The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is committed to making every one of the hundreds of thousands of pages, documents, and files on www.irs.gov, its World Wide Web site, accessible to the widest possible audience. The navigation and layout have been improved using recommended guidelines outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. As new content is added, we will continually be working to refresh and improve the site to increase its accessibility.
What is Accessibility?
Information on the Web needs to be accessible to those with functional impairments in accordance with 508 requirements. Accessibility refers to ensuring that access to information is available to the widest possible audience. The design of a web site determines its accessibility.
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, is a Federal mandate that requires that information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
- It requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology (EIT) developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.
Using the site:
Most visitors will be able to view the IRS Web site using the most popular browsers. The accessibility features that have been put in place thus far are just the beginning. The IRS, in an effort to serve the needs of all who visit our web site, will continue over the next several months to make content accessible for persons using special assistive technology.
- Text Descriptions Provided for Images and Pictures - When the mouse pointer or pointer alternative moves over an image, a small window pops up to give you a description of the image. This description is also provided to visitors who are using screen readers to access information in the page.
- Style Sheets Used to Format Page Content on this site are designed using cascading style sheets. This allows visitors to disable the formatting provided and apply their own formatting if they choose. Style sheets are disabled within an Internet browser's settings or preferences options. People with a slight visual impairment who need a larger font size to read comfortably will find this feature useful.
- Persons using screen-reading devices, who generally cannot directly read documents in PDF format, will find a HTML version of many of the forms and the publications on the IRS site. Over the next several months, the IRS plans to make all PDF files accessible. As new publications become available in Acrobat 5.0, which is 508 compliant, they will be posted on the site.
Direct Links to Main Sections of Each Page are provided for those using screen readers. Screen readers tend to read pages from left to right and from top to bottom. The pages in www.irs.gov provide internal bookmarks so that screen reader users can jump directly to specific sections of the page. This feature is referred to as a navigation menu bypass.