Expert Score 4.4
Ease of Use
4.5
Customer Service
4.3
Features
4.3
Value for Money
4.5
PROS:
  • A real solution to ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 AA compliance
  • 100% compliance after manual remediation
  • Tailored solution for business needs
  • Web accessibility training
  • Accessibility certification and statement
CONS:
  • May take a lot of time
  • Weak user support
  • High cost
  • No automated monitoring software

Criterion 508

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Criterion 508 Review

What is Criterion 508?

In the quest to make your web inclusive by promoting a high degree of usability for people with disabilities, it is important that web content is accessible. Not just accessible, web content must also continue to be accessible, meeting Section 508 compliance, WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Named in relation to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, an American law that requires U.S Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities, Criterion 508 or simply Criterion, having been around for two decades, is your regular manual accessibility solutions provider. In solving accessibility issues, they perform automated website accessibility testing, a scan on your website and web application with WCAG testing tools to capture lower-level failures. After which their team of accessibility experts, including expert end-users with disabilities and senior application developers, manually review your website and unique web pages, utilizing various assistive technologies, looking for rare, complex, or distinct issues the automated scan simply can’t resolve. The combination of these two testing and remediation efforts ensures your website and application are compliant with Section 508, ADA and other compliance standards. Criterion’s process is simple and tailored to business needs and the Criterion experience all starts with a free consultation with their accessibility experts. 

Criterion 508 Service(s) and Features

In achieving accessibility and making your website and app long-term WCAG compliance, Criterion 508 explore web accessibility as a project to be achieved by a team of experts over a period. Firstly, they perform automated website accessibility testing, preliminary audit scan, and reports. They scan your website using the industry’s leading WCAG and 508 testing software to check for the most common, lower-level issues normally found on websites. This software single-handedly scans and checks on the website capturing about 15% to 25% of WCAG guideline failures after which Criterion 508 experts take center stage. These WCAG testers, including expert end-users with disabilities and senior application developers, manually test web content (text, images, forms, and multimedia) uniquely using tools such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, speech to text software, color contrast analyzers, etc. to detect and resolve the persisting compliance issues and upload their accessibility test results and recommended steps to address each issue to Criterion 508’s customized online portal for client access.
Criterion 508 also has a mobile apps team that specializes in mobile accessibility testing and PDF accessibility remediation experts that perform PDF accessibility remediation, manually testing and repairing issues such as color contrast, fonts, heading styles, table formatting, spacing, and more.

Criterion also offers options for remediation, based on the report of the accessibility testing. This remediation provides an ADA, WCAG 2.1 Level AA and Section 508 compliant website, ensuring all barriers to accessibility have been removed.

However, because websites and apps are always changing as a result of regular content updates, new landing pages, and page updates, a compliant website can easily fall out of compliance within a few months. This is why Criterion provides web accessibility training. The Criterion 508’s online website accessibility training is designed to provide your project/IT team with the technical know-how required to create and maintain WCAG, ADA & Section 508 compliant websites, applications, mobile apps, and documents (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF).
Generally, Criterion 508’s web accessibility training replaces an ongoing compliance management system.

Upon project completion, Criterion will provide the following compliance certification documents:

  • ADA Website Certification
  • WCAG 2.1 Certification
  • Website Accessibility Statement
  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
  • Vendor Management Forms

Accessibility project is done and you get what you need.

Criterion 508 Pricing

Criterion 508 does not publish its pricing on the website. This means more flexibility, a custom plan, a bespoke pricing structure for each service, including compliance testing and a quality remediation solution that fits your parameters perfectly for long-term benefits. Accessibility solution duration will also vary according to business requirements.

We know for sure that the complexity of your website or document will determine the timeline of your accessibility remediation and training. Manual remediation generally takes a few months to get done.

Criterion 508 Platform and Support

Whether you’re looking for ADA or Section 508 compliance solutions, web accessibility training or even an end-to-end consultation, the Criterion accessibility solution adventure begins with a free consultation on their website. This is to ensure that Criterion’s experts understand your business and suggest a suitable accessibility compliance plan; standards your site needs to meet, and identify the right tools to make updating your site easier.

Criterion 508’s web accessibility experts will primarily take charge of making necessary adjustments to, make your website WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant. They will also provide your project/IT team with WCAG support and recommendations for the best web accessibility testing tools and plugins best suited for your specific website and application repairs.

Apart from a number of blog posts, Criterion also provides an email and phone number should you want to get in touch to resolve any concerns in real-time. You can also find videos to help you better understand basic website accessibility testing techniques and barriers faced by people with disabilities when accessing non-compliant websites.

Criterion’s support is good but could be better with few FAQs and live chat.

The summary… 

How-to instructions Live chat Phone Email Address
Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Why Criterion 508? Pros and Cons

Criterion 508 performs vigorous manual accessibility testing and remediations. With about two decades of experience in the web accessibility solutions industry, Criterion pride itself in its quality of solution; from a “real world” perspective by including expert WCAG testers with disabilities on every audit team thereby eliminating any risk of exposure to future legal liabilities. Let’s examine some of the positives and negatives:

PROS:

  • Manual accessibility solution to provide ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 AA compliance
  • Provide compliance (100%) after manual remediation
  • Offer a tailored solution specific to each business needs
  • Offer web accessibility training to minimize future cost
  • Accessibility certification and statement

CONS:

  • Manual adjustments to fix accessibility issues may take some time
  • Weak user support – No live chat for quick support or how-to instructions
  • High cost
  • No software platform that can monitor and provide reports state of compliance

The Final Verdict On Criterion 508

While an automated accessibility procedure is seamless through a few lines of code that are inserted into your website’s HTML, with dedicated WCAG and 508 compliance testing on sign up, Criterion 508’s manual accessibility solution ensures ground-level accessibility compliance to required standards and remain the recommendable option.

Like similar manual website accessibility solutions, its operation is simple and straightforward. Accessibility tools and assistive technologies such as screen readers, color contrast analyzers, speech to text software, automated scanning software are used to access the website, then have a team of expert end-users with disabilities and senior application developers perform full remediation of all web content over a period of time. These ensure your website and web application is accessible to users with disabilities and help you remain WCAG 2.1 Level AA, ADA, and Section 508 compliant.

Even though Criterion’s solution may take some time, depending on your business needs, it provides training for your IT team as an ongoing compliance alternative, ensuring your organization is self-sufficient in making future web content and documents accessible although the workload could be decreased and service improved with the provision of a regular software platform that can monitor and generate regular reports on your site’s state of compliance.

In conclusion, Criterion 508 is what you need if you’re looking to have a comprehensive manual accessibility solution offering accessibility testing, audit, certification, and training to upgrade your team with the knowledge needed to maintain your WCAG, ADA & Section 508 compliant website.

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Criterion 508
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