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Section 508 Compliance for PDFs

Overview

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to individuals with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

Under Section 508, agencies must provide disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others. The United States Access Board discusses the Section 508 law and its responsibility for developing accessibility standards for EIT to incorporate into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices in more depth.

Section508.gov

The GSA Section 508.gov website provides guidance, tools, and resources for Section 508 procurements with the ultimate goal of ensuring equal participation for people with disabilities by improving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility. This website aggregates all relevant federal guidance, checklists, and testing information for creating and maintaining accessible documents in various popular electronic formats, including Word, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Resources to Create and Maintain Accessible PDFs

Use the following resources aggregated by Section508.gov to make your PDFs (Portable Document Format) accessible and 508 compliant.

Creating Accessible PDFs

Adobe Acrobat DC Portable Document Format (PDF)

Adobe Acrobat Pro (Older Versions)

Find training videos, other tips, agency-developed guidance, and related resources at the Section508.gov website.

Reflection

  1. Use the checklists and testing documents to assess your current PDF documents. Are your PDF documents accessible? How can they be improved?
  2. How can you incorporate what you’ve learned into your next PDF document? Will you do anything differently?

Write a Review

  1. Thank you for grouping all of this information together – making it easy to research, and use. When you are starting at the beginning of understanding and using this information – it is easy to miss an essential component. I plan on taking one of my lesson plans and putting it to the test.

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