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Accessibility Button on Computer Keyboard

Web Accessibility

In the context of this website, you are the owner of any document you wish to post online. As the document owner you are ultimately responsible to ensure the accessibility of that document before it can be posted to this website by the Office of Strategic Communications.

Millions of US citizens are visually impaired and must use assistive technology (AT) to read electronic content. This software, called a screen reader, deciphers online and other electronic content. To meet their needs and to ensure equal access to information, the US Congress enacted legislation in 1998 to require U.S. Federal agencies and contractors to procure accessible software and to produce accessible electronic documents. The regulations, known as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, went into effect in June, 2001.

Section 508 addresses every aspect of electronic documents. This includes ensuring content is tagged in correct order, as well as properly identifying section headings, bulleted and numbered lists, and footnotes and endnotes. Guidelines for the accessibility of PDF are also part of the PDF/UA ISO standard 14289-1.

Characteristics of a fully accessible PDF include establishing a valid reading order for all page content; creating and validating tags for all logical content; providing alternate descriptions for all images; tagging tables to correctly represent table structure; including valid Unicode assignments for all characters; and managing all form-fields, links and other interactive features to ensure their maximum usability.

Please Note: Section 508 remediation is the last step to be performed prior to releasing a document or posting it to a website. The documents should be proofread, converted to PDF, redacted if necessary and then made Section 508 compliant.