In August of 1998, President Clinton signed an amendment to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This legislation is known as “Section 508” and requires that the Federal Government make all electronic and information technology utilized by them to be fully accessible for people with disabilities. The South Carolina State Architecture Oversight Committee (AOC) adopted a policy in June 2004 requiring all state agency websites to provide equivalent access to online information, data and services to individuals with and without disabilities. The standards to be used as minimum requirements for state agency websites are those presented in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition to the minimum requirements, the AOC also recommends following “best practices” as defined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 - W3C Recommendation 5-May-1999.
In an effort to have a web presence that is accessible to the widest possible range of users, the College of Charleston has implemented compliance techniques defined by the Federal government. These techniques allow agencies to comply with Federal regulations that ensure that people with differing abilities will be able to have access to the Internet. The State of South Carolina has outlined minimal requirements and best practices in providing accessibility to web sites.
There are sixteen compliance techniques. The features you have in your web site will determine which techniques you should implement. You can learn about implementing these techniques through the resources provided on this web site titled "Web Accessibility Guidelines."
Accessibility is defined as "Development of information systems flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest range of users....regardless of age or disability."
The College of Charleston requires that all new or revised web pages published or hosted by the college be in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the guidelines set forth in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 - W3C Recommendation 5-May-1999.