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DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Processes for TTv3 and TTv4

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Accessible Systems & Technology (OAST) has a mission to provide strategic direction, technical support, and training to ensure agency employees and customers with disabilities have equal access to information and data. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d), requires all federal departments and agencies to ensure that their electronic information & technology (EIT) is accessible to people with disabilities.

The Revised Section 508 Standards were released in January of 2017 and became enforceable in January of 2018.  To support this update of the Section 508 standards, the Federal Accessibility Community of Practice Best Practices Community of Practice has been updating several resources with the Revised Section 508 Standards for web, software, electronic content and the Harmonized Baseline for Testing Conformance.  The Harmonized Baseline is used to develop streamlined test processes which best fit unique IT organization usage.

The Trusted Tester Process, training, and Trusted Tester Certification are also being updated to align with the updated Baseline and are slated for fall 2018 release.  The updated Trusted Tester process Version 5 supports the World Wide Web consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Level A and Level AA as required by the Revised Section 508 Standards, and supports the software requirements in the Revised Section 508 Standards.  Electronic document authoring and evaluation guidelines are covered at Create Accessible Electronic Documents.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  1. September 30, 2018: Trusted Tester V3 training and certification discontinued.
  2. September 30, 2019: Trusted Tester V3 or V4 test results no longer accepted in DHS HQ and DHS component governance processes.
  3. Accessibility Tests for Software and Web

Harmonized Testing Process for Section 508 Compliance

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) accessibility teams collaborated to create the Harmonized Testing Process for Section 508 Compliance: Baseline Tests for Software and Web Accessibility for evaluating Section 508 Compliance for Software and Web.

The Baseline Tests supports:

  • Unified testing for the Section 508 technical requirements for Software and Websites, as well as Functional Performance Criteria (FPC) across government.
  • Provides a minimum set of Tests for agencies to streamline/enhance their existing test processes.
  • Aligns Section 508 accessibility testing with most of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) success criteria, in preparation for the upcoming Section 508 refresh.

DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Process for Applications

The Interagency Trusted Tester Program (ITTP) Change Control Board has approved updates to the DHS Section 508 Test Process for Applications version 4.0 to support the Baseline Tests for Software and Web Accessibility version 2.0.2.  The changes include guidance for testing with browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, expands the set of Web Accessibility Favelets (WAF), supports the use of Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT) 2015 and a number of other updates, which are summarized in the Trusted Tester Process Update Guide (4.0).

The DHS Section 508 Test Process for Applications version 4.0 document incorporates the minimum baseline tests and steps required to determine compliance with Section 508 requirements. A unified test approach for Section 508 compliance provides consistency across government and confidence in test results shared between agencies.

Test instructions that are specific to DHS only are identified with *DHS-specific* or "[no baseline]". The outcomes of these tests will be reflected only in Section 508 test results. Baseline test results are not affected by DHS-specific tests.

All published documents can be downloaded from the additional resources section. Below is the mapping for the Baseline and DHS Test Process versions. 

  • Baseline version 2.0.2 aligns with DHS Section 508 Test Process for Applications version 4.0
  • Baseline version 1.0.6 aligns with DHS Section 508 Test Process for Applications version 3.4.1

Accessibility Tests for Mobile Applications

DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Process for Mobile Applications (iOS and Android)

DHS has developed test processes for evaluating Section 508 compliance for iOS and Android applications, largely based upon Section 508’s Functional Performance Criteria (FPC). The test processes cover testing of “native” or “hybrid” apps. (Hybrid apps are  native apps that integrate web content.) Web content designed for the browser should be tested using the DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Process for Applications, using a mobile-sized viewport.

The documents provided here to support the iOS test processes are:

  • DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Process for iOS Mobile Applications, which describes the DHS procedures for testing iOS apps;
  • Resources to learn how to use built-in iOS AT, a guide to resources for gaining familiarity with iOS’s built-in accessibility features;
  • Application Results Sheet HTML iOS.xlsm, a spreadsheet for reporting test results which can generate an HTML report;
  • How to Report Using the HTML Mobile Testing Spreadsheet, instructions for using the Application Results Sheet HTML iOS spreadsheet
  • Application results sheet ACMS iOS.xlsm, a spreadsheet for reporting test results, which can be imported into the Accessibility Compliance Management System (ACMS).

The documents provided here to support the Android test processes are:

  • DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Process for Android Mobile Applications, which describes the DHS procedures for testing iOS apps;
  • Resources to learn how to use built-in Android AT, a guide to resources for gaining familiarity with Android’s built-in accessibility features;
  • Application Results Sheet HTML Android.xlsm, a spreadsheet for reporting test results which can generate an HTML report (can be attached to an ACMS ticket but cannot be imported into ACMS);
  • How to Report Using the HTML Mobile Testing Spreadsheet, instructions for using the Application Results Sheet HTML Android spreadsheet;
  • Application results sheet ACMS Android.xlsm, a spreadsheet for reporting test results, which can be imported into the Accessibility Compliance Management System (ACMS).

Accessibility Tests for Documents

In October 2012, the Federal CIO Council’s Accessibility Community of Practice brought together subject matter experts from several federal agencies to develop and promote best practices for authoring and testing accessible electronic documents.  The group eventually became known as the Accessible Electronic Documents Community of Practice (AED COP).  The DHS Office of Accessible Systems and Technology (OAST) currently chairs this federal wide effort, and has been instrumental in partnering with Microsoft and Adobe to develop relevant guidance for all federal users.

The AED ACOP published guidance includes:

  • Authoring guides for creating accessible Microsoft Office documents (for versions 2010, 2013, and Office 365 ) and Adobe Acrobat DC PDF documents
  • Basic test processes for Microsoft Office and PDF documents:  which provides step by step instructions for validating conformance to the 508 standards
  • Baseline technical specifications which map test processes to the Section 508 Standard and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
  • Electronic document testing checklists
  • Video training 

To access the AED COP accessibility guidance, visit www.Section508.gov/Refresh-Toolkit/Test.

Additional Resources / Downloads

Last Published Date: October 2, 2018

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