There has been a lot of conversation lately about Section 508 compliance in the ServiceNow world. Before we explore how to achieve this, it is important to understand what 508 compliance really is, and how it relates to ServiceNow.
In the United States, section 508 compliance refers to the section of the Reauthorized Rehabilitation Act of 1998 that requires federal agencies to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. This is often referred to as Digital Accessibility. Digital Accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to digital assets, including auditory, cognitive, visual, neurological, physical, and speech.
Section 508, and most other major international legislation surrounding Digital Accessibility do not establish their own standards for accessibility. Rather, they follow Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG – pronounced wee-cag), the worldwide best best practice for Digital Accessibility.
With the increasing adoption of ServiceNow in the public sector, 508 compliance has become a major topic of interest. ServiceNow does a great job of addressing Digital Accessibility within the native UI, and is committed to making the platform more accessible. However, achieving 508 compliance with Service Portals can be tricky.
With the trend of self service on the rise worldwide, ServiceNow Service Portals are being widely deployed for both internal and external customers. Service Portals are typically highly customized, and no two Service Portals are the same. Naturally, this can be a challenge for 508 compliance.
508 compliance issues can be addressed by leveraging a ServiceNow partner that specializes in Digital Accessibility to audit and remediate your Service Portal. This is a good solution but could be costly and would need to be maintained if there are any updates to the Service Portal.
Another, more cost effective approach would be to deploy the AllAccessible application on your Service Portal. AllAccessible is a certified and scoped application available on the ServiceNow Store that provides instant access to accommodations for users with disabilities allowing them to tailor their browsing experience to meet their specific needs and preferences.
Taking an active approach to Digital Accessibility will protect your organization from potential fines and lawsuits, and shows it’s commitment to digital inclusivity.