In January, the US Access Board approved several updates to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, bringing long-awaited changes to federal digital accessibility requirements. Many of these changes have been inspired by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG2), an international set of standards that are considered to be more up-to-date. Because the WCAG2 guidelines focus solely on web content, and Section 508 addresses a wider rang of information and communications technology, it was necessary to evaluate each of the proposed updates carefully.
One notable update to Section 508 is a color contrast requirement, which did not exist in the previous iteration. Such a requirement means that a website (or any digital product subject to Section 508 regulations) must use foreground and background colors which contrast at a ratio of 4.5:1 for standard text, or 3:1 for large text. This will allow many people with low vision to read the content.
For more information on the Section 508 refresh, we recommend taking a look at the free whitepaper published by SSB BART Group.