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DHS Section 508 Compliance Test Processes

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 information and communications technology (ICT) is accessible to people with disabilities.

Accessibility Tests for Web

Harmonized ICT Test Baseline for Section 508 Compliance

Baseline tests attempt to reduce ambiguity, increase consistency of results, and emphasize the methods and techniques that can reliably meet federal accessibility requirements.

The ICT Testing Baseline was established by a subcommittee under the US Federal CIO Council to provide a standard means to evaluate web-based electronic content for conformance to the Revised Section 508 Standards, which align with WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria.

The Baseline is organized by categories to help you easily identify applicable requirements.

The Baseline Tests:

  • Provides a common set of unified tests to measure conformance to the Section 508 technical requirements for web based electronic content.
  • Are designed to be used as a foundation for establishing a test process, and to evaluate test processes and test tools for alignment.

Trusted Tester Version 5 Conformance Test Process for Web

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Accessible Systems & Technology is committed to the development of the common testing approach for accessibility compliance and conformity, named Trusted Tester Version 5 (TTV5).  TTV5 provides a code-inspection based test approach for determining web content conformance to the Section 508 standards, and is aligned with the ICT Testing Baseline.

Click here for more information on the TTv5 test process, training and tester certification. 

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

The Department of Homeland Security uses the guidelines for authoring, testing, and remediating Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF documents endorsed by the US Federal CIO Council Accessibility Committee.  The guidance was created through an inter-agency workgroup called Accessible Electronic Documents Community of Practice (AED COP), whose purpose is to develop and promote best practices for authoring and testing accessible electronic documents.   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 2016, 2013, and 2010) 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 https://section508.gov/test/documents

Additional Resources / Downloads

Last Published Date: August 13, 2019

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