Flickr and Accessibility

Any one know if Flickr is accessible/Section 508 compliant? Based on my testing and results I say it isn’t. However I see that the White House has a Flickr photostream. From my understanding Section 508 should apply to also. What gives?

The White House Flickr Photostream

i’m on a tablet right now, so can’t really check the accessibility, but I’d say that Flickr is not a .gov site, so even though it’s being used by the White House, it’s really an aside for fun, and not an official part of government business.


That’s unfortunate. It seems like is able to ignore accessibility requirements for federal web sites.

It’s not that it has to be a .gov site, it’s whether it receives federal funding. Accessibility is required if taxpayer money is involved.

It’s a Drupal site, and most of its accessibility strengths and weaknesses are related to Drupal’s. However linking to an external site like Flickr is different. A site may itself be compliant enough for section 508, but link to things like a facebook page, a twitter account, etc. which are external domains and if those sites don’t have accessibility requirements (and they don’t), then they simply don’t.

I get what you are saying Stomme. From my understanding it’s not a good thing for Federal sites to link to inaccessible content. Which is what the is doing in this instance. As a web developer for a federal agency it’s frustrating to see this actually happening. Especially when I have managers who want to do the same thing. Their thinking being along the lines of, “If it’s ok for then it’s ok for our site also.”

It’s frustrating, but then again, 99% of the web is frustrating.

While I’d like to hold governments to a higher standard, I think we all know that if anything, they’re always behind the ball and need even more help than an average site built by developers who keep active in developer communities. Not that it’s always the developers: I heard bits of the horror story of the… zomg, I wouldn’t want to have been on any of those teams working on that.

Also, the requirement is “fulfills section 508”, which I’ve heard is getting an update but still on the books is WCAG1. I’ve seen sites “fulfill” some section 508 checklist technically, but I wouldn’t have called the very accessible to actual humans.