Accessibility has been a buzz word in the design community lately. What does it mean? “The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability” — Henry & McGee, W3C.
There are two de facto standards for accessibility: Section 508, which applies to the public sector, and WCAG 2.0, which applies to the private sector. These two standards are essentially checklists that are used to evaluate websites. Section 508 is a legal mandate, while WCAG 2.0 is not. So, unless you are a government employee or subcontractor, you are not legally required to make your website accessible. But, there are countless reasons to care about accessibility! Each of your users should be entitled to an equal experience.