352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / January 14th, 2008

Web Best Practices Guidelines

I’m currently writing a RFP for a company in Michigan (our SEM campaign is working woo-hoo).  This particular company is seeking some accessibly compliance related features and I needed to refresh my memory on Section 508 compliance issues, furthermore if anything had changed since I last touched on it for the proposal.

So my first port of call was http://www.section508.gov/  I checked it out and it seems I’m up to date.  However I clicked on a link from section508.gov to another site http://www.estrategy.gov/flashmain.cfm.

Firstly the link took me to a Flash version ????  What happens if I am using a speech browser,  you have a non flash version of  site link to that (Come on that is Day 1 of
accessibly class for dummies).  None of the links on the site have ALT tags.  The IRMCO 2008 image “alt text” suggests “Breaking News Event” but it’s not click-able — conflicting info there if you ask me.

Now I clicked on the “Web best practices” link, thinking that I was going to get some new exciting info.  However when I clicked it the site opened a RTF file  but it never told me that the site would open the page in word.  This doesn’t make sense to me why didn’t they just add the content to an inner page of the site (there was 3 links and 2 lines of text).  I don’t understand why anyone would do that —  its stupid especially when you’re a government website and your footer proclaims..

“GSA is committed to Section 508 compliance and accessibility of websites. We welcome any ideas or comments from our clients that may help us improve upon the accessibility and usability of our website.”

Here is an idea – GET IT SORTED! How are we as agencys supposed to build these features if you dont implement them on  your own sites.

Now the for Section 508 test, guess what it failed what a surprise.

Come on people you cant just put info in the footer and hope for the best.  These rules are in place for a reason, I would expect it from lesser sites but you are a government site.

Consider yourself named and shamed,  its the law