Accessibility Commitment

Section 508 Compliance

Section 508 requires federal agencies to make all electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to individuals with disabilities unless it would create undue burden on the agency. The requirements of Section 508 apply to an agency’s procurement of EIT, as well as the agency’s development, maintenance, or use of EIT.

Although federal agencies are required to make all EIT Section 508 compliant, individuals may only file complaints or lawsuits to enforce Section 508’s requirements for EIT systems purchased or deployed on or after June 21, 2001.

It should be noted, however, that federal agencies have additional responsibilities under Section 501 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These Sections require that agencies:

  •   Provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities
  •   Ensure members of the public with disabilities can access EIT
  •   Take other actions necessary to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in their programs

Web Accessibility Help

I Can’t See Very Well

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the following information explains how to use your computer or web browser to make it easier to see web pages, and have web pages read out loud to you.

Use Your Computer To Read Web Pages Out

loudBrowseAloud is browser plug-in for people who find it difficult to read online. By reading text aloud and highlighting the words as they are spoken, BrowseAloud can help people with learning disabilities, English as a second language, and mild visual impairments.You can use a free browser plug-in called BrowseAloud to listen to the web pages on social This plug-in is provided to you at no cost. BrowseAloud helps people who may find it difficult to read text online, those who may have literacy problems, or those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. It is also a beneficial tool for those for whom English is a second language. BrowseAloud reads the words on any web page through your computer speakers and highlights words as they are spoken. Download BrowseAloud

Increase Text Size

With almost all modern web browsers you can hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on a Macintosh) and press the + (plus) key to increase text size or – (minus) key to reduce text size.

Magnify Your Screen

If enlarging the text is not enough to make the page easily readable, the next step is to magnify your screen. Recent versions of Windows include magnification software, which will allow you to increase text to a very large size. The Windows magnifier is limited in its functionality, however, so many visually impaired users find they need a more sophisticated magnification software program. Here is a list of screen magnifier products:

I Am Blind

If you are blind, the following information explains how to use your computer, web browser and screen reader assistive technology to navigate web pages.

Use The Keyboard To Navigate Screens

If You Want To…Then select
Move forward from link to link or to controlsTab
Move backward from link to link or to controlsShift + Tab
Select buttonsSpacebar
Navigate and select Radio ButtonsArrow
Select/deselect boxesSpacebar
Move from box to boxTab
Open a List BoxALT + Down arrow
Read the prior screenCTRL + Page Up
Read the next screenCTRL + Page Down
Go to the top of the pageCTRL + Home
Go to the bottom of the pageCTRL + End
Close the current window (in Internet Explorer)CTRL + W
Refresh the screenF5
Go back a pageALT + Left Arrow
Go forward a pageALT + Right Arrow
Navigate to & select the text in the address combo boxALT + D
Keyboard shortcuts

Get Link Details Using Title And Alt Attributes

“Read More”, “button” and images links usually have title and alt attributes that describes the link in more detail. In order for screen readers to speak this additional information, it must be configured to speak the title attribute instead of the screen text. Please refer to your screen reader documentation for specific procedures, but this is usually a verbosity, configuration, or similar setting.

Respond To Error Messages

When you attempt to advance through the application with erroneous data or missing information, the form will redisplay with a list of links for each error at the top page. Selecting an error link will take you directly to the field in question, placing focus on the specific field that contains the error. When fixed, the error in the list of links or error messages in the field will not be deleted until the page is re-submitted. To navigate to the next error, invoke the screen reader or screen magnifier’s links list or tab through the fields to hear the next error message.

Errors and page information, such as number of errors, current page or progress status, may also be available in the title bar of the page. Access to the title bar is available to screen readers; refer to your screen reader’s documentation for the specific command.

Save & Print And Confirmation Numbers

You can save or print pages you may need later, such as your confirmation number or instructions on how to do something. To print a page, select CTRL+P (You can also print from the File menu.). To save a page to a file, select CTRL+S (You can also save the page from the File menu.).

I Am Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Accessibility Features

  • Volume control
  • Transcripts
  • Captioning
  • All information and alerts conveyed via audio are also conveyed visually

Volume Control

  • Click the Start button
  • Click “Control Panel”
  • Click “Hardware and Sound”
  • Click “Adjust System Volume”
  • Use the volume control to increase or decrease sound to the desired level


A caption is transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally rendered visually by being superimposed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio (e.g., when in a crowded room).

The following information explains how to use captioning for video on demand and for both live and recorded webinars.

For video on demand, click the link to start the video playing. Next, click on the Closed Captioning (CC) button to activate the captioning feature.

For some videos and webinars, open captions are used. In these cases, the captioning feature cannot be turned off.

The Windows Media Player is required for online video content. If this media player is already installed on your computer, the player will come up automatically. If you do not have the player, it can be downloaded here: Microsoft Media Player download.

Alternate Access To Web Information

With the exception of PDF files, all information is accessible via screen readers and other accessibility tools.

If you need assistance accessing any information on the website, please contact us. Please note: This email is only for issues related to accessibility or compliance with Section 508.

If you need to convert PDF documents, Adobe® offers conversion tools in its Accessibly Resource Center.

To Learn More

The Digital Communications Division 508 Program provides guidance on the implementation of Section 508 for the web and other Digital Communications.

The U.S. Access Board’s Section 508 Homepage provides information on Section 508 law, frequently asked questions, and standards.

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