Section 508 compliance and VPAT
At VoiceThread, we believe universal accessibility means more than just saying we meet a few guidelines in Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. We do want to make our software usable by all people, and Section 508 does a good job of encouraging that, but we want to go one step further and make it straightforward and pleasant for everyone to use, as well. We want to serve the needs of a person with dyslexia or ADHD, an outdoor classroom with mobile devices, a user in the developing world without high-speed internet, a kindergartner, or an elderly lifelong learner. In our experience, the only way to do this is by thoughtful and sensitive design, with lots of input from our differently-abled users, and that’s something that can’t be contained in any number of checkboxes.
Even though our philosophy is broad, we know that many institutions require documentation of adherence to standards. We do have a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) so you can see how we work to meet the requirements of Section 508.