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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Accessible ICT How-To Resources


According to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973 as amended, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that the Department procures, develops, maintains, or uses needs to be comparably accessible to and usable by citizen/employee users with disabilities as such ICT is accessible to and usable by citizen/employee users without disabilities. The scope of such ICT includes and is not limited to the Department’s internal and external web sites, software/web/mobile applications or apps, social-networking/media tools, electronic documents, multimedia videos, e-learning products/services, and a wide-variety of ICT hardware. The purposes of this page are to empower, inform, and provide Section 508 actionable how-to instructional resources, regarding rendering accessible some of the Department’s pervasive, “lower-hanging fruit” (e.g., electronic documents in Adobe PDF or MS Word), to any Department personnel (or business/vendor partner) who contributes to the procurement, development, maintenance, or use of such Department ICT, so that many stakeholders versus a few can advance the compliance and quality of the Department and that such compliance and quality improvement become institutionalized.

Creating Word/PDF Documents

A number of U.S. federal agencies/departments have published helpful information/instructions on how to create or remediate electronic documents in order to be accessible for users with visual or other disabilities, and there is an inter-agency effort underway to harmonize to a baseline set of accessibility information/instructions. Until that baseline is finalized and approved, please use the following Department of Veteran Affairs Healthcare Administration (VHA) Office of Health Information (OHI) Section 508 Tutorials in order to create Department MS Word or Adobe PDF documents that achieve a minimum level of accessibility:

  1. Creating Accessible Documents with Microsoft Word 2010 Tutorials
  2. VHA Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Professional


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