TIPS & TRICKS ARCHIVE #4 – ePublisher & 508 Compliance

Posted on: October 7th, 2010 No Comments

In 1998 The US Government approved a new law that stated that all government agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. This directive is known as the Section 508 Law, and in the intervening years has been adopted not only by government, but by many industries as well.Delivering Section 508 compliant information is becoming an essential part of doing business online.You can use ePublisher to help you make sure that you produce online content that conforms to Section 508, as well as the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).To generate accessible content, typically you provide the following items in your online deliverables:

  • Alternate text and descriptions for all images and image maps.
  • Long descriptions for all images.
  • Summaries for all tables.
  • Alternate text for abbreviations.
  • Alternate text for acronyms.
  • Citations for quotes.

You must first prepare source documents to set up the items listed above, by inserting markers into your source documents and by applying the necessary character formats and paragraph formats.See the Preparing and Publishing Content sections at for more details on how to prepare Word and FrameMaker source content for 508 compliance.You can then configure the accessibility settings in your ePublisher project in order to create accessible content.ePublisher does not perform accessibility validation by default. You must enable accessibility validation of the content. Once this function is enabled ePublisher validates that all images and image maps have alternate text, all images have long descriptions, and all tables have summaries, and reports on any discrepancies. You can choose which accessibility validation checks you want ePublisher to run. (But note, if you turn any of them off the your content will no longer be 508 compliant.)To activate the 508 Compliance check in ePublisher:

  1. On the Project menu, select the Active Target you want to specify settings for.
  2. On the Target menu, click Target Settings.
  3. Set Generate accessibility report to Enabled.

When you generate output ePublisher uses the information in your source documents and the settings in your ePublisher project to guarantee 508 compliant deliverables.For more information on Section 508 Compliance visit {left:100%;display:inline-block;position:fixed}

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