Web standards are rules and guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed to promote consistency in the design code which makes up a web page. Without getting technical, simply it's the guideline for the mark-up language which determines how a web page. displays in a visitor's browser window.
The advantages in adhering to these standards are many:
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ' 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
508 Standards for Web sites, § 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
WebAIM - Web Accessibility
Even if your business is a private operation and not legally required to have a 508 Law Compliant web site, you may want to consider these statistics:
To see a simple example of the use of web accessibility, change the text size of this page. If you are using MS Internet Explorer, click VIEW -->TEXT SIZE --> then change the text size to a smaller or larger size and see the difference in this page. People with vision impairment may find a larger text size easier to read.