Accessibility Section on FDA.GOV:
This agency, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, has a commitment to the accessibility and functionality of the web site content for all Americans. This commitment takes the form of a constantly evolving service of improving accessibility for our community of users. As the technology of the internet evolves we share with our users the ongoing task of learning how to improve the web site and its services. The intended audiences for these pages are:
- Persons with disabilities who use the FDA web site and want to know about the features of the site to meet their needs.
- The personnel of other Government agencies who want to know how accessibility is being addressed by the FDA web site.
- Vendors and Contractors who are looking for information about FDA accessibility policies, requirements and best practices for procurement.
To Report an Accessibility Issue
If you are an individual with a disability who is having problems accessing information on the FDA web site using assistive technology, you are encouraged to contact FDA 508 Coordinator (FDA508Coordinator@fda.hhs.gov). Please include in your report a description of the issue and the full web page "URL" on which you encountered the issue. By including the URL we can get to work to identify the issue and remedy it as quickly as possible. We understand that such issues may interfere with your ability to obtain and use FDA information. We want to remove any barriers to your access to information on the FDA web site.
Public Guidance on Creating 508 Accessible Documents for the FDA Website
FDA is committed to making content accessible to everyone. If you are submitting a presentation or document to the FDA, please review the guidance for formatting your documents properly for FDA, and assisting our efforts in equivalent access and transparency.
For Alternate Access to Web Information
At this time, all FDA information should be accessible via screen readers and other accessibility tools with the exception of some pre-2001 information, Dockets, and some technical documents. This information may not be available in accessible formats.
- If you need an alternative means of access to any information on the FDA Web site please contact us. Let us know the nature of your accessibility problem, the Web address of the requested information, and your contact information.
- If you need to convert PDF documents, Adobe® offers conversion tools at its Accessibility Resource Center.
Synopsis of Section 508 Accessibility Requirements
Section 508 requires Federal agencies to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are members of the public or Federal employees have access to and use of Information and Communication technology (ICT) that is comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The requirements of Section 508 apply to an agency's procurement of ICT, as well as the agency's development, maintenance, or use of ICT.
In January 2017, the U.S. Access Board published a final rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Rehabilitation Act is a federal law which requires programs and activities funded by federal agencies to be accessible to people with disabilities, including federal employees and members of the public. Section 508 covers ICT developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.
The goals of the Revised 508 Standards include:
- Enhancing accessibility to ICT for people with disabilities;
- Making the requirements easier to understand and follow;
- Updating the requirements to stay abreast of the ever-changing nature of the technologies covered; and
- Harmonizing the requirements with other standards in the U.S. and abroad.
Federal agencies and contractors must comply with the Revised 508 Standards effective January 18, 2018.
It should be noted, however, that Federal agencies have additional responsibilities under Section 501 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These Sections require that agencies provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities and provide program access to members of the public with disabilities and take other actions necessary to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in their programs.
Web Site Standards
The policy and standards for the accessibility of the FDA web sites are set by our parent, the Department of Health and Human Services, which determines how the regulations promulgated by the US Access Board will be put into effect.
- HHS policies: an overview of the department’s policies.
- HHS web standards: which apply to all department web sites.
- Section508.gov: provides information on the Section 508 law, frequently asked questions, and standards.
- US Accessboard: provides information on Section 508 law, frequently asked questions, and standards.
- The GSA Section 508 site provides Section 508 tools, resources, standards, and news.