Don't forget the Web

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Beyond section 508

Government Web sites pose a set of challenges different from those faced by employees. Instead of trying to accommodate one or more agency users, with no objective standards, a Web site must satisfy the general public, and there are very specific standards to fulfill.

The idea is to simplify Web pages'make them less cluttered and easier to read'and make navigation more straightforward. These are good goals for Web pages anyway, regardless of Section 508 requirements. But there are compliance-testing tools and Web sites that agencies can use to get feedback and specific suggestions for changes. For example, IBM Corp. makes a program called Home Page Reader. Not only does it include the company's ViaVoice technology to help read Web pages to visually impaired users, it also includes tools for analyzing Web designs and optimizing to meet Section 508 requirements.

You can find other tools, plus more information, under the '508 Tool and Resources' link at the General Services Administration's Section 508 Web site (www.section508.gov).

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