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.
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)
- PDF Baseline Test Process (MS Word, September 2017)
- PDF Detailed Checklist (MS Word, September 2017)
- PDF Printable Checklist (MS Word, September 2017)
Find training videos, other tips, agency-developed guidance, and related resources at the Section508.gov website.
- Use the checklists and testing documents to assess your current PDF documents. Are your PDF documents accessible? How can they be improved?
- How can you incorporate what you’ve learned into your next PDF document? Will you do anything differently?