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Section 508 Compliance: Tools for Testing Accessibility

A selection of resources and information on Section 508 Compliance.

Testing is the final step in the accessibility process.  There are a variety of tools that can be used to test accessibility.  Below are a list of helpful resources based on the format of the information technology that is being produced or utilized. 

PDF Documents

Adobe Acrobat Pro (2017) Accessibility Checker: This documentation from Adobe offers step by step instructions on how to run accessibility checks and fix errors.

How to Test and Remediate PDFs for Accessibility Using Adobe Acrobat DC: Video series from Section508.gov. featuring in-depth information on PDFs and their accessibility features. 

Word Documents

Accessibility Checker-MS Word:  This documentation from Microsoft offers instructions on using the software's accessibility checker tool and how to correct some of the problems commonly encountered. 

Web Pages

WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool: a service of WebAIM, WAVE is an evaluation tool to check the accessibility of websites.  Simply type in the URL and the site will produce a report of all accessibility issues.

Screen Readers

NVDA: NVDA, or NonVisual Desktop Access, is a free screen reader.  This can be used to check the reading order of your document or webpage, as well as elements such as alternative text and ordered lists.

JAWS: JAWS is the most widely-used screen reading technology on the market.  Much like NVDA, screen readers can help with determining if a document's reading order is correct and if certain elements are tagged correctly.  The drawback to JAWS is that there is a fee to use the software and the licensing can be expensive.   

VoiceOver: VoiceOver is the screen reader built into iOS enabled devices.  There are YouTube videos available on how to activate and use the service.

For more information on NOAA Section 508 policies please contact the NOAA Coordinator, Natalie.D.Smith@noaa.gov.