Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Section 508 Compliance: Quick Start Guide

A selection of resources and information on Section 508 Compliance.

Still having issues?

Still having troubles? Need some additional guidance? Contact our Section 508 Specialists: 

Jennifer Fagan-Fry

Jamie Roberts 

Jan Thomas

NOAA Central Library You Tube Channel

Visit the NOAA Central Library's You Tube channel for more videos on Section 508, the NOAA IR and more!


Journal Article Manuscript Submissions

For journal article manuscripts, the NOAA Central Library will perform your 508 remediation for you. Simply submit your journal article manuscript via our Remediation Request Form, and you are done!

The Big 5: Minimum Requirements for Section 508 Compliance

The NOAA Central Library checks all documents submitted to the NOAA IR for the following accessibility elements:

  1. Tagged content: The PDF is a tagged PDF.  Auto-tagging is acceptable.  If this step is not done, no other elements will pass since they rely on tagging elements. (List of Standard PDF tags from Adobe)
  2. Bookmarks: Bookmarks are present on documents over 20 pages and illustrate the structure of the document.  If a Table of Contents is present, bookmarks should reflect this.  
  3. Alternative Text: Alt text is present for all figures, charts, maps, etc.
  4. Logical reading order: The reading order of the elements is logical and follows the flow of the document.
  5. Document properties: Title and Language are present.  (Adobe resources about creating and editing document metadata)

These are the minimum requirements all documents must pass to be archived in the NOAA IR. If your item does not meet these, it will be rejected. Our team will provide feedback as to what needs to be altered in the document. 

Exceptions: Section 508 criteria does not apply to Open Access Journal Articles where we are able to use the publisher's version of the document. 

Tools and Resources to Get Started

  • Basic PDF Editing; A How-To Manual: This tutorial provides an introduction to basic PDF editing for accessibility including how to fix common errors such as:
    • adding bookmarks,
    • fixing element tags,
    • document properties,
    • alternative text, and
    • fixing tab and reading order.
  • Section 508 Accessibility Check: see how the NCL staff checks IR submissions for Section 508 compliance.