Delivering Accessible Products & Services
HHS is committed to providing accessible information and services to persons with disabilities, as well as to users of assistive technology. We require our products and services be accessible and to comply with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Learn more below:
Official HHS Section 508 Policy Overview
The following products and services must meet Section 508 accessibility standards:
- Software applications and operating systems
- Web-based information, systems or applications (Internet, Intranet or Extranet)
- telecommunications products
- video and multimedia products
- self-contained, closed products
- desktop and portable computers developed, procured, or used
The Access Board EIT Accessibility Standards also requires the following be provided at no additional cost:
- Product support documentation in alternate formats,
- Description of the accessibility and compatibility features of products in alternate formats or alternate methods, and
- Accessibility support services for products.
HHS Expectations for Delivering Accessible Products & Services
HHS expects that all products and services purchased will be accessible and we test for compliance using a variety of tools, both automated and manual, based on the government-wide standards outlined in Sections 508 and 504.
Note: HHS follows the Federal Section 508 Standards. While we do not have higher or different standards than other agencies, HHS conducts comprehensive automated and manual testing to ensure Section 508 compliance.
- Section 504 requires agencies to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in their programs and benefit from their services.
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
This template is the most common format vendors use to describe how their products and services conform to the Section 508 standards before purchase by a government agency.
Resources for Compliance
HHS offers information and resources on how to make digital products accessible:
- Training in Section 508 and Accessible Design
- Step-by-step instructions and other resources for getting accessible
- Section 508 Accessibility Checklists
- Common HTML Accessibility Issues to Avoid:
- Common MS Office Accessibility Issues to Avoid:
- Common PDF Accessibility Issues to Avoid: