA] Not in 508
4.1.1 Parsing [A] Provides that significant HTML/XHTML validation and parsing errors in source code are avoided New 4.1.1 : Follow web standard best practices.
4.1.2 Name, Role, Value [A] 1194.21d Provides that sufficient information (including identity, operation, and state) about user interface components is available to assistive technology Substantially Equivalent Proposed standard uses the phrase “programmatically determined” instead of “available to assistive technology”.

Not covered in WCAG 2.0

This text is taken from United States Access Board slides

Original 508 (Old) Summary Comment
508 1194.22d Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. Counter productive as CSS is well supported by AT, and useful to everyone, including users of AT
508 1194.22l When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology. As JavaScript has evolved, it is not realistic to have one and only one requirement for JavaScript. All of WCAG 2.0 applies the whole page, including any use of JavaScript
508 1194.22m When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with § 1194.21(a) through (l). As web technology has evolved, it is often not possible to tell when a plug-in or applet is required. All of WCAG 2.0 applies to the whole page, including any use of plugs-ins or applets
508 1194.22k A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text - only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes. Text-only pages are no longer recommended. Note that a text-only page” would almost never satisfy this definition.