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Section 508 ICT Testing Baseline

Baseline tests reduce ambiguity, increase consistency of results, and emphasize testing of the methods and techniques that can reliably meet the Section 508 ICT Accessibility requirements, given the current state and compatibility of underlying technologies. This is forked from the Access Board's (atbcb) ICT Testing Baseline. To open an issue, please go to the atbcb/ICTTestingBaseline.

United States Federal Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC)

Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP)

March 2021 Version 3.0.1

ICT Testing Baseline for Web Accessibility

This is the Section 508 ICT Testing Baseline for Web, which determines conformance of web content with the Revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d).


In January of 2017, the U.S. Access Board released the final rule to revise the Section 508 standards from 2001. The Revised Section 508 Standards reference the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level (A) and (AA) Success Criteria and conformance requirements as the “new” Section 508 standards for Web content. The ICT Testing Baseline for Web was originally developed as the foundation to update the DHS Trusted Tester test process. With the Trusted Tester process and training completed, the ICT Testing Baseline Working Group (ITBWG) resumed efforts to finalize the Baseline and continue promoting the Baseline as a unified foundation for conformance test processes to improve 508 testing across government. The Baseline for Web was written for those creating a comprehensive test process. However, Federal agencies that have a 508 test process can use the Baseline to determine how well their test process accurately tests for all Section 508 requirements. As part of the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP), the ITBWG is led by US federal government representatives from General Services Administration (GSA) Government-wide IT Accessibility Program and the US Access Board.

With the 508 refresh in 2017 and a change to the Section 508 requirements, the Baseline was updated to incorporate the Revised Section 508 Standards (and WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA). The ICT Testing Baseline for Web, which specifies what must be evaluated for Section 508 conformance, was originally developed as the foundation to update the DHS Trusted Tester test process. However, the Baseline can be used for more than test process development.

Federal agencies that have a different Section 508 test process can also use the Baseline for Web to determine how well their test process accurately tests for all Section 508 requirements. Updates were made to the Baseline to prepare it for use and adoption by all federal agencies. With more test processes aligned to the Baseline, test results from these processes will be more accurate and consistent, allowing agencies to share and trust each other’s accessibility test results.

The Baseline work was led by the US Access Board and GSA representatives with significant contributions from Department of Homeland Security.

With the ICT Testing Baseline for Web now complete, additional components are in development to support how agencies can verify alignment of their test processes with the ICT Baseline. Plans for developing the ICT Testing Baseline Portfolio include coverage for software, hardware, mobile, and other types of ICT that have applicable Section 508 requirements.

Document status and feedback

This is version 3.0.1 of the ICT Testing Baseline for Web.

How to contribute

You are welcome to create forks of the proposed Testing Baseline, propose improvements (via issues and pull requests), and submit test cases to help validate test processes and tools. The working group will post the ICT Testing Baseline for Web to this GitHub repository.

How to contact the working group:

Please email and include in the subject “ICT Baseline Update” with any comments or suggestions. Thank you for your interest!



Developing a streamlined test process from this baseline — a primer

The Baseline Tests (#1 - #24)

Appendix A - Cross-Reference Tables

Appendix B - Document Change Log

Appendix C - References


Contents: The Baseline Tests (#1 - #24)

  1. Keyboard Access
  2. Focus
  3. Non-Interference
  4. Repetitive Content
  5. Changing Content
  6. Images
  7. Sensory Characteristics
  8. Contrast
  9. Flashing
  10. Forms
  11. Page Titles
  12. Tables
  13. Content Structure
  14. Links
  15. Language
  16. Audio-Only and Video-Only
  17. Synchronized Media
  18. CSS Content and Positioning
  19. Frames and iFrames
  20. Conforming Alternate Version
  21. Timed Events
  22. Resize Text
  23. Multiple Ways
  24. Parsing