What is 508, ADA and WCAG compliance?

Put simply, 508, ADA and WCAG are standards of accessibility for websites that help designers and developers create products that accommodate the needs of users who may be blind, deaf or have some other limitation.

MESH’s Proposal Verbiage

MESH cannot guarantee full 508/ADA or WCAG compliance on websites or applications within the current scope of work. Should compliance with specific guidelines be required in addition to the current scope of work, MESH will provide a new estimate to include consultation with compliance experts and necessary development partners.

Questions to Ask Clients/Developers
Section 508

Section 508 is limited to those in the federal sector and doesn’t apply to the private sector. Federal agencies include:

Large companies part of the federally-funded industry and private businesses can voluntarily be compliant. However, there is nothing in Section 508 that requires private websites to comply with their regulations unless they are receiving federal funds or are under contract with a federal agency.


When it comes to ADA, all private and public entities that are considered “public accommodations” are required to comply with ADA’s regulations. This includes (but not limited to):

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Because WCAG is only a set of guidelines (that many organizations and entities have agreed on), WCAG itself doesn’t have any official legal power to require compliance. However, many countries have adopted WCAG’s standards and required all websites to comply with them (e.g., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia), and other countries only require WCAG-compliance for only governmental websites. In general, it is recommended that any business with an online presence should provide accessibility to disabled users.

Still have questions?

Please, ask your Principal or direct supervisor.