Accessibility (Section 508) and Email
[x] Graphics & Images
[x] Multimedia & New Media
HHS must make email accessible to persons with disabilities. All emails—internal or external—as well as their attachments, including graphics, audio, and video must be accessible.
Section 508 and HHS policy require electronic information technology to be accessible to persons with disabilities. This requirement applies to email as well as Web sites, as email is often a means of distributing electronic documents to federal employees and members of the public seeking information and services.
Requirements (content & style):
Broadcast emails and emails generated by Web applications (“Email this page,” etc.) must meet this standard by compliance with the applicable Section 508 standards and may not substitute individual accommodations for Section 508 compliance.
Broadcast emails, as defined in this standard, are those emails sent:
- By a Federal Official (FTE, non-FTE, SES, Appointee, Commission member, or person acting on their behalf) to any group or list comprised of persons, some of whom are not personally known to the sender OR;
- As final documents, intended for distribution to other Federal Officials or to members of the public seeking information and services.
Individual or workgroup emails to known persons without disabilities or working draft disseminations should meet Section 508 standards as much as practicable. Alternative or accessible formats must be made available upon request.
Files or forms on the Web that are linked from within an email must also be accessible; however, an email may link to Web sites without regard to accessibility if those sites are outside the direct control of the office originating the email.
Graphic elements included in the body of the email must be accessible. Images should be tagged via HTML or captioned in text beneath the image. Images or graphics that are strictly decorative (holly leaves on a holiday party announcement) should be tagged with alt=“” so the screen reader ignores them.
For more information about HHS accessibility guidance, see content under the HHS Section 508 Accessibility Policy.
Emails must be accessible to persons with disabilities.