Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Office of Surgeon General (OSG)

Section 508 Compliance

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people 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 give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others. The following are some of the tools needed to understand and convert files to meet the Section 508 Compliance.

Guidelines and Checklists for 508 Compliance

Currently, there is not one standardized guideline or checklist to ensure 508 Compliance. Workgroups from various agencies have posted their interpretations of the 508 Compliance law. Until we have a standardized guideline, it is recommended to read and utilize multiple guidelines. If you Agency is under HHS, it is recommended you use the HHS Checklist as it is updated to reflect the changes that were made with the WCAG 2.0 Refresh in 2018.

WCAG 2.0 Refresh

  • Defined "public" and "non-public" sides of a website. "Non-public" means a person requires a username and log-in.
  • If Documents in the "non-public" site meet the following requirements, they need to be 508 compliant

    (1) Emergency notifications;
    (2) initial or final decisions adjudicating an administrative claim or proceeding;
    (3) internal or external program or policy announcements;
    (4) notices of benefits, program eligibility, employment opportunity, or personnel action;
    (5) formal acknowledgements of receipt;
    (6) survey questionnaires;
    (7) templates and forms;
    (8) educational and training materials;
    (9) intranet content designed as a Web page

Checking for 508 Compliance

508 Training, Tips, Videos

  1. HHS Introduction to Accessibility and 508 compliance 
  2. Section 508 Compliance Basics video #1 (10 min):   Section 508 Compliance Basics
  3. Section 508 Complaince Basics text & video#2 from National Park Service (48 min):
  4. ICAC 508 Cheat Sheet (
  5. HHS 508 Resources to Make Files Accessible (

Additional Links

Creating Accessible Microsoft Word documents.

Make accessible PDFs.

Page Last Modified on 3/8/2019

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